Career In Education

The Teaching Profession

Early Childhood Education

Early Childhod Education and Teaching is a program that prepares individuals to teach students ranging in age from infancy through age eight (third grade), depending on the school systems and state regulations. This includes being able to teach all subject matter. If you are creative and love helping young children, early childhood education (ECE) is just the right career for you. The focal point of early childhood education has shifted radically in the last two decades. The growing awareness of the significance of pre-kindergarten experiences has resulted in an increase in the number of children in pre-kindergarten programs. This, in turn, dramatically amplified the job opportunities for early childhood or preschool educators.

The minimum requirements for enrolling in an Early Childhood Educator’s program are:

Secondary School Diploma or equivalent, or mature student status

Grade 12 English (ENG4C or ENG4U)

Three Grade 11 or Grade 12 C, U or M courses

Special Education

Most schools have children with Special Needs. This can include children with hearing problems, speech problems, or mental retardation. It is a program that focuses on the design and provision of teaching and other educational services to infant and pre-school age children with special learning needs or disabilities, and that prepares individuals to teach such students. Includes instruction in diagnosing learning disabilities, developing individual education plans, teaching and supervising special education students, special education counseling, and applicable laws and policies.

You need two things: A State Teaching certification and (since NCLB was enacted) status as a Highly Qualified teacher in the subjects you plan to teach. Every state has its own guidelines for teaching certification and HQ. Check with your state's Department of Education (or equivalent department) for specific guidelines.

Health/Mental Psychology

Health/Medical Psychology. A program that focuses on the psychological study of health and illness, and recovery, from the perspective that these phenomena arise from a combination of physical, behavioral, and social conditions. Includes instruction in abnormal and social psychology, psychophysiology, psychopharmacology, learning processes, clinical and behavioral therapies, biopsychosocial modeling, clinical procedures and assessment, preventive education, psychotherapy, rehabilitation processes, and research methods.

You'll need a four year college degree for an accredited college or university, preferably in the social sciences or education, and then a master's degree at minimum. As part of the four year (BA or BS)program of study, you'll need to take upper-division credit hours in social sciences.

School Psychology

A program that prepares individuals to apply clinical and counseling psychology principles to the diagnosis and treatment of student behavioral problems. Includes instruction in child and/or adolescent development; learning theory; testing, observation and other procedures for assessing educational, personality, intelligence and motor skill development; therapeutic intervention strategies for students and families; identification and classification of disabilities and disorders affecting learning; school psychological services planning; supervised counseling practice; ethical standards; and applicable regulations.

A school psychologist is a type of psychologist that works within the educational system to help children with emotional, social and academic issues. The goal of school psychology is to collaborate with parents, teachers, and students to promote a healthy learning environment that focuses on the needs of children.

Two or three years of graduate school is the minimum level of training required by most states. However, each state has different requirements for school psychologists. Eighteen states now require national certification, in which students complete an internship in school psychology. Before you choose a school psychology graduate program, be sure to check the specific licensing requirements in your state.

Counseling in Early Childhood

Early Childhood Mental Health counseling is a growing specialization in working with children ages 0-6, their families, and the providers employed in settings dealing with this age group. This certificate has two tracks, one for those delivering the actual interventions (counseling) and those in similar settings who are not directly delivering interventions but supervising those who do (consultation). Early Child Mental Health Services are supportive interventions designed to strengthen the optimal development of a young child within the context of the family and community. Young children and families served include premature, underweight, medically fragile or chronically ill babies; young children with identified disabilities or developmental delays; adolescent parents; depressed parents; parents who are unprepared or overwhelmed by the care of a baby/child; and parents at social or emotional risk in the care-giving role.