Newman offers new early childhood education degree

May 27, 2011

Newman University is now offering a new degree program that gives area residents an opportunity to earn a degree that qualifies them for both elementary and early childhood education.

The degree program, called the Early Childhood Unified Education degree (ECU), is designed to prepare teachers to work with young children from birth through 3rd grade. The program will be built around the existing Elementary Education degree program already offered by Newman, and requires an additional semester (16 credit hours) of coursework for students to earn dual licensure. Students already holding an education degree and teaching license may need only the additional 16 hours to earn their early childhood education licensure.

Classes for the new program will begin in the summer 2011 semester. The two, five-week summer sessions begin on Tuesday, May 31 and run through Thursday, Aug. 4.

Meeting a need

Newman officials said the new degree option was developed in response to a growing demand for certified early childhood educators and for teachers with a combination of early childhood and elementary education certification.

Karen Rogers, Ed.D., associate professor of education, said the program gives educators more options in the job market.

“The program gives teachers the ability to work with children from birth through grade 6,” Rogers said. “And, for those teachers who already have an elementary education degree, this is a way to get an additional certification and move up the pay scale with only one semester’s work.”

Rogers added that the major will develop caring, reflective practitioners who possess theoretical, practical, family and child-centered skills for the education and development of young children.

“Early Childhood education is an area that deserves our finest teachers that value individuals and recognizes potential in our youngest learners,” she said. “Developing a program based on caring, reflective practitioners promotes this philosophy.”

Other degree programs and benefits

The new ECU program is part of the existing Teacher Education Program (TEP) offered by Newman University. Residents who have completed general education requirements at a community college and who qualify for the TEP may complete the Elementary Education degree program in two years, including the teaching internship.

Newman University also offers a degree program in secondary education, and the specific courses required for Kansas licensure endorsement as an English as Second Language (ESL) teacher, and Kansas licensure in Building Leadership. Middle school endorsements are also available. Newman also offers a Master of Science in Education degree program in Building Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in English as a Second Language, and Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Accountability.

Rogers added that Newman is more affordable than many people think. The university offers a variety of scholarships and grants, including an automatic scholarship for students who graduated with an associate’s degree from a community college in Kansas and surrounding states.

Newman also features small class sizes, giving students more opportunities for personal attention, and support and a personal touch not always found in larger universities, Rogers said.

For more information about Newman education degree programs, contact the Newman University Education Department at 316-942-4291, ext. 2204 for undergraduate programs, or 316-942-4291, ext. 2415 for graduate programs. Information is also available at the Newman University website,