UCCS to offer new degree in early childhood development

July 19, 2013
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UCCS will offer a unique, interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree to individuals interested in working with young children.

On Thursday, the CU Board of Regents approved a UCCS request to offer a four-year Bachelor of Innovation in Inclusive Early Childhood Education. The degree will provide students with core skills necessary to teach and care for all young children and adds courses in written and oral communication, problem solving, business, entrepreneurship, and technology.

Mary Snyder

Mary Snyder

“Professionals in early childhood take on unique roles that demand innovation,” Mary Snyder, dean, College of Education, said. “For example, sometimes, they are running a home-based business. In others, they may have the opportunity to invent, design and market a curriculum. We want to prepare people for the possibilities that currently exist in education as well as anticipate needs that will arise in the future.”

The degree will be a collaborative effort between the UCCS College of Education, College of Business and College of Engineering and Applied Science. UCCS leaders believe future educators will benefit from collaborations with business and engineering students and learning varied approaches to problem solving. Students will complete a 120 credit hour curriculum that prepares them for licensure by the State of Colorado in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education. Individuals with those certifications may work with children from birth through grade three in public school systems and in private or home-based childcare centers.

UCCS leaders believe demand for the degree will be high. Potential students include those working in early childhood careers who seek to learn new techniques and advance to lead teacher status, transfer students from the state’s community colleges, and new UCCS freshmen interested in earning a bachelor’s degree and a career working with young children.

Career opportunities to work with young children are extensive and demand is particularly high for teachers to work with young children who have special needs, Snyder said. The UCCS program will integrate special education coursework with classes in technology and innovation to facilitate instructional strategies to meet the needs of all learners.

Snyder plans to begin offering the degree to students beginning fall 2013 pending final approval by the Colorado Department of Higher Education. Because the new degree is interdisciplinary and uses faculty expertise that already exists, start-up costs are minimal.

For more information about the program, including curriculum requirements, contact the College of Education’s Student Resource Office, education@uccs.edu or 255-4996.

In 2006, the CU Board of Regents approved an initial set of Bachelor of Innovation degrees in fields of study that include business administration, computer science, electrical engineering, and game design and development.

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