Teacher Certification (PreK-3) Option

120 credits

Early Childhood Studies majors who plan to teach in a public school primary grade classroom should select the Teacher Certification PreK-3 Option. In this option, courses focus more specifically on children in the age range from five to eight and on the primary classroom setting. The content and pedagogical knowledge needed to teach in the primary grades is introduced in the early childhood core courses and the general education courses and further developed in the teacher certification option courses. Early Childhood teacher candidates will develop a repertoire of culturally responsive teaching strategies to foster primary grade students’ understanding of reading, writing, language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, technology, and the arts. The Teacher Certification PreK-3 Option provides extensive field experiences in area public schools, culminating in a year-long teacher apprenticeship in a public school primary grade classroom. The year-long apprenticeship includes a two-and-a-half day per week practicum in a primary grade classroom in the fall semester, followed by a full-time teaching internship in the same classroom in the spring semester. The apprentice year provides Early Childhood Studies teacher candidates with a unique opportunity to develop relationships with their mentor teacher and the children in their class, participate in the development of classroom community over the course of a school year, see how the children grow and change over a year, and build the skills and knowledge needed to be an effective primary grade educator. Early Childhood Studies teacher candidates benefit from our long-standing partnerships with area schools, which provide rich internship experiences under the mentorship of public school teachers and university faculty.

This teacher education program is certified at both the state and national level by the New Hampshire Department of Education and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). It has also achieved national recognition from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Graduates who complete this Teacher Certification Option and pass standardized tests in reading and early childhood content knowledge (required by the state of New Hampshire) are eligible for Birth-Grade 3 teacher certification in the state of New Hampshire. Because of New Hampshire’s membership in the Interstate Certification Contract, Plymouth graduates are eligible to earn a certificate or license in another Contract state upon application to that state’s department of education. Receiving states may have a difference in elementary grade range and may impose certain special requirements that must be met within a reasonable period of time. For further information, please see the Educator Preparation section. Requirements for certification may change, subject to changes made by the New Hampshire Department of Education. Teacher candidates can find the most current New Hampshire Department of Education standards at

A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.50 is required for admission into Teacher Education candidacy. Candidates are required to have a 3.00 grade point average in order to enroll in ER 4250, ER 4290, ER 4410, and ER 4500. All full-time or part-time matriculated candidates in this Option are expected to make satisfactory academic progress toward their academic goals.

In order for Early Childhood Studies majors to participate in field experiences in diverse settings that are essential for their development as early childhood professionals, students must be willing and able to travel outside of the Plymouth area beyond walking distances. Early Childhood Studies majors should plan for and be able to provide their own transportation by the junior year.

Degree Requirements


Courses required for the Option are shown in boldface.
ER 2000 Introduction to the Early Childhood Profession (WRCO) 3
ER 2200 The Constructivist Approach in Early Care and Education 3
ER 2300 Young Children's Learning and Development in Context 3
ER 2400 Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Health for the Young Child (WECO) 3
ER 2800 Preschool and Kindergarten Curriculum and Instruction 6
ER 3200 Assessment in Early Childhood (QRCO) 3
ER 3300 Culturally Responsive Early Care and Education (DICO) (WRCO) 3
ER 3450 Guiding Young Mathematicians: Math Methods for Early Childhood (QRCO) 4
ER 3700 Learning and Teaching in the Primary Grades 3
ER 4200 Senior Seminar: Perspectives on Early Childhood (INCO) 3
ER 4250 Inquiry, Integration, and Problem Solving in the Primary Grades (TECO) 4
ER 4290 Primary Grade (K-3) Practicum 6
ER 4410 K-3 Internship in Teaching in an Inclusive Classroom 12
ER 4500 K-3 Internship in Teaching Seminar 3
ERSE 2500 Inclusive Early Childhood Education 3
ERSE 3500 Special Education in the Primary Grades 3
CD 3400 Integrated Arts 3
MA 2110 Mathematics for PreK-Grade 3 Educators (MATH) 4
RL 2500 Language and Literacy Development in Young Children 3
RL 3500 Reading, Writing, and Language Arts in the Primary Grades 3
General Education:
EN 1200 Composition 3
IS 1111 The First Year Seminar: Critical Thinking and the Nature of Inquiry 3
CTDI Creative Thought Directions 6
PPDI Past and Present Directions 6
SIDI Scientific Inquiry Directions 6-8
SSDI Self and Society Directions 6
GACO Global Awareness Connection 3
Electives 9-7

Acceptance into the Teacher Certification Option requires acceptance into teacher certification candidacy (which includes passing the PraxisTM Core Academic Skills for Educators exam). The K-3 Internship in Teaching in an Inclusive Classroom requires a minimum grade of C in ER 4250, ER 4290, and RL 3500 and a minimum 3.00 cumulative grade point average.

*All course information is from the 2015-2016 Catalog.