Early Childhood/Elementary Education (PK-4)

Shippensburg University’s Early Childhood/Elementary Education (PreK-4th grade) program prepares some of the best teachers in the region. Graduates leave the accredited program qualified to apply for a PreK-4 teaching certificate, which makes them eligible to teach children in preschool through fourth grade classrooms.

The elementary laboratory school (Grace B. Luhrs University Elementary School), along with the Bartos Child and Family Center and Head Start are all housed on campus and allow students unique hands-on and observation experiences as they pursue their degree.

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Why Study Childhood/Elementary Education at Ship?

Ship’s faculty is dedicated to designing and teaching a demanding, relevant, philosophical and clinical curriculum. The Early Childhood/Elementary Education program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and meets high national standards of excellence.

Ship boasts a student-faculty ratio of 20:1, giving students the opportunity to build supportive, collaborative relationships with their professors.

The Grace B. Luhrs University Elementary School on campus provide a unique opportunity to observe and participate in elementary school activities and classroom teaching experiences with children in kindergarten through fifth grade. Shippensburg University College of Education and Human Services faculty and Shippensburg Area School District teachers teach the lab school classrooms. The curriculum reflects the best developmental and educational practices. Lessons demonstrate how to apply the most current educational techniques.

The Bartos Child and Family Center, located adjacent to the lab school, provides additional opportunities to observe and work with children in ages one through five. The center also has an after school program and hosts a variety of camps throughout the summer. This center provides another window into observing quality early learning.

The Head Start program is located in the Cora Grove Spiritual Center, also on campus. This program offers more opportunities for observations as well as working with children under the supervision of Head Start teachers and staff trained in meeting the needs of their students as well as federal program guidelines.

PreK-4 majors can also complete a dual certification program with Special Education. Students may also pursue a Reading Minor. Each of these programs require additional time and credits to complete.

Student Groups

Beyond the classroom, our faculty encourages students in writing for publication, engaging in student-faculty research, attending and presenting at conferences as well as involving students in different educational clubs and organizations. Education majors have several groups they can participate in to network in the education community and begin to build a resume. Below are just some examples:

  • Shippensburg University CAEYC helps future educators develop an understanding and appreciation for the education profession.
  • KSRA – Keystone State Reading Association helps promote literacy in local schools.
  • Bridge for Kids is a non-profit organization allowing education majors to tutor local school children, work with the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) at the lab school and participate in fund raising for various important causes.
  • Kappa Delta Pi is a national honorary organization for elementary and secondary education majors.

Major Requirements

All PreK-4 majors must complete a total of 120 credit hours to complete the program. Students take part in over 250 hours of clinical field experiences in local district classroom settings prior to the student teaching semester. Field hours provide increased experience with children in an educational setting. Responsibilities include providing instruction using educational strategies and techniques, taking on leadership roles within the school environment and working with dedicated professionals in the field. Student teaching is the culminating field experience and occurs for one full semester during the senior year.

All undergraduate majors are required to complete the university’s general education program, which provides a balanced liberal arts foundation.

Contact the Teacher Education Department

214 Shippen Hall, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257