Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education programs are often a child’s first educational experience (ages 0-5), providing an opportunity to set a child’s life-long learning patterns in a positive direction.

Lake State elementary education student reading to preschool students

A Variety of Age Groups

Infants and Toddlers

Early childhood educators who wish to work with our youngest population, infants, will find themselves rocking, reading and cuddling those babies right into toddlerhood. Teachers of infants enjoy watching the daily discoveries of young babies as they move toward toddlerhood.   Toddler teachers provide two and three year old children with the skills for school readiness, such as confidence, imagination, curiosity, and love of learning, while establishing some foundation skills in language, math, science and reading.

Infants and toddlers need nurturing adults who offer secure attachments and consistent relationships while parents are at work or school.  Patience, a sense of humor and respect for young children are characteristics of successful teachers of infants and toddlers.

Preschool

Preschool is more than learning the ABC’s and 123’s, it’s about growing a love for learning at a time when children are most excited to learn.  Preschool teachers  design developmentally appropriate environments and provide support and guidance for young children as they prepare for the formal learning environments of elementary school.  A great early childhood experience leads a child to a great elementary experience.  Early childhood teachers have an opportunity to provide a solid foundation of skills which will last children a life-time.   Great preschool teachers gravitate toward teaching the academics through exploration, which is sometimes messy, sometimes loud, but always serious fun.

Hands On Learning in Real Life Environments

Our Early Childhood classroom is not defined by desks in rows, chalk boards, and a lecture.  At Lake State, you will be engaged in active, real life learning.  Lake State students are immersed in real learning environments where they will gain valuable field experience.  Click on this link to read about our students gaining real life experience in this article posted in the Soo Evening News on October 1, 2017.   Superior Start:  The School Readiness Center earns a 5-Star rating from Michigan’s Great Start to Quality

Early Childhood Program Options

Bachelor Degree 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.

Job opportunities outside a classroom setting are numerous and have a wide focus.   Students have become children’s program directors at summer camps, on cruise boats, work as child life specialist in health care facilities, become nannies or start child care or preschool businesses of their own.  Other job possibilities include parent educator, before and after school teacher, social worker assistant, children’s museum directors, children’s library assistants, recreation programs teachers for swimming, dance art or gymnastics and children’s book authors.

Associate Degree In Early Childhood

Before enrolling in any program you may want to know what the degree means for employment.  An associate degree in early childhood education provides you with a credential to become a lead teacher in an infant-toddler or preschool childcare setting, an assistant teacher in Head Start, Great Start Readiness Preschool or a paraprofessional in elementary school.  In the State of Michigan, early childhood associate degree holders are qualified to open a child care business or hold a director position in a private childcare business.  Most students earn an associate degree in two years.  Many students continue on to earn a four year bachelor degree.

Career Choices

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

Lake State Students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) class work with students. LSSU early childhood students work with students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)

The early childhood education curriculum program at Lake Superior State University prepares graduates to work with infants and toddlers and preschool age children. LSSU offers an Associate (two year) degree and a Bachelor (four year) degree in Early Childhood Education.  Graduates are employed by Head Start, Great Start Readiness Preschool, Child Care centers, elementary schools as teaching assistants.  Some graduates start their own child care business as the owner/director.

“The hands on field experience, small class sizes, and passion for teaching seen in the professors prepared me and gave me confidence as I began my own journey as a teacher. No matter where my career takes me, I will always have LSSU to thank for getting me started.”

Cassie Brege2017 Outstanding Early Childhood Educator of the Year. (Pictured with Arya and Ivan at Superior Start)
$120,000

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® MICHIGAN Scholarships awarded to LSSU

Lake Superior State University’s early childhood education program caters to students who are currently working in early childhood settings and want to take classes to earn  initial or advanced degrees.  Many of our early childhood classes are offered in the late afternoon or early evening which allows students to work and attend school.

Lake Superior State University participates in the T.E.A.C.H. Michigan scholarship program.  T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® MICHIGAN is a statewide scholarship program designed to help child care center teaching staff, preschool teachers, family child care providers, group home owners, center directors, and administrators meet their professional development goals, while continuing their current employment in regulated early childhood and school age care settings.  Since 2010 T.E.A.C.H. Michigan has provided LSSU early childhood students with over $120,764 in tuition and fees grants.  Students seeking associate or bachelor degrees and currently working in a licensed child care or preschool setting are eligible to apply for a T.E.A.C.H. scholarship.

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