The Early Childhood Development (ECD) program within the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at Pittsburg State University prepares individuals to work with children, ages birth through age eight, and their families in a variety of programs serving both children and families.
Students with an emphasis in ECD have multiple opportunities to engage in hands-on activities with young children through our NAEYC accredited Little Gorillas Preschool and other high quality early childhood programs in the community. The Little Gorillas Preschool provides an onsite opportunity for observation of and interaction with preschool age children. Students participate with children as they implement curriculum and practice using communication and guidance skills learned in their courses. The lead preschool teacher provides supervision and feedback to the students as they work with the children.
Early Childhood Development majors choose a minor that compliments their future professional goals. Minors further tailor the program to make our graduates more marketable. There are numerous minors of which to choose. Minors that are popular with current students include: accounting, business administration, special education, communication, psychology, sociology, recreation, public health, women's and gender studies, and Spanish.
In addition to the selection of a minor, Early Childhood Development students choose 12 credit hours from the following electives: Early Literacy and Language Development and Literature for Young Children; Directed Readings in FCS; Infant and Toddler Development; Family Resource Management; Family Violence and Child Abuse; Children's Music; Parent and Professional Relationships; and Motor Development. Other elective options may be allowed with approval from the student's major advisor.
There are many different career paths that an Early Childhood Development might pursue:
• Teacher—preschool, child care, infant-toddler, teaching assistant, paraprofessional
• Child Care Provider—center-based child care center, in-home provider, nanny
• Program Director—child care center, preschool, after school care, family child care home
• Parent Educator—Parents as Teachers, early intervention services
• Family & Provider Resources—resource and referral agencies, licensing surveyor, child/family advocate, consultant, extension specialist, professional development coordinator
• Social Services—child/family services case worker, adoption agency, foster care agency, family violence programs, child protective services
• Health Related Fields—child life specialist, hospice/respite care, play therapist
• Recreation & Special Programs—camps, coaching, after school programs, travel/leisure, children’s museums, zoos, art programs, community outreach programs
Early childhood majors are encouraged to join the Early Childhood Student Organization (ECSO). The goal of ECSO is to provide professional development, leadership, community service, and social opportunities for individuals interested in early childhood related fields. The variety of activities and events in which our members are involved makes this a great way to spend time while attending Pittsburg State University. Each fall members have the opportunity to travel with faculty to attend the NAEYC Annual Conference and Expo. Attending a national conference is a great way to learn more about the field of early childhood and connect with other early childhood professionals.