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Elementary/Early Childhood/Special Education Bridge 3/2 Program

This day program allows students to complete a B.A. in Elementary and Early Childhood Education with the required components of the M.A. in Education emphasizing Early Childhood Special Education, thereby increasing the breadth of their teacher preparation and employment opportunities. Elementary Licensure prepares teachers to work with children from grades 1-6. Early Childhood Licensure prepares teachers to work with children from birth through grade three. Early Childhood Special Education Licensure prepares teachers to work with children with special needs from birth through grade three. The combination prepares teachers who understand the continuum of child development and learning up to the preadolescent years. Teacher education candidates leave Maryville not only with superb clinical experiences, but also with superior preparation in the liberal arts so that they can facilitate children’s learning in all subjects, including arts and aesthetics. Teacher education students are placed in a minimum of six different school settings so that they have varied experiences in preschools, early childhood centers, elementary schools, and early childhood special education settings.

For more information: email us at pgreene@maryville.edu or call 314.529.9581.

Program Features

Bridge to the Masters

The dual degrees and emphases afford the student the opportunity to complete the current general education requirements of Maryville and three additional years of elementary and early childhood certification undergraduate coursework. During the fourth year, the student begins 12 hours of graduate level work while also completing education requirements for elementary and early childhood certification. The fifth year of the program includes 21 hours of required work for the master’s degree plus the remainder of the early childhood special education certification requirements at the graduate level, including an internship in an early childhood center. In this program, early childhood constitutes the area of concentration usually required as part of the elementary education major. The student is able to complete a bachelor’s and a master’s degree jointly in the process.

Field Experiences

Maryville has more extensive and intensive school placements than any other university, supervised by Maryville faculty, providing you many opportunities to see and practice the techniques you learn in classes. Well-established relationships with “partner” schools throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area allow you to work under the close supervision of Maryville professors and your cooperating teachers from partner schools, recording your experiences and developing your philosophy of teaching. Early childhood in particular has a long history of partnering with area schools and was responsible for establishing the St. Louis early childhood magnet school program. All preservice teacher education programs are highly grounded in multiple, long-term field experiences in the public schools. View timeline of field experience possibilities (with the changes noted above adding additional field experiences for the bridge program).

For more information contact: Penny Greene, School of Education at 314.529.9581 or by email at pgreene@maryville.edu.

Preparation for the Changing World of Schools

Maryville’s School of Education is committed to preparing you to be a reflective teacher who is committed to the moral endeavor of schooling in a democracy. We’ll prepare you for teaching in urban, suburban and rural settings, and give you exposure to different cultures through field placements and assignments like the Street Project – for which we won the 2004 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education. As a sophomore, you’ll work with classmates in a comprehensive study of one of the streets in St. Louis as a way to better understand the culture and backgrounds of your prospective students. It’s an impressive project that is sure to engage you with your peers and St. Louis’ schools and communities. You’ll learn to teach in a way that allows all students access to knowledge.

Portfolio Preparation

Every teacher education student at Maryville receives assistance in preparing his or her professional portfolio, the record of his or her performances and accomplishments, beginning in the freshman year. This portfolio provides a basis for the prospective teacher’s employment.

Professional/Career Opportunities

We’re proud to say that our graduates stay in teaching significantly longer than average. A recent review found 75 percent of our graduates from the classes of 1999 to 2002 still teaching. We also boast a placement rate of 90 percent – thanks in part to our annual career fair, where there are often more recruiters than there are students. Plus, you won’t be cut off from Maryville resources the day after you graduate. In addition to our extensive alumni network, you’ll also receive follow-up personal support from Maryville faculty during the first two years of your career.

Enrollment of special education students in kindergarten, elementary, and middle school grades is expected to grow faster than any other school population. As a result, employment of preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school special education teachers is expected to grow 21 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Along with enrollment growth, continued demand for special education services is expected. More parents are expected to seek special services for children who have difficulty meeting the higher standards required of students. Students will need the services of special education teachers to adapt lessons to their different learning styles and needs. Furthermore, general education teachers will need the help of special education teachers to learn how to present information to students who have learning disabilities.

Maryville masters program graduates are highly sought by area school districts. With a degree from Maryville’s nationally accredited School of Education, you’ll be qualified for positions – in any of the 50 states – in early childhood centers (birth through age 5), early childhood special education classrooms, and elementary schools from kindergarten through grade 6, or in English-speaking schools abroad.

Degree Offerings and Requirements

Admission Requirements

As a new student, you will first be accepted to pre-education and will be able to enroll in EDUC 100, Introduction to Schooling. If you have a 2.75 cumulative grade point average, you’ll be eligible to enroll in the first block of professional education courses (EDUC 200, 201 and 309) the first semester of your sophomore year. During this semester (or for transfers their first semester at Maryville), you must submit a formal application for admission to teacher education. To be eligible for admission, you must have a 2.75 cumulative GPA, a 3.0 average in professional education coursework, a satisfactory practicum evaluation and pass the MoGEA basic skills assessment. We also require an annual criminal background check and TB screening. Students formally apply to the graduate program at the end of their junior year and must have an overall grade point average of 3.0 for full admission to the master’s program.


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