According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), there is a nationwide increase in early childhood care, early education, and early intervention service programs. These programs exist in response to the demand for early child care (for working parents) and in recognition of the critical importance of early educational experiences and early intervention. Research indicates that high-quality, developmentally appropriate inclusive early childhood programs produce short and long-term positive effects on all children’s cognitive and social development (NAEYC Policy Overview, 2012, p.1).
The Birth to Five/ Early Interventionist Education (BFED) program assists in this initiative in that it caters to candidates that have a desire to educate preschool, kindergarten, 1st – 3rd grade children as well as children with special needs (up to 5 years of age). This program ultimately assists in developing competent, effective and committed graduates who are assets to the teaching profession.BFED candidates are required to take courses in early childhood education, early intervention, methods in creative arts, music, language and literature, early childhood classroom management, lesson planning, assessment, math, science, and technology. Additionally, these candidates complete a practicum internship during the program and a student teaching experience at the end of the program.
All candidates in the BFED program must maintain a minimum 5 GPA and a “C” or above in all coursework.
BFED candidates are required to take courses in:
- Early Childhood Development and Education
- Early Intervention Methods and Developmental Disabilities
- Methods in Creative Arts and Music
- Methods in Language and Literature, Math, Science, and Technology
- Early Childhood Classroom Management and Lesson Planning
- Methods in Early Childhood Assessment and Developmental Reading Methods
Field Experiences: BFED candidates complete various field experiences throughout required coursework which encompasses a practicum internship that is completed during the program and a student teaching experience that is completed at the end of the program. These experiences include observations and teaching whole group, small group and individual instruction through the Nicholls GTG Preschool as well as Public School Settings in Pre-K, Kindergarten, Early Intervention Settings, and 1st-3rd
Candidates must also complete Praxis I and three sections of Praxis II for Louisiana Teacher certification in all 5 of the following areas:ages Birth to 3, Pre-K, Kindergarten, Grades 1st – 3rd, and B-5 Early Intervention.
Praxis I must be completed prior to entering EDUC 250 (Introduction to Education) and Praxis II must be completed prior to the final student teaching semester.
Q. Will I be teacher certified immediately after graduation?
A. Not immediately after graduation. After the appropriate paperwork is completed and sent in to the Louisiana State Board of Education, a Louisiana teaching certificate is then issued.
Q. Am I required to do a portfolio in the BFED curriculum?
A. Yes. Candidates are required to submit a professional portfolio in the student teaching field experience.
Q. Am I required to complete two field experience semesters in the BFED curriculum?
A. Yes. Candidates are required to complete a practicum internship as well as a student teaching experience. During the practicum internship the candidates rotate through four field experiences including Home-Based shadowing, a Birth to Three facility, a prekindergarten classroom, and a Kindergarten classroom. During the student teaching experience, the candidates remain in a kindergarten classroom throughout the entire semester.
Q. Am I required to take the Praxis exam in the BFED curriculum? If so, which Praxis exams am I required to take?
A. Yes. BFED candidates are required to take Praxis I (Core Academic Skills for Educators) and Praxis II – Three specialty areas: PLT: Early Childhood (#0621 or #5621), Special Education: Early Childhood (#5691), and Elementary Education: Content Knowledge (#0014 or #5014). See your advisor for Praxis information or see Praxis information.
Q. Are there any scholarships available for BFEI majors?
A. BFED and CDAS majors may apply for the Louisiana Pathways Scholarship. Louisiana Pathways pays the tuition of eligible early childhood majors. Visit the scholarships page for more details.
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:
- Early interventionist — Birth to 3 years old
- Early interventionist — Prekindergarten
- Early interventionist — Kindergarten
- Prekindergarten teacher
- Kindergarten teacher
- First, Second, or Third grade teacher