• Early Childhood Education
    Nearby Pittard Campus School is a fun place to learn about teaching
  • Early Childhood Education
    Technology can improve the early learning experience
  • Early Childhood Education
    Seeing the joy of learning is one
    of the
    rewards of teaching
  • Early Childhood Education
    MTSU partners with
    Motlow
    and Columbia State Colleges to help early childhood educators

Early Childhood Education

If you have a passion for teaching very young children—pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and grades first through third—consider majoring in Early Childhood Education. Being a part of the young child’s formative years offers an exciting opportunity in the notable profession of teaching. Future teachers of this impressionable age study the development of the young child within the context of the family; it is the teachers’ aim to balance the developmental level of class members with desired educational achievement. At MTSU, you can seek preparation to have a significant role during the formative years of the citizens of the future.

Strong partnerships with schools

Strong partnerships with schools

MTSU’s Early Childhood Education program has led the way in piloting a residency program, placing students in local classrooms, made possible by creating strong partnerships with area schools. As a part of Early Childhood Education (ECE) coursework, students complete field experiences in kindergarten through grade 3 classrooms to understand how young children learn to read, write, and apply math and science concepts. Classroom teachers expect ECE students to be actively engaged, and they encourage them to try out teaching strategies so that they can become better teachers. By working with exemplary mentor teachers, students are prepared for the classroom when they graduate.

Learning from play

Learning from play

What looks like a really fun place to play with friends is actually a teaching laboratory for students in child development and early childhood education. The Child Development Center, with accredited programs for infants and toddlers and for preschool children, gives students opportunities to learn how children grow and develop through practical experiences. Students plan learning activities and engage with young children and their parents, while being mentored and supported by master early childhood teachers. In a setting that welcomes diversity and encourages parental involvement, future teachers get solid training in an enriched environment.

Individuals trained to teach bring a desirable range of expertise and creativity to planning and administrative roles. Graduates completing their teacher preparation at MTSU are found in public and private school classrooms throughout Tennessee and in many other states. In addition to classroom teaching, other career options include

  • Agency and administrative work
  • Community and foundation work
  • Consulting, professional development, and teacher training
  • Education policy development
  • Education marketing and research
  • Higher education teaching and administration
  • Private tutoring

Educators who studied at MTSU are employed in a variety of settings that include the Tennessee Department of Education and other state agencies, community colleges and universities, Head Start programs, and tutoring services. Graduates are employed in public and private schools and school districts throughout the country as well as in Tennessee.  

Among the employers of MTSU alumni are

  • Anderson County Schools
  • Bedford County Schools
  • Cannon County Schools
  • Carroll County Schools
  • Cheatham Co Schools
  • Coffee County Schools
  • Collierville Christian Academy
  • Crockett County Schools
  • Cumberland County Schools
  • DeKalb County Schools
  • Dickson County Schools
  • Dyer County Schools
  • Fayette County Schools
  • Fayetteville City Schools
  • Franklin Special School District
  • Giles County Schools
  • Grundy County Schools
  • Hamilton County Schools
  • Hardeman County Schools
  • Hickman County Schools
  • Kids Connection
  • Knox County Schools
  • Lawrence County Schools
  • Lebanon Special School District
  • Lewis County Schools
  • Lincoln County Schools
  • Macon County Schools
  • Madison County Schools
  • Manchester City Schools
  • Marion County Schools
  • Marshall County Schools
  • Maury County Schools
  • McNairy County Schools
  • Memphis and Shelby County Schools
  • Metro Action Commission, Nashville
  • Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
  • Middle Tennessee Christian School, Murfreesboro
  • Montgomery County Schools
  • Moore County Schools
  • Murfreesboro City Schools
  • Perry County Schools
  • Providence Christian Academy, Murfreesboro
  • Robertson County Schools
  • Rutherford County Schools
  • Sequatchie County Schools
  • Sumner County Schools
  • The Webb School, Bell Buckle
  • Trousdale County Schools
  • Tullahoma City Schools,
  • Warren County Schools
  • Wayne County Schools
  • White County Schools
  • Williamson County Schools
  • Wilson County Schools

Dr. Cheryl Hitchcock
Assistant Professor
cheryl.hitchcock@mtsu.edu

Phone | 615-904-8297
Office | Room 345, College of Education Building (COE)
Mail | MTSU Box 69, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information
Ph.D., Tennessee Tech University (2008)
M.A., Tennessee Tech University (2005)
B.S., Tennessee Tech University (1990)
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Dr. Jane Seok Jeng Lim
Assistant Professor
jane.lim@mtsu.edu

Phone | 615 898-5896
Office | Room 337, College of Education Building (COE)
Mail | MTSU Box 69, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information
Ph.D., State University of NY, Buffalo (2012)
M.Ed., Macquarie University (2004)
B.S., Edith Cowan University (2000)
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Dr. Robyn Ridgley
Associate Professor | Program Coordinator
robyn.ridgley@mtsu.edu

Phone | 615-898-5526
Office | Room 389, College of Education Building (COE)
Mail | MTSU Box 69, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information
Ed.D., University of Kentucky, Lexington (2004)
M.Ed., Vanderbilt University, TN (1999)
B.S., Murray State University, KY (1994)
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Students who wish to prepare themselves for careers as teachers must make formal application for admission to the teacher education program. Applications must be submitted no later than the second semester of the sophomore year. Students who transfer to MTSU after the completion of their sophomore years, or with more than 45 semester hours of credit, must make application during their first semester of residence. To be formally admitted to the teacher education program, candidates must

  1. complete the admission application;
  2. have acceptable scores on the ACT, SAT, or the Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Tests as set by the Tennessee State Board of Education;
  3. complete at least 45 semester hours with at least 6 semester hours at MTSU;
  4. have an overall grade point average of 2.75; (Grades earned in basic, learning support, and university studies courses are not used in computation of the required average.);
  5. have three favorable professional interviews;
  6. have disciplinary clearance from MTSU Office of Judicial Affairs and Mediation Services;
  7. complete a background/fingerprinting check.

Students wishing to teach very young children (grades preK-3) will earn a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree with a major in Early Childhood Education.

Other undergraduate majors offered in the Department of Elementary and Special Education and leading to a B.S. include Interdisciplinary Studies, with teaching levels of grades K–6 or 4–8,and Special Education. Those majoring in Special Education may choose between the modified program, K-12 (for individuals with mild/moderate disabilities), or comprehensive program, K-12 (for individuals with severe/profound disabilities).

Students wishing to teach in secondary schools must complete a major in the subject they wish to teach and a minor in Secondary Education in the Womack Department of Educational Leadership. Directed teaching and applying for and receiving teacher licensure complete the preparation process.

An undergraduate minor in Special Education is available.

Graduate degrees available through the Department of Elementary and Special Education include the Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree with majors in Special Education with three concentrations: Mildly/Moderately Disabled, Preschool Disabled, and Severely/Profoundly Disabled; Curriculum and Instruction with three concentrations: Early Childhood, Elementary School Education, and Middle School Education; and Literacy.

An M.Ed. also is offered through the Regents Online Degree Program (ROPD) with a major in Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning with a concentration in Early and Middle Childhood/Literacy: Reading-Language Arts.

A Specialist in Education (Ed.S.) degree is available under the Curriculum and Instruction major with a concentration in Elementary Education.

Graduate minors are offered in Special Education, Reading, and Curriculum and Instruction.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Literacy Studies and the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Assessment, Learning and School Improvement are available in the College of Education.

An academic map is a suggested four-year schedule of courses based on degree requirements in the undergraduate catalog. This sample schedule serves as a general guideline to help build a full schedule each term. Milestones, courses, and special requirements necessary for timely progress to complete a major are designated to keep you on track to graduate in four years. Missing milestones could delay your program. 

This map based on the 2013-2014 undergraduate catalog is not a substitute for academic advisement - contact your advisor if you have any questions about scheduling or about your degree requirements. Also see the current undergraduate catalog (catalog.mtsu.edu) for a complete list of requirements and electives.Note: Requirements are continually under revision, and there is no guarantee they will not be changed or revoked; contact the department and/or program area for current information. 

You may choose to attend a summer term to reduce your load during fall or spring terms but still stay on track to graduate in four years (see below). NOTE: Learning Support courses will alter the sequences on this map.

Early Childhood Education Academic Map

Department of Elementary and Special Education
Middle Tennessee State University | Murfreesboro


Suggested Fall/Spring and Summer/Fall/Spring Four-Year Schedule

Refer to www.mtsu.edu/scholarships/ for information regarding use of the Lottery Scholarship for the summer term.

Click here for printer friendly academic map.

FRESHMAN FALL FRESHMAN SPRING
CourseHoursMilestones/Notes CourseHoursMilestones/Notes
ENGL 1010 (Comm)3  ENGL 1020 (Comm)3 
MATH 1010 (Math)3  MATH 14103 
BIOL 1030/1031 (Nat Sci)4  ECE 23503
HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303  EESE 10102 
ART 1030, DANC 1000, MUS 1030, PHIL 1030, or THEA 1030 (Hum/FA)3  ART 1030, DANC 1000, MUS 1030, PHIL 1030, or THEA 1030 (Hum/FA)3 
    COMM 2200 (Comm)3 
SUBTOTAL16  SUBTOTAL17 
SOPHOMORE FALL SOPHOMORE SPRING
ECE 33103Prereq: ECE 2350 ECE 43703Prereq: ECE 2350, ECE 3310
EESE 10112Prereq: EESE 1010 SPED 30103 
GEOG 2000 (Soc/Beh Sci)3  HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303 
CHEM, GEOL, PSCI, or ASTR 1030/1031 (Nat Sci)4  ANTH 2010, PS 1010, PS 1005, or AAS 2100 (Soc/Beh Sci)3 
ENGL 2020, ENGL 2030, or HUM 2610 (Hum/FA)3  MUED 46703 
    SUBTOTAL15 
SUBTOTAL15  2.75 overall GPA/Admission to Teacher Education
JUNIOR FALL JUNIOR SPRING
ECE 43203Prereq: ECE 2350, ECE 3310 ECE 4380/4381 or ECE 4300/43013Prereq: ECE 4370
ECE 4380/4381 or ECE 4300/43013Prereq: ECE 4370 ELED 31503Prereq: MATH 1410 POD required
PHED 35003  ECE 4375/43763Prereq: SPED 3010, ECE 4370
BIOL 30004Prereq: BIOL 1030/1031 NFS 42513 
CDFS 33203  ART 32003 
SUBTOTAL16  SUBTOTAL15 
SENIOR FALL SENIOR SPRING
ECE 41009Prereq: ELED 3150, ECE 4375 ECE 411012POD required
ELED 33003    
ECE 43603Prereq: ECE 4380 or 4300   
SUBTOTAL15  SUBTOTAL12 

TOTAL HOURS IN PROGRAM: 121

FRESHMAN SUMMER
CourseHoursMilestones/Notes CourseHoursMilestones/Notes
ENGL 1010 (Comm)3  ART 1030, DANC 1000, MUS 1030, PHIL 1030, or THEA 1030 (Hum/FA)3 
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL3 
FRESHMAN FALL FRESHMAN SPRING
ENGL 1020 (Comm)3  GEOG 2000 (Soc/Beh Sci)3 
MATH 1010 (Math)3  EESE 10102 
HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303  ECE 23503
ART 1030, DANC 1000, MUS 1030, PHIL 1030, or THEA 1030 (Hum/FA)3  BIOL 1030/1031 (Nat Sci)4 
SUBTOTAL12  SUBTOTAL12 
SOPHOMORE SUMMER
ANTH 2010, PS 1010, PS 1005, or AAS 2100 (Soc/Beh Sci)3  HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303 
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL3 
SOPHOMORE FALL SOPHOMORE SPRING
EESE 10112Prereq: EESE 1010 ECE 43703Prereq: ECE 2350, ECE 3310
ECE 33103Prereq: ECE 2350 SPED 30103 
CHEM, GEOL, PSCI, or ASTR 1030/1031 (Nat Sci)4  MUED 46703 
MATH 14103  ENGL 2020, ENGL 2030, or HUM 2610 (Hum/FA)3 
    SUBTOTAL12 
SUBTOTAL12  2.75 overall GPA/Admission to Teacher Education
JUNIOR SUMMER
CDFS 33203  COMM 2200 (Comm)3 
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL3 
JUNIOR FALL JUNIOR SPRING
ECE 43203Prereq: ECE 2350, ECE 3310 ECE 4380/4381 or ECE 4300/43013Prereq: ECE 4370
ECE 4380/4381 or ECE 4300/43013Prereq: ECE 4370 ECE 4375/43763Prereq: SPED 3010, ECE 4370
PHED 35003  ELED 31503Prereq: MATH 1410; POD required
BIOL 30004Prereq: BIOL 1030/1031 ART 32003 
SUBTOTAL13  SUBTOTAL12 
SENIOR SUMMER
ELED 33003  NFS 42513 
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL3 
SENIOR FALL SENIOR SPRING
ECE 41009Prereq: ELED 3150, ECE 4375 ECE 411012POD required
ECE 43603Prereq: ECE 4380 or 4300   
SUBTOTAL12  SUBTOTAL12 

TOTAL HOURS IN PROGRAM: 121

Graduation information may be accessed at www.mtsu.edu/records/grad.php.

Early Childhood Education

ECE 2350 - Human Development I
3 credit hours
(Same as CDFS 2350.) Child development theories. Physical, cognitive, psychosocial development of the child, conception to three years of age. Diversity issues affecting development addressed. One hour observation per week required.  

ECE 3310 - Human Development II
3 credit hours
(Same as CDFS 3310.) Prerequisite: ECE 2350/CDFS 2350 or permission of instructor. Physical, cognitive, psychosocial development of the child, from three years of age through middle childhood. Diversity issues affecting development addressed. One hour observation per week required.  

ECE 4100 - Residency I: Early Childhood Education
9 credit hours
Prerequisites: Admission to the teacher education program; ECE 4300, ECE 4375/ECE 4376, ECE 4380/ECE 4381; ELED 3150. A field-based course in which students observe and actively work in pre-K to grade 3 classrooms. Includes mentoring from a university instructor and classroom cooperating teacher, competency modules, and problem-based learning cases to develop skills related to classroom management, assessment, supporting diverse learners, using evidence-based instructional strategies, collaborating with colleagues, and developing relationships with families.  

ECE 4110 - Residency II: Grades Prek-3
12 credit hours
Prerequisites: Successful completion of professional education requirements; admission to teacher education; major requirements in Early Childhood Education with at least a C- grade in each course; senior or graduate standing; minimum grade point average of 2.75 overall. Full semester of supervised teaching experience in two placements in the public schools. Pass/Fail.  

ECE 4300 - Preschool Practicum
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: ECE 2350/CDFS 2350, ECE 3310/CDFS 3310, ECE 4370; admission to teacher education program. Corequisite: ECE 4301 . Advanced information and skills working with three- and four-year olds. Lab interaction with children; planning and implementation of curriculum. Three hours laboratory plus two-hour seminar per week. May not be taken concurrently with ECE 4380.  

ECE 4301 - Preschool Practicum Lab
0 credit hours
Corequisite: ECE 4300.

ECE 4320 - Assessing Young Children
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: ECE 2350/CDFS 2350, ECE 3310/CDFS 3310, and admission to teacher education program. In-depth study of assessment and evaluation of child development and early childhood environments for the purpose of planning instructional programs and environments for young children (birth-8). Strategies for gathering and recording information about children, including families and other professionals in the assessment process, and evaluation environments emphasized. Three hours lecture/discussion.

ECE 4360 - Administering Early Childhood Programs
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: Admission to teacher education; ECE 4300 or ECE 4380 . Examines diverse early care and education settings and their influence on child development. Emphasis on program planning and administration in early childhood settings. One hour per week of observation required.  

ECE 4370 - Effective Instruction (Birth-5)
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: ECE 2350/CDFS 2350 and ECE 3310/CDFS 3310. Knowledge and skills necessary for implementing developmentally appropriate practices in programs serving children birth to age five.  

ECE 4375 - Literacy in Early Childhood
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: ECE 4320,ECE 4370; SPED 3010; admission to teacher education program. Co-requisite: ECE 4376. Study of emergent literacy and literacy concepts, birth through grade three. Includes methods of teaching and assessing literacy in a diverse environment. Use of children's media and literature addressed. Three hours lecture plus two-hour morning experiential field placement weekly.  

ECE 4376 - Literacy in Early Childhood Lab
0 hours credit
Corequisite: ECE 4375.

ECE 4380 - Infant and Toddler Practicum
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: ECE 2350/CDFS 2350, ECE 3310/CDFS 3310, ECE 4370; admission to teacher education program. Corequisite: ECE 4381 . Advanced knowledge and skills for working with infants and toddlers (birth-3). Lab participation involving interactions with children as well as planning and implementing curriculum required. A three-hour laboratory and a two-hour seminar per week. May not be taken concurrently with ECE 4300.  

ECE 4381 - Infant and Toddler Practicum Lab
0 credit hours
Corequisite: ECE 4380 .