Are you interested in careers in early childhood education?
Do you want to expand your knowledge and job opportunities?
Almost every state requires licensing of teachers. In Nebraska these licenses are called certificates and are issued to a person who completes approved teacher preparation programs at the graduate or undergraduate level. Once a person has obtained an initial teacher certificate, it is possible to add additional specialization areas, called endorsements, to the initial teacher certificate. Students with Early Childhood Education certification are qualified to teach in Nebraska public and private preschools and elementary schools up through grade 3 as well as in other early childhood educational, care, and early intervention programs, family support services, and Head Start/Early Head Start programs.
UNL also offers graduate level programs specializing in the related area of Early Childhood Special Education through the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders. For example, there is a master's degree and initial teaching certificate for endorsement in Preschool-Disabilities.
If you come to UNL to study early childhood education as a post-baccalaureate student, you will take a series of courses in child development and family sciences, elementary education, and special education. Your studies will focus on the integration of theory and application to educational practice. You will learn about theories of infant and child development, parent-professional relationships, early brain development, emerging literacy, family-centered services, evaluation and assessment, curriculum, social/emotional development, administration, leadership, and supervision. Voluntary involvement in the Nebraska Student Association for the Education of Young Children will provide you with opportunities for networking, conference participation, professional service, and personal development. The requirements of your program would be specified by the UNL Bulletin and program documents.
Students with Initial Teaching Certificate. UNL offers a post-baccalaureate program leading to supplemental endorsement in Early Childhood Education (P-3) if you already hold a valid certification covering primary (K-3) education or elementary level special education. If you desire, your work could be combined with work toward a master's (or doctoral) degree.
Students without Initial Teaching Certificate. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has a new undergraduate program, Inclusive Early Childhood Education, leading to initial certification in Nebraska in Early Childhood Education (Unified): Birth to Grade 3. If you have already earned an undergraduate degree but do not have a valid teaching certificate, you can apply to enter this program. You may apply coursework completed during your undergraduate program and then either take further required courses at the undergraduate level or graduate level equivalents, as approved by the advisor and the Inclusive Early Childhood Education interdisciplinary program faculty. If you desire, your work could be combined with work toward a master's (or doctoral) degree.