Quincy University’s School of Education announced the establishment of the new Early Childhood Education Degree Program on Monday, May 7 at a press conference held in the Hall of Fame Room.

With recent changes in the Illinois State Board of Education’s (ISBE) requirements for early childhood teachers, the University decided to make an addition to the education degree programs already offered. Dr. Julia Auch, early childhood education coordinator, has spent the past year developing a state approved curriculum for the Early Childhood Education Degree Program.

“The ISBE now includes kindergarten as part of early childhood education, so with the current degree offerings the university has, education majors graduating from QU would not be able to teach kindergarten,” said Auch.

The ISBE’s changes reflect research that has proven a strong educational experience early on in a child’s life is key to academic success later on.

“When we think about the education process, we should look at it like a building. Without a strong foundation, a building begins to weaken and crack, and eventually collapses. Effective early learning experiences provide that necessary foundation for all future learning,” said Auch.

The Program, starting in fall 2018, offers extensive field and clinical experiences that provide students with hands-on, authentic learning opportunities. With this degree, students graduating from QU will be able to work with multiple age groups and grade levels in a variety of settings. Career options include working as an infant and toddler teacher, a pre-school through second grade teacher, family services worker, childcare administrator, or an early intervention specialist.

“The focus on early childhood education is strong in Quincy and surrounding areas. Multiple community partners consistently collaborate to ensure high-quality programming is being delivered to children and families, and to avoid duplication of services. Quincy University is thrilled to have joined these dedicated professionals in the field, and looks forward to continuing to build linkages throughout the region,” said Auch.

For more information about the program, visit https://bit.ly/2rhBxL7 or contact Dr. Julia Auch, at 217-228-5432 ext. 3106 or auchju@quincy.edu.