I am a sophomore and have started browsing colleges, nothing too intense just looking online etc. I would like to major in Early Childhood Education, but have found a lack of schools that are reach or match schools for me. I have a 4.5 GPA (on a 5.0 scale, a 3.7 or so on a 4.0 scale) and got only a 1250 on the PSAT, though it was my first time taking it. A lot of the schools that I’ve found for ECE are state schools, which, if I were to attend a state school I would go to my own (price and I can possibly get scholarships a lot easier, they offer them for things like getting certain scores on the state standardized test etc., it is also a fairly good school). Do you know any non-state schools that are good for early childhood education?
What will your budget be for college?
For a major such as ECE, where starting and mid-career salaries will be relatively modest, it often makes sense to go to an affordable school…and state schools are typically more affordable than private schools.
Also consider where you want to teach after college…many advise students to go to college in the state you want to teach as it tends to be easier to get a job that way.
What is your home state?
The most important part of your training will be student teaching. Therefore, it’s important to find a college which places their students in schools which are well resorted and which have lower class sizes. These are typically the schools which will be employing best practices. You may eventually work in a district which is not as good, but it’s easier to adapt and compromise when you know how things work when they are done right than when you think this is as good as it gets.
Typically the well resourced elementary schools are in affluent suburban schools. Unfortunately inner city school too often don’t have the resources to implement best practices in the way they were intended.
One of the colleges I really like is Simmons College in Boston because they do full year internships instead of 15 weeks of student teaching. Do you know what geographic area that you’re considering for college?
Definitely need context in terms of where you live and whether your parents have an unlimited budget. As a parent, I am willing to pay more for a high ROI program like engineering or business. In the absence of a spare $300k sitting around, if one of my kids wanted to go into early childhood education, they would be expected to go to an affordable in-state option.
I’d like a college in a city, most preferably, and in the Northeast or just generally the east coast. I actually live in Massachusetts about 40 ish minutes from Boston, so I’ll definitely look at Simmons College!
Since posting, I’ve checked Simmons and have found that they’ve recently discontinued their undergrad elementary ed program. UnfortunateIt’s still there at the graduate level.
Boston College has a fine program in elementary ed. Smith and Mary Washington (VA) have very strong 4+1 BA/MA programs, a direction in which more colleges are increasingly going.
I reiterate that student teaching is critical. I have seen careers broken by bad student teaching experiences while good experiences inspire and launch teacherson to great careers. Wherever you consider, visit and talk to a representative of the elementary ed program. Ask where their placements are. Ask how the college is going to insure that you get a high quality student teaching experience and how they will protect you from getting a bad one.
Many colleges that are not known for anything else have very strong elementary ed programs. Where I live in central Connecticut, little St. Joseph’s University turns out terrific elementary teachers year after year. Colleges that get you out into schools early have the best success rate - as early as sophomore or even freshman year.
Thinking of your situation, I decided to ask a friend who is a public school administrator for advice. She said that her #1 choice would be Lesley University in Cambridge. Not only would you be getting great teacher training there, but you’d be right on Harvard Square! Can’t go wrong for college life there. She said that in addition to St. Joe’s in West Hartford, they’d also hired good elementary teachers in recent years from Eastern Connecticut State University and Providence College. You expressed interest in a city, so some place else I’d consider in a different city than Boston would be Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY.
Good luck finding the right fit.
The most affordable ones (retired preschool teacher here). Tiny little students, tiny little paychecks.
As you are a retired preschool teacher, do you know what the difference between an elementary education major and degree vs early childhood education (i.e the grades you can teach, future salary, amount of colleges with the major etc.)? I know that the grade you can teach are different, but does that depend on the college you go to how they vary?