Early Childhood Education (Pre K-4), A.A.
The Early Childhood Education PreK-4 associate of arts degree program prepares students to be highly qualified, competent, and effective teachers of all learners from pre-K through grade 4.
By combining coursework with authentic real-life experiences, this program prepares students to be professional educators who are well qualified to use appropriate techniques and strategies to expand children's cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development.
Students who graduate from our Early Childhood Education PreK-4 program obtain the required course work to transfer to a four-year institution to continue working on their Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education PreK-4. These students become certified by the state of Pennsylvania to teach in a PreK-4 classroom. Below are some four-year institutions our students transfer to:
- All Pennsylvania State Schools/ PASSHE: SRU, IUP, Clarion, Edinboro etc.
- Westminster College
- LaRoche College
Students who wish to become certified teachers in the state of Pennsylvania must complete certification exams. We are unique because we offer a one credit course preparing students for the Praxis Core Basic Skills exam. BC3 is the only one in Western PA to do this for their education students.
In addition to our one credit course, ECE majors can now take ENGL 101 and ENGL 104 (earning a B or better) to complete the reading and writing requirement. To satisfy the Reading requirement, a B or better is needed in ENGL 104. To satisfy the Writing requirement, a B or better is needed in BOTH ENGL 101 and ENGL 104. Our MATH 182 and 183 are also Pennsylvania Department of Education approved to fill that Praxis Core Math competency. Which means, if you pass these four courses with a “B” or higher you do not need to complete any Basic Skills exam. It is an outstanding option for our students.
Graduates in the associate program can seek employment in the education field as teacher assistants or teacher aides. Graduates may also become preschool teachers.
Alumni Success Stories
Teaches K-2 Math at Northside in Ellwood City
I am the K-2 Math Support Teacher at North Side Primary School, in the Ellwood City
School District. I attended Butler County Community College where I obtained my Associate's
Degree in Education in 2018. I then transferred to Westminster College to complete
my Bachelor's Degree in both Early Childhood Education and Special Education, graduating
in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic (summer of 2020). My time at BC3 gave me some
of the best friends and experiences that I made during my college career. My professors
were always available to help, and I still message them for advice to this day. I
am so thankful for the memories and lifelong friendships that BC3 provided me, and
will always be proud to be a Pioneer!
3rd grade teaches at Lady's Island Elementary School
I am a third-grade teacher at Lady’s Island Elementary School, located in Beaufort,
South Carolina. Prior to becoming an educator, I received my associate degree from
Butler County Community College in 2019. I then transferred to Pennsylvania State
University where I graduated in 2021 with a degree in Elementary and Early Childhood
Education with a minor in Special Education. I owe much of my success towards BC3,
as my professors provided me with an outstanding education with a large focus on utilizing
real world experiences to further connect academic concepts. I could not be the professional
I am today without BC3, its professors, and the countless friends that I acquired
while in attendance!
Sharpsville Area School District Special Education Teacher
I started my teaching journey at BC3 and then went on to SRU to finish my last two
years. After a long summer of interviewing for many different teaching jobs, I was
able to obtain a middle school and high school life skills and learning support special
education position at Sharpsville. I am learning so much and I am so grateful to have
been given an opportunity so quickly after college. BC3 was an amazing starting point
and taught me so much. I had so many amazing mentors and staff members who contributed
to the teacher I now am!
The best decision I ever made!
Attending BC3 for their education program was the best decision I ever made! I wasn’t
100% sure of what I wanted to do or major in. BC3 gave me the opportunity to explore
options with professors who truly cared and wanted the best for me. I ended up majoring
in Early Childhood Education and never looked back. I learned so much and felt prepared
to attend Slippery Rock University after earning my Associate’s in ECE. Upon graduation,
I accepted a 4th grade teaching position. More recently, I have been teaching in Youngstown
as an Intervention Specialist. It feels so good to be making a difference and doing
exactly what BC3 prepared me to do.