Birth to Five / Early Interventionist Education
Leading organizations such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), promote the importance of early childhood care, intervention, and education.
The skills that children develop during the early years are critically important to their future growth, development, and life-long success. The Birth to Five/ Early Intervention (BFED) undergraduate degree supports the initiatives of the NAEYC and CEC National Standards for young children by teaching practitioners key early learning concepts and fostering early learning skills in children from birth to 8 years old.
The Birth to Five/ Early Interventionist Education (BFED) undergraduate degree program at Nicholls State University is the only program of its kind in the state. The certifications that are obtained by graduates of the BFED degree program are as follows: Birth to 3, Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, Grades 1st – 3rd, and Early Intervention. Having multiple certifications opens up a vast number of career and professional opportunities for the BFED graduate. In addition, the Early Intervention Certification allows graduates to work as an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher with Early Steps and as a Special Educator in the Prekindergarten and Kindergarten grade levels within the school district.
All candidates in the BFED program must maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA and a “C” or above in all coursework.
BFED candidates are required to successfully complete courses encompassing both theory and practice in the areas of (but not limited to):
- Early Childhood Development and Education
- Early Intervention Methods for Children with Developmental Disabilities
- Methods in Creative Arts and Music, Language and Literature, Math, Science, and Technology
- Early Childhood Classroom Management and Lesson Planning
- Methods in Early Childhood Assessment
- Working with Diverse Families
Clinical Experiences: BFED candidates complete various clinical experiences throughout their required coursework. These hands-on experiences include observations and teaching whole group, small group and individual instruction in Prekindergarten, Kindergarten, Early Intervention settings, and 1st-3rd grade levels within the local school districts. Additionally, BFED candidates receive clinical experiences within a lab-school setting on campus where professors can observe and provide feedback to candidates regarding methods and best practices. Lastly, BFED candidates complete a practicum (semester prior to Residency) as well as a one-year Residency program where they teach under the supervision of a certified early childhood teacher within the local school districts for their last 2 semesters.
Praxis Requirements: In addition to the required coursework, the state department of education requires candidates to complete multiple Praxis exams in order to complete the multiple state certifications that are offered through the BFED program.
Praxis I is comprised of three components: Reading, Writing, and Math. This exam must be completed prior to entering EDUC 250 (Introduction to Education). Candidates are waived from Praxis I requirements with an ACT score of 22 or higher.
Praxis II exams must be completed prior to Residency. Advisors within the program will provide specific Praxis II information during advising sessions.
*For the most current program curriculum visit the course catalog and access the curriculum check sheets for the current year.
Q: Are the classes online or face-to-face?
A: Classes are offered online, face-to-face and via a hybrid delivery system where candidates engage in a combination of the two.
Q: Do I have to take the Praxis Exam?
A: Yes. Praxis I and Praxis II. If you earn a score of 22 or higher on the ACT you are exempt from Praxis I. BFED Advisors will update you on the specific exams you will need to complete within Praxis II.
Q: Will I have guidance through the program?
A: Absolutely. You will be assigned to a BFED Advisor who will help guide you through the curriculum and help you register for classes.
Q: What job opportunities are available upon graduation?
A: Prekindergarten Teacher, Kindergarten Teacher, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade
Louisiana is on the leading edge in offering more services to preschool aged children, and the Nicholls Teacher Education Department is on the leading edge of providing higher quality birth to five educators to the field of early education. With the nation focusing more on the benefits of an early education, the demand for birth to five teachers is projected to expand in the future.
Job opportunities include:
Teacher; B-3 Early Steps Facilitator; Early Childhood Facility Director; Early Interventionist/Early Childhood Special Education Teacher or Inclusion Teacher — within the PreK and Kindergarten classrooms.