Early Childhood Education Attractive Major at TAMIU

Early Childhood Education Major
Attractive Option at TAMIU

In today’s challenging job market and troubling economic climate, a profession in early childhood education can be a rewarding endeavor worthy of pursuit.

“Teaching provides an opportunity to change lives. In particular, childhood educators affect the most crucial development stages of children, from birth to age 8,” said Dr. Humberto R. González, dean, TAMIU College of Education.

He noted that the most popular undergraduate major at Texas A&M International University is Early Childhood Education. The program has been expanding rapidly due to the overwhelming need for certified special educators locally and nationwide.

That’s why the University’s College of Education offers comprehensive programs for educator preparation at both undergraduate and graduate levels, preparing the majority of the area’s future educators for teaching.

“TAMIU offers degrees in Early Childhood Education including a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a major in Early Childhood Education, with the options of including Bilingual Education Specialization and Reading Specialization. For a student interested in graduate education, a Master of Science in Education with a major in Early Childhood Education is available,” González explained.

Also available at TAMIU is the Alternative Certification Program (ACP), which addresses all certification areas. ACP offers workshops to prepare participants for the TExES exam, along with classroom observations and other workshops. Once the ACP student is hired, they can complete their certification by taking take four University courses.

Jose A. Baez, now a teacher at Santa María Elementary, did just that.

“I can say with certainty that the TAMIU ACP program really did help me out with the knowledge about the world of education. Coming from a business background, I was not ready to meet the challenge that a classroom presents -- but with the classes and the very knowledgeable professors of the TAMIU ACP program I was able to get a handle on what was expected of me as I became a teacher,” Baez said.

The College features three departments that address the various needs of students entering the teaching profession. They also align their programs with the needs of area school districts that employ graduates.

“The courses are designed to prepare you for the challenges that you will face once you enter the classroom and at the end you come away with a wealth of knowledge and skills that you use in your classroom every single day. I am better prepared for my job as a teacher thanks to the TAMIU ACP program,” said Baez.

The Department of Curriculum and Instruction directs the undergraduate teacher preparation program and offers graduate degrees in Reading and Curriculum and Instruction. The Department of Special Populations offers graduate degrees and endorsements in Early Childhood, Bilingual Education, English as a Second Language (ESL), Special Education and Communication Disorders. The Department of Professional Programs focuses on graduate degrees and certification for school counselors, school principals and school superintendents.

Through the four-year degree program, students in the Early Childhood Program will have many opportunities to engage in field experiences at a school site, both independently and through group work.

Upon successful testing and hiring, the salary range for an early childhood education teacher is $40,000-$42,000.

Summer Session I begins June 1. Summer Session II starts July 6. Summer Session III (long session) begins June 1. Fall Semester 2009 begins Monday, Aug. 24. Registration information for all is available at tamiu.edu/affairs/registrar

For more information on education programs, please contact the TAMIU College of Education at 326.2420 or visit tamiu.edu/coedu

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu