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Student teacher with children

Early Child Care and Development

Associate of Science

Overview

BJU’s early child care and development program is a 2-year associate of science degree that opens the door to a number of career possibilities, from a family service worker to a day care lead teacher. You’ll learn under qualified and caring faculty, and with the help of curriculum and methods courses and more than 120 hours of practical experience, you’ll be well prepared to work with infants and young children in any setting.

There is a huge need for Christ-honoring, caring, dedicated, experienced and knowledgeable caregivers. That’s why BJU’s early child care and development program provides all the tools that you need to be one. As a professional in the field, you’ll be the first educator for some children, so you’ll learn the importance of teaching a love of learning, being active in the learning process, developing friendships and being kind to others. You’ll learn how teaching extends beyond what activities you have for the children—it includes how you speak, act and react. Most importantly, you’ll explore what it means to glorify God in everything you do, no matter how mundane or extraordinary.

student in class

Program

The early child care and development program at BJU combines classroom learning with plenty of practical experience. You’ll work through case studies and learn about educational technology and other tools, such as bulletin boards. You’ll also learn how to plan learning centers and write and teach lesson plans, which you’ll build into a long-range plan. In addition, you’ll earn certification in both CPR and first aid and observe professionals on the job.

Two semesters of field experience will give you more than 120 hours of working with infants, toddlers and preschoolers. You’ll build a professional portfolio throughout this time according to NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) standards and define your philosophy of child care. You’ll keep records of your experiences in reflection journals and of your lesson plans to help you maximize your learning in the program.

BJU Core

You’ll also benefit from the BJU Core, a unique combination of Bible and liberal arts courses taken by every BJU student. Bible courses, as well as daily chapel services and godly professors, will nurture your growth in Christlikeness. Liberal arts courses will broaden your horizons and equip you with skills essential both for teaching and for all of life—skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving, effective communication, ethical decision making, adaptability and much more.

Electives

The early child care and development program has a lot packed into it, and half of your electives are part of the BJU Core. If you would like to take additional electives, you can explore taking classes over the summer through BJUOnline or increasing your class load during the semester.

Your Future

Jobs

The early child care and development program provides the tools you need to become an experienced and knowledgeable caregiver or teacher who is Christ-honoring, caring and dedicated. Our program at BJU opens the door to many career possibilities, including:

  • Lead teacher/caregiver in an early care setting
  • Education specialist
  • Teaching assistant/paraprofessional
  • Family service worker

Career Support

BJU offers students a variety of ways to network with employers and organizations. A multitude of job opportunities are posted each year on Career Central, our online job board. In addition, more than 60 businesses and 150 Christian schools/mission boards/Christian organizations come on campus to recruit students through on-campus interviews and job/ministry fairs.

Career Services also helps students by holding seminars on resume preparation and interview techniques.

View Gainful Employment data for this program.

Learning Experience

Early Childhood Educators Forum

The Early Childhood Educators Forum meets twice a year and provides opportunities for students in the early child care and development program to fellowship, learn together about key issues related to their field, and host community events. Recent forum events included:

  • Worldwide Tentmakers: Early Childhood Initiatives in Poland and China
  • Dr. Wendy Valerio, University of South Carolina: Music, Movement, and Brain Development
  • Mrs. Nancy Halverson, The Children’s Museum of the Upstate, and Mrs. Jill Parker, kindergarten teacher: Arts Integration/The Brain Dance
  • Mrs. Vicki Peek, COO, Find Great People (Employment Experts): Preparing for Your First Job Before You Graduate.

In the spring, the Early Childhood Educators Forum helps host a community outreach program as part of the Upstate’s Child Abuse Awareness Month.

Community Service Council

Through the Community Service Council, education students at BJU are able to assist with many community events for children, including Enchanted Tracks and field days at various elementary schools in town.

Washington Center Challenge Day

Every fall Bob Jones University hosts the Special Olympics Developmental Games for students from Washington Center, a school for children and young people with severe mental disabilities. Education students from BJU assist the student athletes in activities and games as the athletes’ families and teachers cheer them on.

Faculty

Photo of Julie Hartman
Julie Hartman
Division of Teacher Education

View Faculty

Our early childhood education faculty average 12 years of K-12 teaching experience plus 17 years teaching college students. All hold advanced degrees, and two thirds have earned a doctorate. They’re experienced in a variety of fields, including textbook writing, curriculum development, library services and educational technology, and they regularly present workshops at Christian school conventions.

Courses & Objectives

Program Objectives

Each student will:

  • Apply knowledge of child growth and development to create healthy and supportive environments for young children.
  • Create effective experiences and materials to support young children's growth and development.
  • Provide appropriate care of young children (birth to age eight) in accordance with local and ethical guidelines.
  • Demonstrate understanding of responsible assessment of young children.
  • Use developmentally appropriate approaches with young children.
  • Create meaningful and appropriate curriculum for young children.
  • Demonstrate biblical thinking in personal and professional endeavors.

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