Early Childhood Education -
Pre-K to 4th Grade Non-Certification 

Bachelor of Science 126 credits

In keeping with the Valley Forge Christian College (VFCC) institutional mission to prepare individuals for a life of service and leadership in the church and in the world, the education program at VFCC seeks to prepare competent professionals for a life of service in Christian, private, and public schools.

For those Students who wish to earn a Degree in Education, but do not wish to pursue state teaching Certification, The Education Department of VFCC Provides a Non-Certification degree in Early Childhood Education, Grades Pre-K - grade 4. The requirements of this program are identical to those listed on the following page with one exception- student teaching and its accompanying seminar is not required. During the students' final semester, in place of student teaching, the students must take at least 13 credits of courses aligned with their personal interest and approved by their advisors. Because this non-certification program does not allow the students to be eligible for teacher certification, students must have a minimal cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 to graduate from this Early Childhood Education Program. Eligible students will receive the Bachelor of Science-Education degree. The goal of the education program is to produce Christ-like, qualified individuals who, through the integration of biblical truth and professional knowledge and skills, will serve children in a variety of diverse educational venues.

Upon graduation students will demonstrate competency in instructional and developmental theory, and in planning, organizing and implementing learning experiences for students. Having participated in the total college experience according to the principles found in Luke 2:52, VFCC graduates will be prepared to begin their roles as intellectually, physically, spiritually, and socially mature leaders. 

The online course catalog tool is for informational purposes and reference only and may change without notice. To access the official catalog, click here to download as a PDF.
 
  1. Students will communicate effectively, orally and in writing, for a diverse audience within educational settings.
  2. Students will access, evaluate, and utilize current educational research and literature based on knowledge of best practices and academic standards.
  3. Students will establish and maintain professional demeanor and relationships with students, colleagues, parents, and supervisors in educational settings.
  4. Students will articulate a philosophy of education that is consistent with a Christian worldview and integrate Christian principles into professional practice.
  5. Students will design, implement, and reflect upon instruction that is aligned with best practices and academic standards and that meets the educational needs of diverse learners.

For students seeking to pursue graduate education, most graduate programs require a minimum GPA of 3.0 for entrance.

Course Descriptions & Related Information

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BIB 103 Introduction to Biblical Interpretation 3 credits

A practical introduction to the study of the Bible. The course provides an overview of fundamental issues of interpretation, inspiration, manuscripts, and translation. Emphasis is on basic approaches to Bible study and appropriate use of biblical reference tools. Only required for non-ministry majors.

CMS 233 Educational Technology 3 credits

This course provides an in-depth examination of technology used in the educational setting. Included are digital media applications, along with projected, non-projected and audio media. The integration of media into the lesson planning process is a crucial component of the course.

COM 123 Fundamentals of Public Speaking 3 credits

A basic course in public speaking designed to provide both theory and practice in principles of effective speech composition and communication.

ENG 123 College Writing and Research 3 credits

This course stresses the writing process and introduces the skills necessary to conduct college-level research. Emphasis is placed on argumentative and analytical writing supported by research. A passing grade of C- or higher is required.

FNA 113 Fine Arts Appreciation 3 credits

This course is designed to develop and expand an appreciation for music, art, and aesthetics. Introduces major movements and ideas in art, music, and architecture. Examines historical time periods and major figures including their philosophy, style, and view of aesthetics. Requires participation in cultural excursions. $90 lab fee.

LIT 243 English Literature 3 credits

A critical and historical study of selected English literature from the fifth century to the present. Representative authors from each period are selected so that students may gain an appreciation for outstanding authors and an understanding of the society in which each lived.
Prerequisite: ENG 123 or 497.

LIT 253 American Literature Survey I 3 credits

This course will offer students the opportunity to read widely among the various literatures of the Bible and its literary counterparts found in poetry, prose, and fiction. The course will attempt to explore and analyze the relationship between the sacred and the secular by using works from John Milton, C.S. Lewis, T.S. Eliot, George Herbert, William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, and several others. Several traditional as well as modern models of literary criticism will be considered.
Prerequisite: ENG 123 or 497.

HIS 233 U.S. History – Colonization to Reconstruction 3 credits

A survey of the major events and individuals in United States history from Colonization to Reconstruction. Critically examines various topics of interpretive interest in American history such as the coming of the Europeans, Puritanism, religious freedom, the Revolution, slavery, immigration, industrialization, urbanization, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.

HIS 243 U.S. History – Reconstruction to the Present 3 credits

A survey of the major events and individuals in United States history from just after Reconstruction to the present. Critically examines various topics of interpretive interest in American history such as immigration, industrialization, urbanization, the rise of Big Business, imperialism, the New Deal, the Cold War, Vietnam, the civil rights movement, etc. No prerequisites required.

MTH 133 Survey of Mathematics I 3 credits

This course is the first part of a six-credit mathematics requirement designed specifically for early childhood, elementary, and music education majors to give them a deep conceptual understanding of the mathematics taught in the elementary and middle school. Topics covered include numeration, operations with rational numbers, and number theory. A problem-solving approach will be employed.
Prerequisite: Minimum Score of 420 on Mathematics SAT OR successful completion of MTH 107 with a grade of C- or higher.

MTH 233 Survey of Mathematics II 3 credits

Specifically designed for education majors, this course is the second part of a six-credit mathematics requirement. Content includes algebraic reasonings, geometry, measurement, and probability and statistics. Critical thinking and problem-solving strategies are emphasized. The course will include a unit on interpreting statistics in an educational setting.
Prerequisite: Completion of MTH 133 with a passing grade.

NWT 113 New Testament Survey 3 credits

A panoramic view of the chief events, prominent characters, main themes and salient teachings of each New Testament book in relation to its historical, geographical and cultural contexts.

OLT 123 Old Testament Survey 3 credits

A study of the historical settings, literary features, authorship, theological teachings, and general content of the books of the Hebrew Bible. This survey provides a factual and practical groundwork for further studies in the Old Testament.

PHE 281 Health and Nutrition1 credit

This course is an overview of personal health and stress management strategies for identifying and preventing health problems. Successful exercise, wellness, and nutrition programs are introduced.
May be taken one time only. This course is required of all students.

PHL 113 Worldviews 3 credits

This course will examine and apply principles involved in the development of a worldview. The course will emphasize the development and application of a Christian worldview. Special emphasis will be given to critical, creative, and Christian thinking skills.

PSY 223 Introduction to Psychology 3 credits

An introduction to the basic concepts of human behavior, motivation, emotion and personality, and a survey of the contemporary psychological field.

SOC 103Life Formation3 credits

A practical study of the classic spiritual disciplines that are essential to lifelong spiritual formation from a Pentecostal perspective. The course will emphasize intentional and holistic applications in daily living.

THE 233Introduction to the History and Theology of the A/G3 credits

A study of Assemblies of God antecedents, history, government, doctrinal emphases, distinctives, and missions.

Major Requirements

ECE 123 Foundations, Principles, Practices of Early Childhood Education3 credits

This course examines current philosophies in the field of Early Childhood Education, the tension created by opposing philosophies, and how adherence to these philosophies is translated into educational principles and practices. The relationship between play and learning will be explored. Integration of curriculum into the learning experience in a developmentally appropriate environment will be stressed.

ECE 204 Methods and Materials 3 credits

This course focuses on developing an integrated curriculum based on the socio-emotional, sensorimotor, and cognitive skills of the 0-8 year-old child. Emphasis will be on providing an integrated, hands-on learning environment that parallels the maturation of the young child. Students will gain experience in lesson planning and practical use of curriculum materials. This course will include classroom observations and fieldwork.
Prerequisites: ECE 123 and EDU 103.

EDU 103 Child Development 3 credits

This course examines the physical, intellectual, emotional and social development of the child from birth through the childhood years (0-12), including the study of how children learn and acquire knowledge. Special attention will be given to leading theories of development and their implications in the early childhood and elementary classrooms.

EDU 333 Integrating the Related Arts 3 credits

This course offers an exploration of the integration of the creative arts in an elementary school setting. Special emphases will be given to the areas of art, music, and creative dramatics and on how to integrate skills and activities in these areas into the elementary curriculum. A hands-on, thematic approach will be explored and adaptations for teaching the exceptional child, including the gifted, will be included.
Prerequisite: FNA 113.

EDU 340 Methods of Teaching ELL 3 credits

A course designed to prepare students to teach English language learners in ESL classes and in
mainstream content area classes in public and private schools in the United States and to teach EFL in a foreign country. Included are theories of second language acquisition, program models for ELLs,
curriculum development, and lesson planning using a variety of methods to integrate the teaching of
English listening, speaking, conversation, pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, reading and writing with
content area objectives.
Prerequisite: CMS 233.

EDU 353 Teaching Social Studies3 credits

An analysis of the content, scope and sequence, trends, materials, and skills integral to the various social science disciplines found in elementary social studies. The course is process oriented and focuses on gathering, organizing, reporting, and interpreting social science data in hands-on activities. Thematic and/or integrated units of study are emphasized. Units on Pennsylvania history and physical and cultural geography are also studied.
Prerequisites: CMS 233, HIS 233 or HIS 243.

EDU 363 Teaching Science3 credits

This course introduces students to how to teach science and health via an inquiry approach. Students will learn questioning strategies for inquiry instruction and how to plan multidisciplinary units that meet the needs of diverse learners and that address state and national standards. Strategies for integrating technology into science and health will be explored.
Prerequisites: CMS 233 and 6 credits of Science courses.

EDU 373 Language and Literacy Development 3 credits

This is an exploratory course investigating language acquisition, learning theories, the reading process, and their relation to the teaching of reading. The relationship between language development and emergent literacy, language models, communication and listening competencies, and the effect of a print-rich environment will be emphasized. Study will include the teaching of reading and language skills to elementary school-aged children, with an emphasis on listening, speaking, reading and writing development. Various approaches to teaching reading will be explored such as the use of phonics, basal readers, guided reading, balanced literacy, and reading workshop.

EDU 383 Field Experience 0.5 credit

The aim of the field experience program at Valley Forge Christian College is to provide education students with a progression of opportunities to apply theory to practice in an authentic educational setting. During the two semesters prior to student teaching, students spend one full day or two half days per week (secondary education only) in a local P-12 classroom at a grade level appropriate for their certification. The VFCC Field Experience Coordinator secures all field experience placements. Every education student at VFCC, regardless of the certification program, takes EDU 383.  Students are concurrently registered for specific methods courses required for their degree program that have assignments related to the field experience.

EDU 413 Multicultural Education 3 credits

This course explores what it means to be an effective teacher in a society that is increasingly diverse.  We will focus on the skills and dispositions teachers need to provide high quality instruction for all students, regardless of their class, race, ethnicity, gender, or religion. 

EDU 423 Differentiated Reading Instruction 3 credits

This course is designed to help develop an understanding of, and plan instruction for those students with varying levels of ability and developmental need. A variety of assessment procedures, strategies and techniques for teaching reading, as well as remedial programs will be examined as a means to differentiate and teach reading to these different levels. Students will learn to tailor instruction and remediate minor reading problems identified through assessment. An emphasis will be placed on reading in the content areas where many of these difficulties present themselves. This course includes a related Field Experience.
Prerequisites: CMS 233, EDU 373.

EDU 433 Teaching Mathematics3 credits

This course is designed to prepare students to use a problem-solving approach to effectively teach elementary mathematics. Students will learn to plan and assess lessons that are developmentally appropriate and that address state and national content and process standards. Topics include: lesson and unit planning, appropriate use of technology, state and national standards, assessment, mathematics/literature connections, and meeting needs of diverse learners.
Prerequisites: Successful completion of MTH 133 and MTH 233, CMS 233.

EDU 443 Classroom Management 3 credit

This course is an overview of various strategies related to classroom instruction. Topics include effective teaching strategies, generation of classroom rules and procedures, maintaining appropriate student behavior, and strengthening communication skills. Note: This is a senior level practicum course designed to be taken just prior to the student teaching experience. All lower level education courses should be completed before taking this course.
Prerequisites: EDU 103, EDU 263, CMS 233.

EDU 453 Assessment and Measurement 3 credits

This is an introductory overview of the policies and procedures used in the measurement and assessment of educational performance. This course provides the foundation of basic measurement concepts as well as hands-on experience with assessment tools. The primary focus of the course is on measurement and assessment strategies for all learners including the use of standardized, informal, and curriculum-based procedures. Attention is also given to the diagnosis and program planning of students with exceptional learning needs. The field experience portion of this course is designed to provide students with school-based experiences relevant to academic assessment methods and procedures of all learners.
Prerequisites: all methods courses.

LIT 273 Children's Literature 3 credits

A survey of children’s literary classics. Students will learn to analyze and evaluate a wide range of children’s literature. In addition, the role of literature in children’s growth and development will be explored.
Prerequisites: ENG 123 or 497.

PSY 383 Educational Psychology 3 credits

A study of learning processes with practical applications for classroom teaching. Topics include human development, the impact of culture and community on learning, learning theory, motivation, testing, and assessment. This course includes a practicum involving observations and interviews with persons working in educational settings.

SPE 223 Introduction to Exceptionalities 3 credits

Provides an overview of the basic characteristics and unique life and educational needs of individuals who have been determined to be exceptional in mental, physical, and/or emotional characteristics. Topics of study include but are not limited to: learning disabilities, mental impairment, emotional and/or behavioral disorders, mental health disorders and multiple and severe disabilities. Emphasis is placed upon understanding differences from a biblical perspective. This class is open to all majors and is required for education majors.

SPE 403 Inclusion and Collaboration 3 credits

This course is a survey of the basic characteristics and unique educational and life needs of children who have been determined to be exceptional in mental, physical, and/or emotional characteristics. It is also a brief introduction to those educational and related services that are collectively known as “special education” in contemporary public schools and the inclusion of those students in the regular classroom. A ten-hour field experience is included as part of the course.
Prerequisite: SPE 223.