Teacher preparation program accredited by The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), with curricular emphasis on the years spanning birth to age five. Experiential learning activities, assessment, and classroom practicum experiences with children in birth to pre-K settings are provided for all students. Eligible students may also apply for teacher certification (Birth to PreK Child Development Certificate) to work in public Pre-K classrooms in Alabama.  On-campus facilities, such as the UA Children’s Program and the RISE program, along with various community programs that are NAEYC accredited or housed in public schools are utilized for structured practicum experiences. Distance learning students receive congruous learning experiences and are assisted in locating NAEYC-accredited programs for their practicum and internship experiences that occur in early learning settings. Students also have several opportunities to conduct research and mentor school-age children with a variety of diverse backgrounds, through the early childhood years (birth to age 8).

Degree Options

Early childhood education students graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Human Environmental Sciences degree.  Students who began their studies on or after July 2017, may apply for teacher certification through the Alabama State Department of Education.

All students with a major in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies must take the following courses as part of the University core requirements:

BSC 114
BSC 115 or
Principles Of Biology I
and Laboratory Biology I
BSC 109 Intro Biology Non Maj II
HD 101Life Span Human Development3
PY 101Intro To Psychology3
Total Hours10

Early Childhood Education Major

The major in early childhood education (ECHS) is designed to provide students with an understanding of the growth and development of young children (conception through 8 years of age). Additionally, students learn to apply developmental principles in the design, implementation and evaluation of programs for young children. Students who began their studies on or after July 2017 may apply for teacher certification through the Alabama State Department of Education.

Each student completing the Early Childhood Education major must have a grade point average of 2.0 or higher in both HD and UA coursework before enrolling in HD 495 Early Childhood Ed Internship. Many internship opportunities require a cumulative and HD GPA of 2.5 or higher. Students should contact the department’s internship coordinator for further information.

More InformationHours
HD 202Child Dev-Infancy/Todlr3
HD 205Child Dev-Preschool3
HD 215Foundations of ECE3
HD 302Child Dev-Adolescence3
HD 321Curriculum Planning in ECE I3
HD 322Curriculum Planning in ECE II3
HD 327Assessment of Young Children3
HD 382Parent And Family Devt3
HD 422Admin Child Centers & Programs3
HD 472Program Evaluation3
HD 495Early Childhood Ed Internship6
SPE 471Dev Persp Young Child W/ Disab3
Choose one of the following:3
Research & Critical Thinking
Elem Statistical Methods
Educational Statistics
Total Hours42

Careers for Graduates

Early Childhood Educator, birth-pre K teacher, early interventionist, curriculum specialist, case manager, advocate for early childhood policies, employee for non-profit organization

Jobs of Experienced Alumni

Lead teachers, pre-K teachers, instructional facilitators, cooperating master teachers, school administrators (principals, special education supervisors, directors of non-profit organizations)

Learn more about opportunities in this field at the Career Center