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Education - Early Childhood Elementary PreK - 4, Bachelor's


Our Early Childhood Elementary Education program prepares you to make lasting impacts among the youngest students. The new skills and approaches you will develop here are key building blocks to your success.

The focus on Early Childhood Education has increased dramatically and is part of renewed national awareness, support, and opportunity to shape a child's educational pathway. As a DeSales student, you'll experience a relevant curriculum that prepares you to make meaningful contributions to the educational outcomes of young children. You'll help them reach their highest potential in social interactions, in artistic endeavors, in spiritual growth, and in academic realms.

At DeSales you will master assessment and decision making, as well as apply and fine-tune your skills through immersive fieldwork. During your freshman year, you can take study skill classes to build a foundation of success. You'll develop with the reassurance of our supportive environment and a network of helpful, accessible faculty to guide you at all points along your program.

Teacher Education at DeSales

Admissions Requirements

At DeSales, we not only look at your past academic achievement but also your potential for future growth to determine your admission.

We find that students who have demonstrated significant achievement within a demanding curriculum are best suited for academic life at DeSales. Quality of academic performance plays a critical role in the admissions decision making process. This helps indicate a student's potential for academic growth going forward. DeSales University welcomes applications from all qualified students regardless of race, religion, sex, national, or ethnic origin.

Application Checklist

  • Application Fee: None
  • Transcripts: Official High School Transcript
  • Standardized Tests: This program is SAT optional.
  • Recommendations: Completed Guidance Counselor Form and Teacher Recommendation Form

All materials can be mailed to:
DeSales University Admissions Office
2755 Station Ave.
Center Valley, PA 

Additional recommendations

High School Academics - Remember, there is no single preferred high school academic program, but a college preparatory course of study is highly recommended. Here's an example:

  • Four years of English
  • Three or four years of college preparatory mathematics
  • A minimum of two years of modern, foreign, or classical language
  • At least two laboratory science courses

Visiting DeSales - A personal, on-campus interview is strongly recommended, but is not required. We encourage you to visit so that you'll have a chance to learn more about DeSales, and we'll have the opportunity to learn more about you, too.

Learn more about Undergraduate Admissions & Aid 

When to Apply

We encourage you to apply early in your senior year. We use a rolling admissions system, which means you will be notified promptly about your admissions status—usually within four weeks of our receipt of your completed application.

Priority deadline for scholarship consideration is December 1 of your senior year.


The Early Childhood Elementary Education program at DeSales is well-rounded and well-respected

The DeSales Early Childhood Elementary Education program is the right choice for students whose calling is to teach children in Pre-K-4th grade settings. The program centers on the learning process, the theory behind it, and how to apply it effectively. The field work experiences provide students the environment to practice classroom learning and hone their skills in an active environment.

Program Overview

The Early Childhood Elementary Education program consists of a minimum 128 credit hours. Courses in years one and two comprise the pre-professional sequence, with years three and four representing the professional sequence. Field experience options begin as soon as year two, so you begin developing your classroom skills early in the program. Overall, the program comprises:

  • 40 courses of three or more credits
  • 3 one-credit Physical Education (PE) courses
  • 5 one-credit Field Experiences

Successful completion of the clinical field experience components of the early childhood elementary education program are necessary for admittance to student teaching and/or certification. A minimum of 170 hours of clinical field experiences are required prior to student teaching per the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE).

Once candidates have completed all courses within the professional sequence, they are ready to student teach. Student teaching is offered in four separate courses during the final semester of senior year within a public school. No other course work is permitted during student teaching and candidates may not enroll in EE 430, EE 432, EE 434, or EE 436 unless they have fulfilled all the requirements mentioned above and have been formally accepted into the Professional Educator Program.

Candidates for the Early Childhood Elementary Education Certification are placed in two seven-week, settings during this 14-week full-time experience.

Academic Catalog

Graduation Requirements


Value-Added Teacher Education

Enriching Field Experience: Students begin field experiences in the first semester of sophomore year, always under the guidance of a university professor. To arrange placements, we employ a former principal with important contacts in local districts. Students benefit from excellent field placements with great local teachers.

Study Abroad: Our Teacher Education students gain global perspectives, studying in Rome, London, and Limerick, Ireland with Spain and other destinations on the horizon.

Teach Abroad: Education students can take their global perspectives even further. In recent years, they have taught in primary and secondary schools in Capetown, South Africa and India through DeSales-sponsored faculty-led trips. Recent graduates are teaching throughout Asia and other countries in full time positions.

Technology-Rich Curriculum: DeSales University Teacher Education has received a special designation from the Pennsylvania Department of Education for industry-leading technology integration in our teacher education programs.

Transferable Certification to Other States: Pennsylvania mandates rigorous, clear, teacher certification standards that make Pennsylvania certification easily transferable to other states. For additional detail on individual state certification requirements, refer to the state of choice.

Education Resource Lab

Students of DeSales education programs benefit from having access to the Department of Education's Resource Lab. The Lab is a convenient space where students gather to discuss topics, research, study, and work together on group projects. All the resources needed -- computers, art supplies, research library texts, and more -- are available to assist education students with their academic pursuits

Careers & Internships

DeSales' Early Childhood Elementary Education program graduates have high employment rates.

More than 75-percent of recent graduates have full time jobs in education. They enter the field tech-savvy, ready to apply relevant knowledge and skills in early childhood education to the classroom. The PA Certification Track leads to Pennsylvania teacher certification, Pre-K­–4.

The Early Childhood Education program is designed by DeSales' highly experienced faculty who know what teachers need to know and what it takes to become successful in the education field.

The degree prepares students for and leads to careers in:

  • Public School teaching
  • Charter School teaching
  • Cyber and Online teaching
  • Private school teaching

Tuition & Fees

DeSales can help make your college expenses affordable through a combination of grants, loans, student employment, and scholarship resources.

Cost of attendance for undergrads for 2022-2023

Resident Students

Direct Costs Tuition - $41,100

Room and Board - $13,500
Mandatory Fees - $1,500
One-time Orientation Fee for First-Year students and Transfers - $200
Total = $56,300 (including first-year/transfer fees)

Estimated Indirect Costs
Books/Supplies - $1,468
Personal Expenses - $3,706
Total cost for resident students: $61,474

Commuter Students

Direct Costs
Tuition - $41,100
Mandatory Fees - $1,300
One-time Orientation Fee for First-Year students and Transfers - $200
Total = $42,600 (including first-year/transfer fees)

Estimated Indirect Costs
Books/Supplies - $1,468
Personal Expenses - $3,706
Transportation Costs - $2,138
Total cost for commuter students: $49,912


Direct Costs
Tuition - $41,100
Mandatory Fees - $1,300
One-time Orientation Fee for First-Year students and Transfers - $200
Total = $42,600 (including first-year/transfer fees)

Estimated Indirect Costs
Books/Supplies - $1,468
Personal Expenses - $3,706
Transportation Costs - $2,138
Living Expenses - $7,870
Total cost for off-campus students: $57,782
*First-year students are required to reside on campus or commute from home.

Parking Fee - $75


Dual Degree Undergraduate-to-Graduate Programs

If you are enrolled in an undergraduate-to-graduate degree program — for example a 5-year, 3+2, 3+3, program — the undergraduate tuition and fees apply only to the undergraduate portion of the program. As you progress into the graduate phase of your program, graduate tuition and fees apply. Please see your respective graduate program for more information. 

The financial aid process may appear overwhelming at first glance, but don't worry, we'll help you through it.

Accepted students are automatically be considered for scholarships upon receipt of a completed application and are awarded regardless of financial need. Funds for scholarships are limited, so we do encourage students to apply early.

Our comprehensive financial aid packages carefully explain the types and amounts of assistance —including federal, state, and institutional — that you may be eligible for to help cover education related expenses.

Total cost of attendance includes estimates for tuition, fees, room, board, books, and personal, transportation, and living expenses.

You can estimate your total cost of attendance with our Net Price Calculator


DeSales Teachers are in Demand

With the teacher shortage in the United States, our graduates find employment in the Education field with ease. DeSales grads are highly sought after and accept positions in public, private, charter, and parochial schools in Pennsylvania and in other states.  
Teacher in a classroom
DeSales Education Classroom

Expand your PreK-4 Certification to Middle School

Students certified in our PreK-4 program can easily add 5th and 6th grades by passing the state-approved add-on test. The good news is that 100% of DeSales students who have taken the additional test have passed! This testing option is a fast-track for students interested in working with middle level students. 
DeSales Lehigh Valley Campus in the Fall

Get Involved

Join a global network of education professionals in Kappa Delta Pi, the International Honor Society in Education, through DeSales' Alpha Alpha Chi chapter.