ABCs and 123s

New Birth to Kindergarten Degree Program to be Offered through School of Education

Education majors will soon have a new degree option. The School of Education is finalizing plans for a Bachelor of Science in Birth to Kindergarten (BK) Education degree program, pending accreditation approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

“Research has proven that strong early childhood programs can have a positive lifelong impact on a child’s academic, social, cognitive, and communication abilities,” said Dr. Jason Parker, associate dean of GWU School of Education. “This program will equip candidates with the knowledge and skills needed to help young children reduce or eliminate learning gaps so they can enter school ready to excel.”

Built on the foundation of other undergraduate programs within the GWU School of Education, the progression of coursework will allow candidates to undergird their learning in a cohesive manner. “We have intentionally embedded tiered, clinical experiences to allow all candidates ample opportunities to apply theory to practice,” Parker shared.

The 128-credit-hour program will be offered on the Boiling Springs campus as well as in distance and online formats. Students will complete a minor in professional education and a semester of student teaching (for licensure candidates) or an administrative seminar (for non-licensure candidates) to expand their existing knowledge of teaching by participating in varied clinical experiences in which theory is integrated with practice.

In addition to clinical experiences in local schools and early childhood education classrooms, the School of Education has received funds from the Cleveland County Partnership for Children (Shelby, N.C.). The agency provided a $12,000 grant to establish a model pre-K classroom on the Gardner-Webb campus.

“The Cleveland County Partnership for Children has been an instrumental stakeholder throughout the development of the program,” explained Parker. “Tuition remittance will also be offered to select candidates in the program through Child Care Services Association’s Teacher Education and Compensation Helps (T.E.A.C.H.) Early Childhood® Scholarship Program.”

Learn more about the Birth-Kindergarten Program at GWU