Apr 18, 2021  
2019-2020 Catalog 
    
2019-2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Early Childhood Education: P-3 General and Teacher Education Program Information


Program Mission Statement

The Bachelor of Science ECE: P-3 Program prepares preschool-3rd grade teachers. Through coursework and abundant field experiences in both preschool and elementary settings, teacher candidates are able to integrate developmentally appropriate curriculum, content knowledge, and pedagogy with emphasis on social-emotional, trauma-informed practices.

Program Information 

This degree is designed to be accessible to both traditional students and place-bound practitioners who are currently working in the early childhood field. Many General Education courses are offered online by Montana Western as well as other campuses within the Montana University System.

Early childhood core courses are included in Montana Western’s AAS: Early Childhood Education degree program and are currently offered in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Dillon, Great Falls, Helena, Lewistown and Missoula. ECE: P-3 professional core courses are also offered online.

Graduate Outcomes

Program graduates will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of young children’s (PreK-grade three) characteristics and needs encompassing multiple, interrelated areas of children’s development and learning including physical, cognitive, social, emotional, language, and aesthetic domains as well as learning processes and motivation to learn.
  • Base their practice on coherent early childhood theoretical perspectives, current research about brain growth and development, and the importance of play.
  • Apply their understanding of multiple influences on young children’s development and learning including family, community, cultural, and linguistic contexts, temperament, approaches, and dispositions to learning (including initiative, self-direction, persistence, and attentiveness), motivation, attachment, economic conditions, health status, opportunities for play and learning, technology and media, and developmental variations.
  • Understand the potential influence of early childhood programs, including early intervention, on short- and long-term outcomes for children.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use developmental knowledge including strengths of families and children to create physically and psychologically safe learning environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for each child.
  • Know about, understand, and value the complex characteristics and importance of children’s families and communities including home language, cultural values, ethnicity, socioeconomic conditions, family structures, relationships, stresses, childhood trauma and adverse childhood experiences, supports, and community resources.
  • Understand the effects of childhood trauma on social, emotional, physical, and behavioral development and be able to demonstrate trauma-informed classroom management strategies and demonstrate a knowledge of the implications of secondary trauma.
  • Create respectful, reciprocal relationships with families using a range of formal and informal strategies such as home visits, parent-teacher conferences, family nights, and transition planning into and out of early childhood programs including kindergarten.
  • Promote and encourage family involvement in all aspects of children’s development and learning including assisting families to find and refer resources concerning parenting, mental health, health care, and financial assistance.
  • Demonstrate essential knowledge and core skills in team building and in communicating with families and colleagues from other disciplines to encourage families participation in curriculum and program development as well as assessment of children’s learning, including identification of children’s strengths and needs.
  • Recognize the goals of assessment and summarize, analyze, and use assessment information gathered through ongoing, systematic observations and other informal and formal assessments, including play-based assessments and developmental screenings to learn about children’s unique qualities; guide instruction; and evaluate effective curriculum to maximize children’s development and learning.
  • Make ethical considerations when administering and interpreting assessments including: an understanding of family context and involving families in the assessment process; recognizing the importance of establishing positive conditions for assessment (in familiar settings with familiar people); and avoiding bias and using culturally sensitive assessments that have established reliability and validity.
  • Create a caring community of learners that supports positive relationships; promotes the development of children’s social, emotional, and friendship skills; and assists children in the development of security, self-regulation, responsibility, and problem solving.
  • Utilize a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate teaching skills and strategies supportive of young learners, such as integrating curricular areas; scaffolding learning; teaching through social interactions; providing meaningful child choice; implementing positive guidance strategies; and making appropriate use of technology.
  • Provide curriculum and learning experiences that reflect the languages, cultures, traditions, and individual needs of diverse families and children, with particular attention to the cultures of the children and families in the classroom and to American Indians and tribes in Montana.
  • Use a variety of learning formats and contexts to support young learners, including creating support for extended play, creating effective indoor and outdoor learning centers, teaching primarily through individual and small group contexts, and utilizing the environment, schedule, and routines as learning opportunities.
  • Design, implement, and evaluate developmentally meaningful, integrated, and challenging curriculum for each child using professional knowledge, Montana’s Early Learning Standards, Montana Content Standards (K-5), and Indian Education for All.
  • Integrate and support in-depth learning using both spontaneous and planned curricula and teaching practices in each of the academic discipline content areas including language and literacy; science; mathematics; social studies; the performing and visual arts; health and well-being; and physical development, skills, and fitness.
  • Base curriculum planning on the understanding of the particular significance of social, emotional, and behavioral development as the foundation for young children’s school readiness and future achievements.
  • Uphold and use state and national codes of ethical conduct for the education of young children and other applicable regulations and guidelines to analyze, resolve, and discuss implications of professional ethical dilemmas with respect to the child, family, colleagues, and community.
  • Collaborate with multiple stakeholders.
  • Learning professional knowledge, reflection, collaborative relationships, and critical thinking to analyze and continuously improve professional practices with young children and their families.
  • Identify and involve oneself with the distinctive history, values, knowledge base, and mission of the early childhood field.
  • Engage in informed advocacy for young children and the early childhood profession.
  • Demonstrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions during well-planned and sequenced clinical experiences working with children and families in two different age groups (3-5 and 5-8) and two types of the settings.

Assessment

TEP Program Requirements

The graduate outcomes for the Early Childhood Education: Prekindergarten through Third Grade are assessed through three Gateways of the Teacher Education Program (TEP). Detailed information regarding program requirements, policies, and procedures is found in the Teacher Education Program Student Handbook. Due to changing accreditation and licensure requirements, program requirements must change periodically. Students may expect some program and evaluation requirements to change during their time at UMW.

Program Gateways: Gateway 1

(See the TEP Manual for detailed and updated requirements)

  1. Candidates must maintain an overall 2.70 Grade Point Average (GPA).
  2. Candidate must maintain a 2.70 GPA or above in Major and Minor content courses (for Early Childhood Education: Prekindergarten through Third Grade, “Major courses” refers to all required General Education and professional content courses), with no grade in required content courses below C-, including courses counted for GeneralEducation.
  3. All required Early Childhood Education (EDEC) and Education (EDU) courses must be completed with a grade of B- or higher.
  4. Candidates may retake required Professional Education and Early Childhood Education Professional and Core Courses one time only.
  5. Technology Requirement: prior to admission to the UMW Teacher Education Program (TEP), each student must demonstrate basic technology skills either by obtaining a passing score on the Information & Technology Literacy Exam, or by obtaining at least a B- on a computer skills course. The UMW courses designed to meet this need are either COMS 115 Computer Basics for Educators (4 credits) and CAPP 131 (4 credits).
  6. Pass ECE Core Classes and EDU 201, 222, 234 and 382 with a B- or higher.
  7. Meet expectations for Professional Dispositions, Professional Skills, & Academic Performance; no “unacceptable” ratings on Observation or Professionalism forms.
  8. Candidate is not on departmental or university academic or behavioral probation.
  9. Pass a TEP Admissions Interview, Teaching Demonstration in EDEC 265 Leadership and Professionalism in Early Childhood Education.
  10. Pass required writing rubrics embedded in EDEC and EDU courses.
  11. Completed state criminal background check submitted to the Director of Licensure.
  12. Complete graduation application for AAS.

​Gateway 2 Requirements

Requirements for Admission to TEP, in Addition to Grade Requirements Listed Above:

(See the TEP Manual for detailed and updated requirements)

  1. Completion of an associate degree, when 60 credits are completed.
  2. Student teaching application packet completed.  Applications must be signed by the student’s faculty advisor.
  3. Student teaching placement request form completed.
  4. Prior to student teaching, candidates must provide evidence of current certification in First Aid, CPR, and AED for adults, children and infants.  Certification must be attained through a course that includes a face-to-face skill assessment.  Successful completion of ECP 100 fulfills this requirement.
  5. Recent criminal background check on file at UMW Field Placement Office
  6. Successful completion of 100% of degree course requirements.
  7. Meet expectations for Professional Dis- positions, Professional Skills, & Academic Performance; no “unacceptable” ratings on Observation or Professionalism forms.
  8. Candidate is not on departmental or univer- sity academic or behavioral probation.
  9. Pass an EDEC writing rubric with a score of 3.0 in EDEC 430  .
     

(Refer to the most recent TEP Student Handbook for detailed explanations for each requirement. Work with an education faculty advisor to prepare all necessary documentation for admission to the TEP).

Requirements for TEP Program Completion

(See the TEP Manual for detailed and updated requirements)

  • Completion of an associate degree, when 60 credits are completed.
  • Student teaching application packet completed. Applications must be signed by the student’s faculty advisor.
  • Student teaching placement request form completed.
  • Prior to student teaching, candidates must provide evidence of current certification in First Aid, CPR, and AED for adults, children and infants. Certification must be attained through a course that includes a face-to-face skill assessment. Successful completion of ECP 100  fulfills this requirement.
  • Recent criminal background check.
  • Successful completion of 100% of degree course requirements.
  • Meet expectations for Professional Dispositions, Professional Skills, & Academic Performance; no “unacceptable” ratings on Observation or Professionalism forms.
  • Candidate is not on departmental or university academic or behavioral probation.
  • Pass an EDEC writing rubric with a score of 3.0 in EDEC 430 .

(Refer to the most recent TEP Student Handbook for detailed explanations for each requirement. Work with an education faculty advisor to prepare all necessary documentation).

Gatway 3 Requirements:

Requirements for TEP Program Completion

  1. Pass the Student Teaching or Internship Evaluations and Observations.
  2. Pass the Teacher Work Sample.
  3. Submit licensure application form.
  4. Pass student teaching or internship.