Early Childhood/Elementary Education Pre-kindergarten-4th grade B.L.S.

Frank M. Bernt, PhD., Professor and Chair
Teacher Education Department

220 Merion Hall


The undergraduate Teacher Education programs are built upon a strong liberal arts curriculum provided through the General Education Program (GEP) at Saint Joseph’s University. This enables students to integrate their understanding of interdisciplinary content with an understanding of child and adolescent learning.

Students balance theory and practice in teaching related courses. Most education courses provide students with the opportunity to investigate theory and research while participating in field experiences in local schools.

Learning Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: The student will demonstrate an understanding of learner development.

Objective 1.1: The student will explain how learning occurs—how learners construct knowledge, acquire skills and develop disciplined thinking processes.

Objective 1.2: The student will identify readiness for learning and explain how development in one area may affect performance in others.

Goal 2: The student will demonstrate an understanding of learning differences.

Goal 3: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the central concepts of PK-4 teaching.

Objective 3.1: The student will identify and describe major concepts, assumptions, debates, processes of inquiry, and ways of knowing that are central to PK-4 teaching.

Objective 3.2: The student will identify and describe PK-4 content standards and learning progressions.

Goal 4: The student will plan instruction that supports PK-4 student learning.

Objective 4.1: The student will plan for instruction based on appropriate curriculum goals and content standards.

Objective 4.2: The student will plan instruction that is responsive to the identified strengths and needs of individual learners.

Goal 5: The student will demonstrate understanding and effective use of multiple methods of assessment.

Objective 5.1: The student will define and interpret types of valid and reliable education assessments (including screening, diagnostic, formative, summative, and authentic) and identify principles of their effective use.

Objective 5.2: The student will analyze and interpret assessment data to identify patterns and gaps in learning, to guide planning and instruction, and to provide meaningful feedback to all learners and their guardians.

Goal 6: The student will demonstrate an understanding of educating for social justice.

Objective 6.1: The student will describe key elements of interacting positively and respectfully with those of different racial, ethnic, language and socioeconomic backgrounds and sexual orientations.

Objective 6.2: The student will identify and describe practices and policies that reinforce inequalities and that undermine PK-4 student learning, as well as what can be done to challenge such practices in order to create a more just society.

Students admitted prior to Summer 2016 entered under the curriculum requirements for the BS in Early Childhood/Elementary Education Pre-kindergarten-4th Grade. Please see the SJU Academic Catalog for your admit year for additional information.

General Education Program Courses

(See Curricula)

Social Science
EDU 151Develop, Cognition, & Learning3

 GEP Integrative Learning Component

Two courses

SPE 160/160FIntro to Special Education3
HIS 201American History to 18773
or HIS 202 American Hist. 1865 to Present

Major Requirements

List of Courses: "F" courses are those that have a field assignment

EDU 121Child Development3
EDU 151/151FDevelop, Cognition, & Learning 13
EDU 155/155FFoundations of Early Childhood3
EDU 160
Schools in Society
and FE Schools in Soc(preK-4/4-8) 2
EDU 231Assessment and Evaluation3
EDU 232/232FReading Literature I3
EDU 240/240FReading Literature II3
EDU 242/242FTech Enhncd Curr & Instrs PK-83
EDU 246/246FLiteracy, Language and Culture3
EDU 362/362FSocial Studies Thru Arts PK-43
EDU 363/363FScience Methods PK-43
EDU 365/365FMath & Technology (PreK-4)3
SPE 160/160FIntro to Special Education3
SPE 200/200FTeaching in Inclusive Environ3
EDU 379Family,School & Commununity3
EDU 495Student Teaching ECE12

Applying to the SJU Teacher Certification Program

All Education majors must apply to the SJU Teacher Certification Program to be eligible for PA Teacher Certification upon completion of their degree. This separate application process and the admission requirements are explained below. The application process for admission into the SJU Teacher Certification Program begins when a student is nearing completion of 45 credits towards his/her degree. The advisor will provide the student information regarding the application process. The candidate must complete the application and requirements for admission before earning 60 credits. Transfer students entering with more than 45 transfer credits must complete the application and requirements for admission to the SJU Teacher Certification Program in their first semester at SJU.  Completed applications for admission into the SJU Teacher Certification Program will be reviewed by the Education Transition Committee and submitted to the Teacher Education Department Chair. Students will be notified in regards to the acceptance decision.

Admission Requirements for the SJU Teacher Certification Program

  • Must have completed a minimum of 48 credits
  • Must have completed ENG 101 and ENG 102
  • Must have completed 6 mathematics credits
  • Must have an acceptable GPA. Acceptable GPA is defined as a GPA that is making forward progress towards a final cumulative GPA required for state certification. Typically, the minimum GPA is 2.8 for admission to a teacher certification program.
  • Must meet Basic Skills Testing Requirements in at least one of the following assessments:
  • Qualifying PAPA scores
  • Qualifying SAT scores
  • Qualifying ACT scores
  • Qualifying ETS Core scores

Basic Skills Testing

According to ACT 168 (effective August 1, 2015), all undergraduate teacher certification candidates must achieve qualifying scores for one of the accepted tests of Basic Skills (Reading, Writing, and Math) in order to be admitted to a teacher certification program. Candidates must apply to a teacher certification program after they have completed a minimum of 48 undergraduate credits.

Candidates who have not satisfied the Basic Skills Test requirement may not register for education courses beyond 60 undergraduate credits, nor are they permitted to register for upper level professional education courses:

EDU 240Reading Literature II3
EDU 362Social Studies Thru Arts PK-43
EDU 363Science Methods PK-43
EDU 365Math & Technology (PreK-4)3
EDU 495Student Teaching ECE12
Any 300-level SPE course or above3

Candidates must satisfy the Basic Skills Testing requirement in order to apply any transfer credits to a teacher certification program.

Professional Testing Requirements

In addition to completing prescribed programs of study including field experiences, student teaching, practicums and internships, educators are often required to take and pass standardized tests in order to qualify for a professional license or certification. Testing requirements vary from state to state; therefore candidates must be alert to such requirements for any state in which they wish to be certified. Also, the requirements are subject to frequent changes, so one should always check to be sure they have the most current information regarding which test is required before they pay, register or take an exam. Because of the dynamic nature of the testing requirements, Saint Joseph’s University cannot be held responsible for any misinterpretation or misinformation (regardless of the source) used when deciding which test to take. The responsibility to take the proper tests lies solely with the candidates.

Note: The professional licensure tests are challenging and expensive. Candidates should take advantage of all available resources and practice test questions to seriously prepare themselves before sitting for a test.

Pedagogy and Content Exams

Candidates must earn a qualifying scores in the following pedagogy and/or content exams:

  • PreK-4  Pearson Module 1: Child Dev, Prof., Assessment
  • PreK-4  Pearson Module 2: Language Arts & Social Studies
  • PreK-4  Pearson Module 3: Science, Math & Health