Early Childhood Education

Introduction

Concordia’s Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education (ECE) is a degree completion program for individuals working with young children from birth to five years of age. This non-licensure program is available to undergraduate or community college students who have taken foundational courses in ECE. Students may apply the credits they have already earned towards a bachelor’s degree. 

This undergraduate degree in early childhood education addresses the development of the whole child – from physical and emotional, to social and cognitive. We believe that every child is unique and capable, and that childhood should be a time of wonder and promise. 

As such, this program places emphasis on creating learning environments where natural curiosity is fostered and where all children thrive. Concordia University ECE students will develop the skills to create meaningful and engaging curriculum that promotes child-centered learning and development.

Program Goals

In accordance with the Early Childhood Professional Preparation standards outlined by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), successful candidates who complete the BS in Early Childhood education will:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the multiple facets of child development as they create learning environments where all children thrive.
  2. Establish reciprocal family and community relationships, respecting diversity as they partner with families and communities in various aspects of children’s learning and development.
  3. Use their understanding of assessment in a responsible manner as they collaborate with families and professionals to positively influence children’s development and learning.
  4. Implement various developmentally effective approaches and tools to enhance learning and development through positive relationships with young children and families.
  5. Utilize their knowledge of content to create meaningful learning experiences that promotes comprehensive learning and developmental outcomes for all children.
  6. Conduct themselves as ethical professionals and life-long learners who demonstrate reflective perspectives, make informed decisions, and advocate for sound educational practices.

Program Options

Southwest Washington Transfers

Students from Clark College, Lower Columbia College, and Centralia College can seamlessly apply credits from these schools towards a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Concordia University - Portland.This degree completion, non-licensure program consists of 12 courses offered over four semesters, with an internship serving as the fifth and final semester.  

Online Degree Completion Program

Concordia University proudly offers the Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education as an online degree completion program. Applicants who have earned a transferable, academic AA degree or a minimum of 60 semester credits (90 quarter) transferable credit hours, and completed ECE prerequisites, will enter the cohort and take upper division ECE classes. Courses are evaluated on a course-by-course basis. Completion of an AA degree does not guarantee all general education requirements will be fulfilled.

Students with less than 50 semester hours of transferable general education classes will receive personalized advising and may start the program with general education or early childhood lower division ECE requirements first. Students should have no more than 10 semester (16 quarter) credit hours left to complete in general education requirements prior to starting upper division ECE coursework (see the course checklist for the online program).

Cathryn Colley Lambeth, D.Ed., Associate Professor, clambeth@cu-portland.edu

ECE 200E      BECOMING A PRE-K READING COACH      Credits: 2

ECE 210      INTRODUCTION TO ECE      Credits: 3

This course introduces students to the field of early childhood education from past to present. It provides students with an overview of the foundations of early childhood education and the influences that impact young children and their families. Students will gain knowledge of the various types of programs that serve children from birth through age eight and consider their role as an early childhood professional.

ECE 220      DEVELOPMENT OF THE YOUNG CHILD      Credits: 3

This course studies human development from conception through age eight. Students will increase their understanding of developmental principles and theories as they explore biological and environmental factors that influence physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development.

ECE 225      CHILD SAFETY AND PROTECTION      Credits: 3

This course focuses on protecting our children from harm and maltreatment. As students become familiar with mandatory reporting laws, learn to identify abuse and neglect, and examine the effects of trauma and maltreatment, they will consider strategies for creating a safe haven for children within their classroom.

ECE 230      LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS FOR YOUNG CHILDREN      Credits: 3

The learning environment can play a powerful role in the young child’s development. In this course students will develop an understanding of the qualities necessary to create inviting and intriguing environments for children as they consider time, materials, space, and interactions.

ECE 240      INTERGRATED STRATEGIES FOR TEACHING      Credits: 3

This course explores strategies for teaching young children through an integrated approach. Students will be equipped with the skills necessary to create meaningful and engaging learning opportunities using methods that honor the child.

ECE 245      ART, MUSIC AND MOVEMENT      Credits: 3

This course equips students with the ability to implement developmentally appropriate art, music, and movement experiences in the early childhood classroom. Participants will develop a portfolio of activities that encourages young children to creatively express themselves through various mediums.

ECE 250      LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE      Credits: 3

This course provides students with a working knowledge of language development. Participants will examine the role that storytelling and literature play in fostering language and literacy growth as they explore the world of children’s literature. Emphasis is placed on authors and illustrators, selecting appropriate books, and methods for incorporating children’s literature in the early childhood classroom.

ECE 260      WORKING WITH INFANTS AND TODDLERS      Credits: 3

This course is designed for individuals working with infants and toddlers through age three. Students will explore methods for creating culturally responsive learning environments that support the growth and well-being of children in their earliest years of development.

ECE 270      CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS      Credits: 3

This course introduces students to categories of special needs in young children. With emphasis placed on inclusion, participants will explore techniques for adapting materials and teaching strategies in early childhood settings. Students will become familiar with services available to children with special needs and their families.

ECE 280      GUIDING THE YOUNG CHILD'S BEHAVIOR      Credits: 3

This course provides students with strategies to help young children cultivate behaviors that promote respect for others and respect for self. With brain research as its foundation, this course focuses on emotional intelligence and helping children learn to self-regulate.

ECE 285      PARTERNING WITH FAMILIES      Credits: 3

Families play a critical role in the young child’s development and learning. This course explores avenues for establishing respectful and reciprocal relationships between families and early childhood programs. Emphasis is placed on positive interactions, honoring diversity, and family support and involvement.

ECE 340      WELL-BEING OF THE CHILD      Credits: 3

Explore the dynamics of physical and emotional wellness and its impact on the development of the whole child. With emphasis placed on the role of nature as a component of a healthy living, this course promotes the abilities of children as they develop and practice skills that contribute to good health and enhance quality of life.

ECE 350      INNOVATIVE AND CREATIVE APPROACHES TO LEARNING      Credits: 3

This course provides an in-depth understanding of the diversity of learning and the importance of nurturing and supporting children’s approaches toward learning. Students gain an awareness of children’s capacities and dispositions for learning while building a broad repertoire of developmentally effective teaching approaches.

ECE 360      LITERACY AND THE YOUNG LEARNER      Credits: 3

This course examines the development of literacy skills in young children with a focus on connections between reading and writing, the use of thematic literature and trade books, and current research in the field of literacy development. With this knowledge, students will create meaningful literacy curriculum based on early learning standards.

ECE 365      SOCIAL STUDIES AND THE YOUNG CHILD      Credits: 3

This course provides students with the necessary tools to teach Social Studies in the early childhood years. With emphasis placed on early learning standards and developmentally effective approaches, students will use central concepts in social studies and a wide variety of resources to design meaningful and challenging social studies curriculum that values cultural responsiveness.

ECE 370      EXPLORING THE WORLD OF MATH      Credits: 3

This course provides students with the necessary strategies and tools to teach mathematics in the early childhood years. With emphasis placed on early learning standards and developmentally effective approaches, students will use central math concepts and various resources to design meaningful and challenging math curriculum for each child.

ECE 375      CHILDREN AS SCIENTISTS      Credits: 3

This course provides students with the necessary strategies and tools to teach science in the early childhood years. With emphasis placed on early learning standards and developmentally effective approaches, students will use central science concepts, inquiry tools, and various resources to design meaningful and challenging science curriculum for each child.

ECE 390      EQUITY AND JUSTICE IN ECE      Credits: 3

This course is designed to equip the ECE student with the necessary tools to work with children and families from diverse backgrounds and to create a classroom culture in which equity and social justice are shared values. Students will participate in reflective activities, assignments, and dialogues which will enable them to examine their own experiences with diversity and empower them to become change agents in their classrooms and communities.

ECE 420      STRATEGIES FOR TEACHING ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS      Credits: 3

This course helps students develop skills needed to work with English language learners. These skills include the ability to implement various methods of teaching, develop curriculum materials, assess student proficiency, and to involve families and the community in the early childhood classroom.

ECE 430      THE TEACHER AS RESEARCHER      Credits: 3

This course introduces students to research practices within the field of early childhood education. Through the course students will gain an understanding of research principles and develop basic research skills in order that they may successfully conduct meaningful research projects within their early childhood program.

ECE 440      OBSERVING,DOCUMENTING,AND ASSESSING YOUNG CHILDREN      Credits: 3

This course focuses on developing an effective observation system in a classroom setting conducive to creating a comprehensive picture of children's learning. Students will evaluate situations and develop an understanding of how to integrate traditional and authentic assessment practices.

ECE 475      CHARACTER AND ETHICS OF THE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION LEADER      Credits: 3

This course provides a forum where students enjoy the opportunity to identify and consider their own character, personal values, and workplace ethics. Each will develop an understanding of the importance of ethical leadership in one’s professional, personal and family life, and will appreciate the personal fulfillment that flows from living and modeling such values and, perhaps most importantly, of serving others.

ECE 490A      INTERNSHIP      Credits: 4.5

The intership is a semester-long experience that provides ECE students with the opportunity to put into practice what they have learned in their coursework at Concordia University. The ECE student will spend a minimum of 360 hours (24 hours a week) in an approved early childhood setting. It is the responsibility of the ECE student to secure the intership site, which in most cases will be where the ECE studet is employed. As part of the experience ECE students will participate in an intership course where the Concordia instructor will serve as the ECE student's mentor/supervisor. The ECE intership is divded into two sections, 490A and 490B.
Prerequisite: Evidence of State Background Clearance as required by law.

ECE 490B      INTERNSHIP      Credits: 4.5

The intership is a semester-long experience that provides ECE students with the opportunity to put into practice what they have learned in their coursework at Concordia University. The ECE student will spend a minimum of 360 hours (24 hours a week) in an approved early childhood setting. It is the responsibility of the ECE student to secure the intership site, which in most cases will be where the ECE studet is employed. As part of the experience ECE students will participate in an intership course where the Concordia instructor will serve as the ECE student's mentor/supervisor. The ECE intership is divded into two sections, 490A and 490B.
Prerequisite: Evidence of State Background Clearance as required by law.

ECE 495      ADMINISTRATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS      Credits: 3

This course introduces students to the role of the early childhood administrator. Emphasis is placed on visionary leadership, program development, establishing policies and procedures, mentoring and coaching staff, and family and community outreach.