Redefining the Classroom

Practical Experience

The early childhood education curriculum meets the National Association for the Education of Young Children standards for professional preparation, the Michigan Department of Education standards of quality for prekindergarten and teacher certification standards.

There are three options available to students interested in a career working with young children:

Associate in Early Childhood Education: Graduates are prepared to be highly qualified paraprofessionals for public schools, assistant teachers for state funded preschools and Head Start programs or for caregivers in infant-toddlers Early Head Start. Students earning an associate degree can transition to a bachelor degree easily by applying associate degree credits toward the bachelor program.

Bachelor in Early Childhood Education: Graduates are prepared to provide high quality education and care for children birth through age eight in a variety of settings. Students will be qualified to work as lead teachers and directors in private early childhood programs, state funded preschool programs, such as Great Start Readiness preschool and federally funded Head Start programs.

Bachelor in Elementary Education with an Early Childhood Education concentration: Graduates are eligible for an elementary teaching certificate with an endorsement in early childhood education (ZS), which qualifies them to teach children birth through age eight in preschool and Head Starts, and general and special education students in preschool through grade 2. Earning the specialization in early childhood provides specific teaching strategies needed to respond to the challenges of teaching the youngest children in developmentally appropriate ways while setting them on a life long course for success.

"Lake Superior State University has provided me with invaluable teaching experience. From my first year to my last, I was able to complete field work, which provided me with four years of teaching experience in a variety of classrooms. Throughout this time I was also immersed in educational theory, and by the time I completed my internship, I felt like I had already completed my first year of teaching. A major benefit of this teaching program was the valuable contacts I was able to make within the schools, which helped me to gain employment when I graduated. I was also able to graduate with 12 post-graduate credits, which I plan to put toward a Masters in Education. The teaching program at Lake State has not only given me a solid foundation to build from, but has helped me develop into a competent and confident professional."

-- Beth Orlando
Teacher Education Graduate

Practical Experience at LSSU

Field experience is embedded into all early childhood coursework at LSSU. Students complete field experience hours as part of their professional education coursework, being placed at appropriate levels in area pre-schools and centers. Specific assignments and tasks are designed for these placements, which serve to integrate the classwork on campus and the experience in the field. This intentional design serves to strengthen students ability to learn from these experiences and to reflect on their professional development as an educator. Students who earn a bachelor degree in early childhood education will complete more than 500 hours in field experiences, which begin with the first course they take in early childhood.

"You can teach a student a lesson for a day, but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives," by Clay P. Bedford, is a quote that I first read on a professor's door at LSSU. LSSU teaches you how to teach by guiding the children in your class to a positive future. LSSU gives you the foundation that makes a person into a teacher who will make a difference in the lives of children."

--Krista Vit
School of Education graduate


Career Choices

Preschool Teacher: $20,720 - $35,600 per year, with a bachelor degree
Kindergarten Teacher: $39,910 - $62,770 per year

  • Preschool Teacher
  • Preschool or Center Director
  • Lead Teacher
  • Assistant Teacher
  • Elementary Teacher


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