Apr 18, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog

Early Childhood Education, A.S. (Online)

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See Education  and Division of Professional Studies  for more information.

Department Contact:

Division of Professional Studies Dean: Dr. Tricia McFadden

Division of Professional Studies Director: Mrs. Sherri Link, Academic & Student Affairs

Partnering Academic Department: Education
Chair: Dr. Stephanie Ivory, sivory@francis.edu

Program Description:

Whether you choose to study 100% online or attend some classes face-to-face in our Associate of Science program through the Division of Professional Studies, you’ll work with professors who are specialists in early childhood education. They are caring, dedicated professionals who love teaching adult students and are committed to your success.  The Associate of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education is designed for the work-experienced adult with few credits or no prior college level coursework. The program consisting of 63 credits is designed to provide a convenient and effective means of progress toward completion of the degree.  This associate’s degree prepares graduates for careers working in early childhood settings as classroom support staff, and prepares them to enter the BA or BS Degree Completion program in early childhood education offered through the Division of Professional Studies. 


Accreditation Statement:

This program does not require approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Estimated Completion Time:

Typically 2 to 3 years of part-time study

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Content and Pedagogical Knowledge:  Pre-service teachers will acquire knowledge of teaching content and pedagogy including understanding and knowledge of developmentally appropriate practice, teaching standards, varying forms of assessment, differentiated instruction, technology integration, state and federal mandates, behavior management, and implementation of best practices.
  • Clinical Competence:  Pre-service teachers will possess the ability to provide effective instruction to a diverse population of students. Students within the professional program will utilize assessment and observation to guide instructional practices. Graduates will possess the necessary content knowledge as well as clinical reasoning and problem-solving abilities to provide appropriate instruction for all learners in an educational environment conducive of learning.
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills:  Pre-service teachers will  possess interpersonal and communication skills  including verbal, nonverbal, and written forms that result in effective information exchange with students, parents, administration, and colleagues.
  • Professionalism:  Graduates will demonstrate effective academic and professional skills, attributes, attitudes, and behaviors necessary to function as a practicing educator. Program completers will demonstrate qualities and characteristics as defined by the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) for recommendation for Level I teaching certification.

Progression and/or Retention Criteria:

In order to proceed to the bachelor degree programs and the Professional Teacher Education Program, Early Childhood Education majors and students must maintain a QPA no less than a 3.0 with no grade lower than a C in professional courses or clinical experiences. 

Graduation Requirements:

A candidate for graduation must satisfy the following requirements: 

  • Complete all requirements for an approved program of study; 

  • Complete the minimum number of credits (128 for a bachelor’s degree; 64 for an associate’s degree); 

  • Repeat for an acceptable passing grade any course required for the major in which the grade of “F” has been received; 

  • Complete the last 30 credits for the degree at SFU; 

  • Achieve a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or better in all courses taken at SFU; 

  • Achieve a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or better in all major or collateral requirements; 

  • Satisfy the requirements of the General Education core curriculum; 

  • Satisfy the capstone requirement as specified by the major department(s); 

  • Submit a completed Application for Degree form at least one semester prior to graduation date; and 

  • Satisfy financial obligations to the University. 

Admission Requirements:

See Division of Professional Studies  for Admission criteria and information.

Admission Deadline:

The program has rolling admission. 

Technical Standards or Essential Functions:

Saint Francis University is committed to the principle that no qualified individual, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or denied the benefits or services, programs or activities of the University, or be subjected to discrimination by the University as required by the Americans with Disability Act. The Division of Professional Studies and the Education Department adhere to the policies for academic accommodations as determined by the Center for Academic Success. The Center’s Office of Disability Services assists eligible students in receiving basic services as determined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disability Act. Every effort is made to arrange appropriate academic accommodations for students who experience physical or mental disabilities. Students are required to provide appropriate documentation to the accessibility coordinator upon request of the accommodation.

Licensure and/or Certification:

This program is not designed to lead to licensure or certification.

Total Credits Required:

63 credits


Field experiences activities that provide teacher education candidates with opportunities to apply theories and concepts studied in coursework. These experiences are directed by University faculty, facilitated by teacher mentors, and are an integral part of all education courses. Activities include, but are not limited to, observing, tutoring, mini-lesson teaching, lesson planning, and developing instructional materials. Field experiences may take place in public or non-public schools, or in community agencies or educational settings approved by University faculty. Students must find transportation to field experience sites. 

Clearances must be obtained by the student at his/her own expense prior to field experience observations. These requirements include: 

  • ACT 24: Arrest/Conviction Report and Certification Form 

  • ACT 34: Pennsylvania State Criminal History 

  • ACT 126: Mandated Reporter Training 

  • ACT 151: Pennsylvania Child Abuse History 

  • FBI Federal Criminal History Fingerprint Clearance 

  • Tuberculin - TB Test with Negative Results 

Clearances must be updated every 3 years and copies secured in the Education office. Act 24 form must be completed/signed yearly. 

Academic Requirements for Degree Programs: 

To be consistent in our use of headings and categories in the Catalog, we ask that you list all program requirements below under the headings (1) Courses Required for General Education Core; (2) Courses Required for the Major differentiated as Major or Collateral Courses; (3) Courses Required for the Concentration (if applicable); (4) Number of Free Elective credits.  

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