Grades PreK-4 Education

Grades PreK-4 Education Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.Ed.) With Grades PreK-4 Certification and STEM Endorsement

Grades PreK-4 Education

Make a world of difference teaching students in grades pre-K to 4.

Turn your love for children into a rigorous and rewarding career with a bachelor's degree in grades pre-K to 4 education from California University of Pennsylvania. With a combination of research-based instruction and hands-on experience, this degree program will give you the knowledge, skills and dispositions essential to becoming a successful classroom leader.

This program is rooted in the standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Upon successful completion of your bachelor's degree, you will be eligible for a Pennsylvania teaching certificate for pre-kindergarten to grade 4.

You'll also receive the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Integrative STEM Education Endorsement, an additional credential that documents your ability to integrate science, technology, engineering and math concepts into early childhood and elementary education.

Cal U's comprehensive teacher training will give you a competitive edge:

  • Gain in-depth knowledge of early childhood education, elementary education, human development and learning.
  • Complete a professional electronic portfolio that will impress future employers.
  • Participate in supervised field experiences and student teaching in Pennsylvania. Even first-year students gain classroom experience.
  • Earn the Integrative STEM Education Endorsement as part of your four-year teacher education program.

Apply to become a Rutledge Institute Scholar. 

Founded through a gift from Karen and Tom Rutledge, the Rutledge Institute for Early Childhood Education supports scholarships that cover tuition, fees and room costs for a select group of highly qualified undergraduates enrolled in the early childhood education program at Cal U. 

Each year, 10 Rutledge Scholars are selected to enter the program as first-year students and continue through their senior year at Cal U. Learn more about the Rutledge Institute at Cal U and how you can apply to become a Rutledge Institute Scholar.

Program Highlights: Grades PreK-4 Education

Top Accreditation: This undergraduate degree program is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Cal U's education programs have also been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954, and we are continuing with the successor organization, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). See CAEP reporting measures of program impact and outcomes.

Student Teaching: As a PreK-Grade 4 education major, you'll put theory into practice by completing one semester of student teaching, in addition to  field experience in at least two grade levels.

STEM Endorsement: Cal U graduates have a competitive edge, because coursework required for the Integrative STEM Education Endorsement approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education is embedded into the Grades Pre-K to 4 Education program. Set yourself apart with this in-demand credential!

Learn more about applying.


Of surveyed program graduates found jobs in early childhood education or went on to graduate school. (From respondents to a 2014 survey.)
Is the average annual salary for kindergarten and elementary education teachers in the United States. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.


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Degree Benefits

Discover the benefits of a university with over 165 years of experience producing top-quality teachers. As a Pre-K-4 education student at Cal U you will:

  • Learn from highly qualified faculty members who have experience in pre-K to grade 4 education.
  • Get individual advising and career guidance.
  • Graduate job ready and with a resume demonstrating hands-on experience.
  • Receive job-placement support from Cal U's Career and Professional Development Center.
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Graduate Outcomes

With the anticipated retirements of millions of public school teachers, the future looks bright for students interested in a professional career in early childhood education and elementary education. Cal U program alumni are finding top jobs across Pennsylvania and the United States. Job titles include:

  • Public or private school teacher.
  • Para-educator.
  • Childcare worker/owner/director.
  • Children and youth services member.
  • Remediation teacher.
  • Substitute teacher.
  • Curriculum author.


Grades PreK-4 Education Bachelor's Degree
A Cal U student teaches children in a classroom.

Professional Development Schools

Cal U proudly participates in a Professional Development Schools (PDS) collaborative in western Pennsylvania. As part of your Cal U teacher education, you’ll travel to elementary schools and early childhood centers for hands-on field experiences that can begin as soon as your first year. Later, as a student-teacher, you’ll work with educators in local school districts, attend professional development sessions, and take part in career planning activities.

A teaching working with science in schools.

STEM Education Endorsement

Cal U is one of the only Pennsylvania universities to offer the Integrative STEM Education Endorsement as part of the standard teacher preparation curriculum. Earn your Level I teacher certification and this in-demand endorsement – a credential that documents your ability to plan, design and implement instructional strategies that integrate STEM into classroom lessons. The STEM endorsement demonstrates your ability to design learning activities that also can be used in tinker labs, maker spaces, fabrication labs and other innovative settings.

Video Overview of Cal U's Education Programs

Cal U's College of Education and Human Services offers more than 30 career-oriented programs in many fields. 

An elementary student uses an educational toy.

What Do Program Alumni Have to Say?

"I can't express how valuable the education program was to me at Cal U. … Learning how to analyze student data and how to make changes to my instruction to meet students' needs enables me to provide the best education for each student that I have on a regular basis." - Amanda Bilitski '15


Grades PreK-4 Education Bachelor's Degree Courses

This four-year bachelor's degree program combines classroom learning and teaching field experiences to prepare you for a rewarding career in the education of young students. Pennsylvania certification in pre-K to Grade 4 education is awarded upon graduation and completion of state certification requirements.

Example Courses

Course Credits
General Education Courses 40 or 41
Building a Sense of Community
UNI 100  First-Year Seminar
ENG 101  English Composition I
Public Speaking
EDU 350  Supporting English Language Learners
Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy
MAT 120  Elementary Topics I
Health and Wellness
CHD 250  Health and Physical Education for PreK-Grade 4
Technological Literacy
EDU 333  Technology for Teaching and Learning
ESP 210  Special Education Foundations and Collaboration
Fine Arts
MUS/ART/THE 372  Creative Arts for PreK-4
Natural Sciences
Approved Natural Sciences Course with Lab
3 or 4
Social Sciences
GEO 102  Geographic Systems for Elementary Education (1 credit)  AND  POS 102  American Government for Elementary Education (1 credit)  AND  ECO 102  Economics for Elementary Education (1 credit)
Ethics and Multicultural Emphasis 
CHD 350  Family and Community Collaborations
General Education Options
  • MAT 130  Elementary Topics II
  • Approved British/American Lit Course (see program notes)
  • HIS 101  U.S. History to 1877  OR  HIS 102  U.S. History since 1877
Required Major Courses 60
CHD 200  Intro to PreK-Grade 8 Education 3
ELE 220  Instruction and Assessment in PreK 3
ELE 221  Instruction and Assessment in K-4 3
ELE 300  Emergent Literacy 3
ELE 301  Literacy Foundations I: Lang Arts* 3
ELE 302  Literacy Foundations II: Reading* 3
ELE 310  Teaching PreK STEAM 3
ELE 311  Teaching Math K-4* 3
CHD 312  Leadership and Advocacy in Childhood Ed 3
ELE 321  Teaching Science K-4* 3
ELE 331  Teaching Social Studies K-4* 3
EDU 375  Introduction to Integrated STEM Education 3
ELE 410  PreK-4 Field Experience 3
ELE 411  K-4 Field Experience*  3
CHD 413  Content Area Literacy Field Experience*
CHD 450  Assessment and Data Literacy* 3
ELM 461  Student Teaching and School Law* 12
Required Related Courses 12
ESP 311  Assessment and Positive Behavior Interventions 3
ESP 412  Evidence Based Practices* 3
PSY 205  Child Psychology 3
PSY 208  Educational Psychology 3
Free Electives 9
RSP 700  Fundamentals of Literacy 3
RSP 707  Creating and Fostering Literate Environments 3
RSP 708  Literacy Dev. for ELL 3
Total 121

Additional requirements, not counted toward the General Education requirements, include:

  • Special Experience Course (1 course required): ELE 461 Student Teaching PreK-Grade 4
  • Writing-Intensive Component Courses (2 courses required): ELE 410 PreK-4 Field Experience AND ELE 411 K-4 Field Experience
  • Laboratory Course (1 course required): Approved Natural Sciences Course with Lab

* Pre-requisite for all courses marked with an asterisk is Admission to Teacher Education.

Program Notes:

  • All courses required for certification must earn C or better.
  • CHD 200 and ELE 220 require current clearances and minimum 2.0 GPA to register for courses.
  • ALL other EDU, ELE, ESP and CHD courses require current clearances and minimum 2.5 GPA to register for courses.
  • Candidates must follow policies for Admission to Teacher Education as stated in the Teacher Education Handbook.
  • Pre-requisites for ELE 221 and all 300 level ELE and CHD courses are ELE 200 and ELE 220.
  • State licensure exams must be passed before student teaching.
  • Current clearances are required prior to enrolling in program courses. 
  • Undergraduate students must achieve at least junior standing to take graduate-level coursework. 
  • Approved American/British Literature Courses are: ENG 107, 125, 127, 148, 150, 155, 160, 203, 301, 302, 337, 338 and HON 250. (HON 250 has a pre-requisite of HON 150; the 300-level ENG courses have pre-requisites of ENG 101 and 102.)

Early Childhood Education

Bachelor's Degree

Pre-K - 4 Education Faculty

Dr. Peter Cormas
Associate Professor

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Dr. Holly L. Diehl
Professor and Coordinator of Professional Development Schools Program

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Dr. Diane Fine
Associate Professor and Coordinator, Reading Specialist Program and Integrative STEM Education Program

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Dr. J. William Hug
Associate Professor; Science, Environment and STEM Teacher Education

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Dr. Rebecca Maddas
Associate Professor

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Dr. Christine Peterson

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Dr. Michelle Torregano
Associate Professor and PreK-4 Graduate Coordinator

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Dr. Clover Simms Wright
Assistant Professor

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