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Education – Primary Education

Degree: BS

Campus: Columbus, Lima, Marion, Mansfield, Newark

College: Education and Human Ecology

Students in the early childhood education program receive training in rigorous methods courses that prepare them to think critically and reflectively about their own teaching practice and to teach across all content areas in inventive ways that meet the needs of all learners. 

This major is offered on the Columbus, Lima, Marion, Mansfield and Newark campuses. The early childhood education major is one of seven undergraduate programs in Ohio State's Department of Teaching and Learning that provides students the training needed to become a teacher. 

In applying for admission to the university, you may choose direct enrollment into the College of Education and Human Ecology as a major in the Early Childhood Education program. 

Early in your program, you will explore your chosen career path through real-world experiences and seminars in the required First Education Experience Program (FEEP). During this service-learning course, you will spend meaningful time in partner pre-K-5 schools or other education settings. You will gain important insights into teaching and your career and will support young people’s academic growth.

You may take the course for either three or five credits — you will consult with your advisor about which is required for your degree choice. In the course, you will choose and complete a project that will immerse you in a hands-on activity serving students and the school.

This program is designed to prepare students to sit for applicable licensure or certification in Ohio. If you plan to pursue licensure or certification in a state other than Ohio, please review state educational requirements for licensure and certification and state licensing board contact information at

The early childhood education major provides students with the preparation necessary to teach in pre-k to 3rd grade. The components of this major have been designed to meet state and national standards, Ohio licensure requirements and General Education requirements at Ohio State.

The principal philosophy behind the curriculum is to provide a liberal education in subjects relevant to teaching students in pre-k to 3rd grade as well as numerous opportunities for the student to experience, learn and reflect on effective pedagogy. This pathway emphasizes disciplinary content knowledge, educational foundations courses, and pedagogy and methods courses which focus on early exposure to child development and psychological and social foundations of education.

Courses can include:

  • Art for Teachers    
  • Children’s Literature
  • Critical Reading in Content Fields
  • Early Childhood Pedagogy    
  • Equity and Diversity in Education  
  • Eval and Instruction Decision Making in Literacy    
  • Introduction to Exceptional Children    
  • Language Arts for Children Ages 3–9    
  • Learner Centered Assessment  
  • Literacy, New Media and Creative Pedagogies for Classrooms    
  • Music for Teachers  
  • Psychological Perspectives on Education     
  • Reading Foundations     
  • Teaching and Learning Math Pre-K–3  
  • Teaching and Learning Science Pre-K–3    
  • Teaching and Learning Social Studies Pre-K–3    
  • Teaching as a Profession    
  • Understanding Phonics

Course work and fieldwork are grounded in national and state curricular standards as well as the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s Professional Preparation Standards.

The Global Option in Education and Human Ecology is an option for students in good academic standing on any Ohio State campus. In this program, students develop their ability to communicate with and work alongside individuals from other cultures through education abroad programs and globally themed course work. 

Israel: Teaching and Learning Globally is a 10-day exploration of one of the world's most culturally rich settings: Tivon, Israel. Learn best practices for inclusiveness and multicultural approaches to teaching multi-lingual young children with Arabic, Jewish, Christian and African backgrounds.

Indonesia: First Education Experience Program teaches you about the education profession through classroom observations in multiple Indonesian schools from various socioeconomic settings, all while experiencing cultural sites in Jakarta and Bali.

Scotland: First Education Experience Program is an opportunity to focus on the rural populations of Ohio and communities were Appalachian ancestors hail. This unique opportunity allows students to engage positively and significantly with rural communities.

England: Imaginative Teaching and Learning teaches active and dramatic approaches to inquiry-based education at an urban elementary in Newcastle, England. Local excursions include children's book publisher Seven Stories, and Vindolanda, where Britain's oldest handwritten documents reside.

Learn more about education abroad opportunities from the College of Education and Human Ecology

Field experiences are introduced early and culminate in an extended student teaching experience in the senior year. Teacher education is conceptualized as an apprenticeship with equal parts content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge and skill. 

Because they provide placement sites for all Columbus campus students, the schools in Franklin County, particularly Columbus City Schools, are critical partners in teacher education. Students will have field experiences each year of the program, with a one-semester student teaching experience at the end of their program. Similar partnerships exist with neighboring schools at the Lima, Marion, Mansfield and Newark campuses.

Learn more about the impact our education partnerships have in developing high-quality educators at

The College of Education and Human Ecology Honors Program offers students rigorous course work and opportunities to work closely with faculty to design and complete a research project. Students in this program also have access to smaller classes, priority scheduling and unique housing opportunities.

The Ohio State Scholars programs feature close-knit, residential communities for students who share common interests. Education students may find the Advocates for Communities and Education Scholars Program to be a good fit with their interests.

Students can work with the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy, a multidisciplinary research center dedicated to conducting high-quality research that improves children’s learning and development at home, in school and in the community. Through the center, students can also work with a network of community partners to provide early childhood programming and family engagement; this includes the possibility of collaborating with the A. Sophie Rogers School for Early Learning to provide effective, research-based curriculum that focuses on language and literacy development and building essential social skills. 

Kappa Phi Kappa is a national professional co-ed fraternity in education devoted to the professional development of its members. The group helps members become aware of career opportunities in education, informs them about education programs at Ohio State, helps them meet possible future colleagues and supports the Columbus community through community service. 

EHE Peer Mentors engage in discussions with new first-year and transfer students about adjusting to Ohio State and college life, university resources, and how to understand university policies and procedures.

Early childhood education graduates may seek teaching positions in pre-k to 3rd grade at public and private schools. Since the state of Ohio has high standards for teacher preparation, graduates could potentially be hired as teachers anywhere in the United States. Many opportunities also exist within the community and public sector. 

Average salaries in the continental United States for beginning teachers is $35,000 to $43,000.

Through their course and field work, students will:

  • Use their understanding of children’s and adolescents’ characteristics and needs and of multiple interacting influences on children’s and adolescents’ development and learning to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive and challenging for all children and adolescents
  • Know about, understand and value the importance and complex characteristics of children’s and adolescents’ families and communities
  • Know about and understand the goals, benefits and uses of assessment
  • Integrate their understanding of and relationships with children/adolescents and families; their understanding of developmentally effective approaches to teaching and learning; and their knowledge of academic disciplines to design, implement and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for all children and adolescents
  • Identify and conduct themselves as members of the early childhood education teaching profession

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Teaching credentials

Early childhood education graduates will receive Ohio teacher licensure for pre-k to 3rd grade upon successful completion of program and state requirements.