Early-Childhood-and-Elementary-Education-700x238

About the Program

Elementary students and teacher working on reading activityWelcome to UAB where students become skilled, reflective educators through undergraduate and graduate degree programs in elementary and early childhood education. This innovative program offers degrees and/or certification at four levels—bachelor, master, specialist, and doctoral.

UAB's elementary and early childhood program embodies a three-fold purpose. Its first purpose is to train educators in meeting the evolving needs of learners, primarily in grades P-6, within today’s rapidly changing society. Its second purpose is to deliver cutting-edge instruction through a standards-based, inquiry-focused approach. Based on constructivism, this approach prepares prospective and experienced educators to use state-of-the-art instructional strategies in their own classrooms. Its third purpose is to ensure that a quality program is available to pre-service and in-service teachers who may be unable to attend class during traditional class hours.
This program is unique in how it combines online support from Blackboard with a variety of delivery formats:
  • blended courses (online alternating with face-to-face)
  • professional learning communities
  • flexible summer programming
  • internships and practicums
  • totally online platforms
  • Saturday classes
These purposes are expanded through the Ed.S. program. This advanced degree program infuses an inquiry-focused approach that prepares teachers for assuming leadership roles in curriculum development and instructional delivery. It also provides experienced teachers with collaborative skills and mentoring techniques for serving as reflective practitioners to guide change and positively impact student achievement and school improvement. Teachers with Class A certification can pursue EdS-level certification in elementary education, early childhood education, or Teacher Leadership. By then pursuing the Ph.D. program in early childhood education, they can then explore relevant issues, theories, and practice at an even higher level.

If you wish to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree in elementary and/or early childhood education and also earn initial or advanced teacher certification, you have come to the right place! We look forward to hearing from you and to helping you reach your goal.

Kay Emfinger, Ph.D.,
Program Director and Associate Professor
Department of Curriculum & Instruction
emfinger@uab.edu  (205)934-7003

Degrees

UAB offers two undergraduate degree programs that prepare candidates to work in early childhood and elementary education settings.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Early Childhood and Elementary Education

•    At UAB, students can earn a bachelor’s degree in the early childhood and elementary education. This double major qualifies candidates for Class B teacher certification in the following teaching fields and grade levels:
o    Early Childhood Education, birth – 3rd grade
o    Elementary Education, K – 6th grade

Non-Certification Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Early Childhood Education

•    UAB also offers an undergraduate non-certification degree in early childhood education that prepares candidates to work in a variety of early care and educational settings serving children ages birth to five.

Descriptions for the undergraduate education courses are available on the course catalog.

UAB’s graduate degree program in elementary and early childhood education is comprised of a master’s degree, an educational specialist (EdS) degree, and a doctoral degree. The MA and EdS degrees prepare candidates to earn teacher certification in early childhood education (from birth through 3rd grade) and in elementary education (from 3rd through 6th grade).

Master of Arts in Education (MAEd)

The alternative master’s program (AMP) is for graduate students who do not already hold teacher certification in elementary or early childhood education. To be eligible for seeking initial teacher certification at a master’s level, applicants must have an undergraduate degree with a 2.5+ GPA on their transcript from a regionally accredited college. They must have passed the Basic Skills test and the Praxis II exam in the targeted teaching field and also met other criteria stipulated by the ALSDE. Upon completing the AMP, candidates earn alternative Class A certification in this teaching field. Detailed information is provided in the following documents: AMP Information Packet and AMP Student Handbook.

The traditional master’s program (MA) is for teachers who already hold Class B certification in elementary or early childhood education. Upon completing the MA, they earn Class A certification in the same teaching field. Detailed information is provided in the MA Information Packet.

Educational Specialist (EdS)

Elementary and early childhood teachers with Class A certification can earn Class AA certification by obtaining an educational specialist (EdS) degree. They may opt to pursue an EdS in Teacher Leadership or an EdS in elementary education or early childhood education. Detailed information is provided in the EdS Information Packet.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Early childhood educators can pursue a PhD in early childhood education. Detailed information is provided in the PhD Information Packet

Admission

 

UNDERGRADUATE

If you are seeking admission to an undergraduate degree program, you should follow the guidelines at this link: UNDERGRADUATE

Graduate

If you are seeking admission to a graduate degree program in Early Childhood/Elementary Education, you should follow the guidelines provided below.  Whenever you have any questions during this application process, you should contact the Program Director, Dr. Kay Emfinger at emfinger@uab.edu  
        
1) Obtain an acceptable score on the admission exam(s) required for your targeted degree program. The MA, EdS, and PhD programs require either the MAT or GRE:
      Miller Analogies Test (MAT): minimum of 388 scaled (35 raw)
      Graduate Record Exam (GRE): minimum of 850
The alternative master’s requires the AECTP Basic Skills and the Praxis II in the teaching field. Detailed information about all of these exams is provided in the AMP Information Packet.
             
2) Go to the ApplyYourself website. Create an account, write down your username and password, and log out. After receiving an email from the ApplyYourself website, you should log in and proceed with submitting an application. NOTE: If you submitted another type of application to UAB in the past, you will need to create a new ApplyYourself account.
               
3) Plan to submit all required application materials by the admission deadline:
      April 1st for summer admission      
      July 1st for fall admission
      November 1st for spring admission
        
4) Submit a Degree-Seeking Application to the Graduate School for admission to your degree program.

5) Pay $45 ($60 for international students*) online with a credit card.
NOTE: Mailing a check will severely delay your admission.

*International Students should Click here to learn about additional obligations and to establish contact with UAB’s International Recruitment and Student Services (IRSS).

6) Request official transcripts from all colleges attended (even if just for one course and even if you happened to take that course during high school). Request that your former colleges send official transcripts directly to each of these addresses:
UAB Graduate School
          1720 2nd Avenue South-HUC 511; Birmingham, AL 35294-1150
UAB School of Education, Office of Student Services
          1720 2nd Avenue South-EB 100; Birmingham, AL 35294-1250

7) If you have any questions or concerns, ask Dr. Emfinger: emfinger@uab.edu . As the Program Director, she will be able to find answers for your questions. If you do not receive a response from Dr. Emfinger within two or three days, please follow up with another email. NOTE: Going from office to office searching for answers is not a productive approach to the admission process.           

8) Periodically check the status of your application by clicking here:  Check Admission Status. You may also inquire about your status by contacting the Graduate School (205-934-8227 gradschool@uab.edu ). Once you receive confirmation that all of your application materials have been received, it will take approximately 4 to 6 weeks for your application to be processed. If you are experiencing difficulties in confirming the receipt of your application materials, you should contact Dr. Emfinger: emfinger@uab.edu.
             
9) You will receive a letter from the Graduate School congratulating you on your admission as a degree-seeking student. You will also receive an email from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction (C&I) at the School of Education (SOE). This email will probably provide information about your major and your advisor.

10) As soon as you can, follow through with all instructions provided in your admission letter from the Graduate School especially with respect to processing your BlazerID and UAB email.
             
11) After you have obtained your BlazerID and email, you will be able to register for classes. Depending on when you register, there will be a deadline for paying the first half of your tuition. Failure to meet this deadline will cause you to be automatically dropped from your courses, and you will need to pay a reinstatement fee.

DOCTORAL PROGRAM

There are two steps in the admissions process: 

  1. Initial application to the Graduate School
  2. Transcript evaluation, writing evaluation, and Doctoral Program Admissions Committee review of application

1. Graduate School Application Process Checklist - please double check for most recent information

  • Complete and submit online application
  • Submit application fee payment
    • Domestic: fee for Ph.D. is waived
    • International: $60.00 (as of 2013 – please check graduate school website)
  • Please ask the individuals from whom you request references to submit them online via the Apply Yourself system.
  • Request transcripts from all prior intstitutions to be sent to UAB (information on how to do this is provided in Apply Yourself) 
  • Submit official GRE or MAT test score:
  • Submit official TOEFL test score (for international applicants only)
  • Mail Financial Affidavit of Support (for international applicants only)

2. Admission to the Doctoral Program

Once the Graduate School Application process is complete, the Doctoral Program Admissions Committee will review the graduate school application packet. Decisions take into account prior educational background and experience of the applicant. Applicants will be informed of

  • any prerequisite course work to complete before entry to the program and/or
  • additional coursework to complete while in the program

Applicants may be asked to identify and submit additional documentation (course syllabi) to substantiate course credit toward prerequisite courses / requirements that may have been met through prior graduate studies.

The following indicators are considered by the Doctoral Program Admissions Committee when determining program admission.

  • Writing assessment/Professional goal essay
  • MAT or GRE scores
  • GPA (3.25 on previous graduate work)
  • Teaching experience - at least 3 yrs
  • Recommendations
  • Presentations at state, regional, and national conferences
  • Publications
  • Professional involvement
  • Interview with faculty

The decision to admit students to the Early Childhood Doctoral Program is made on recommendation of the Doctoral Program Admissions Committee. By taking this step the Committee indicates its confidence in the ability and preparation of the students to complete the requirements for the degree.

Links



Advising

Whenever students have a question or concern, it is their responsibility to seek advising from an advisor.


Undergraduate Students

Before being admitted to the SOE’s Teacher Education Program (TEP), undergraduate students should seek advice from advisors in the School of Education’s Office of Student Services (EB 100). After students have taken the designated pre-TEP courses for their targeted teaching field, they must submit a TEP application to the Office of Student Services.

After being admitted to the TEP, students are assigned to an advisor in the SOE’s OSS. They may also seeking academic mentoring from faculty mentors in their subject discipline. Undergraduates must meet with their assigned advisor at least once a semester or else seek advising by email or phone. It is the advisor who provides undergraduate students with the RAC for course registration.

All students should obtain the latest copy of the School of Education TEP Handbook. This is used in EDU 200, Education as a Profession. This handbook outlines the steps and requirements for admission and completion of the Teacher Education Program (TEP). Here are some important suggestions.
1. Keep your GPA up to standard; you must maintain a 2.5.
2. Apply for student teaching in January preceding the academic year in which you want to student teach.  All students must apply for student teaching. Student teaching applications may be acquired in the Office of Student Services, EB room 100. For more information, call 934-7530.
3. Apply for your degree (in EB 100) at least 2 full terms before you intend to graduate. See specific deadlines posted outside of EB 100 or call 934-7530.
4. Apply for your teaching certificate (in EB 100) at the beginning of the term before you student teach. See specific deadlines posted outside of EB 100, call 934-7530.
5. Portfolio - You are required to keep, and update, a Teaching Portfolio throughout your program. You begin working on this in EDU 200. This will be screened at various points, including TEP admissions and at the end of student teaching. A successful portfolio is required for a recommendation of certification.
6. Jobs - UAB Career Services



Graduate students


While in the process of seeking degree-seeking admission, prospective graduate students are advised by Dr. Kay Emfinger, Program Director (emfinger@uab.edu). After being admitted to a degree program, students in elementary and early childhood education are advised by one of the following faculty members:
Dr. Charles Calhoun
Dr. Lois Christensen
Dr. Kay Emfinger
Dr. Ann Dominick
Dr. James Ernest
Dr. Grace Jepkemboi
Dr. Sherry Parrish
Dr. Debi Strevy

It is recommended that graduate students meet with their advisors at least once a year. Such advising can also take place by phone or email.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS IN ALL PROGRAMS
1. Maintain a high GPA - 3.0 is required for an MA degree and 3.25 for an EdS.
2. Submit an Application for Degree to the Office of Student Services (EB 100) at least 7 months before you intend to graduate. The deadlines are posted on the C&I Department website.
3. Submit a certification application to the Office of Student Services (EB 100) at the beginning of the term when you intend to graduate. Instructions are provided in the respective certification application handbooks on the OSS website. NOTE: This does not pertain to students in the PhD program. It also does not pertain to international students in any of the degree programs.
4. Take your required comprehensive exam during the last term of your program. The University requires that you be enrolled in at least 3 semester hours at UAB during the time you take your exam. The dates are posted on the C&I Department’s website. Students must submit a comps sign-up form to Nancy Timpa (ntimpa@uab.edu) at the beginning of the semester in which you plan to take the comps.
5.  All students in search of teaching positions should attend the UAB Education Career Fair which is offered each spring - UAB Career Services

Advising for students in the Elementary AMP (5th year)          

ADVISOR – Dr. Charles Calhoun
ADVISOR –Dr. Kay Emfinger
ADVISOR –Dr. Sherry Parrish

Prospective AMP students should consult the AMP Information Packet. This outlines the steps and requirements for admission to the AMP. Once admitted with degree-seeking status, AMP students should regularly consult the AMP student handbook, the field experience handbook, and the student teaching handbook. These handbooks provide detailed information for successfully completing the program as well as guidelines for seeking employment while as an AMP student.
Here are some important reminders for AMP students:
1. Apply for student teaching in the January preceding the academic year in which you want to student teach. All AMP students, including those employed as full-time teachers, must apply for student teaching and register for the internship course.  Student teaching applications may be acquired in the Student Services Office (EB 100) or the Office of Clinical Experiences (EB 213). For more information, call 934-7530.
2. Portfolio - You are required to keep and update an electronic Assessment Portfolio during your program. You begin working on this in EDU 500. This will be screened at various points including at the end of student teaching. A successful portfolio is required to be recommended of certification.  

Advising for Students in the MA progam

ADVISOR  – Dr. Ann Dominick
ADVISOR  –Dr. Kay Emfinger
ADVISOR  –Dr. Debi Strevy

Prospective MA students should consult the MA Information Packet. This outlines the steps and requirements for admission to the MA program. Once admitted with degree-seeking status, AMP students should continue consulting the MA Information Packet. This also provides detailed information for successfully completing the program.

EdS Advising          

ADVISOR  –Dr. Lois Christensen
ADVISOR  –Dr. Kay Emfinger
ADVISOR  –Dr. Grace Jepkemboi
Prospective EdS students should consult the EdS Information Packet. This outlines the steps and requirements for admission to the EdS program. Once admitted with degree-seeking status, EdS students should continue consulting the EdS Information Packet. This provides detailed information for successfully completing the program.

PhD Advising          

ADVISOR – Dr. James Ernest  
Prospective PhD students should consult the PhD Information Packet. This outlines the steps and requirements for admission to the EdS program. Once admitted with degree-seeking status, PhD students should continue consulting the EdS Information Packet. This provides detailed information for successfully completing the program.

Programs of Study

At UAB, teachers and prospective teachers complete degree programs for obtaining teacher certification issued by the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE). UAB offers certification degree programs in elementary and childhood education at the undergraduate level (Class B), master’s level (Alternative Class A for prospective teachers and Class A for already-certified teachers), and at the educational specialist level (Class AA). Students in a certification degree program must take care in explicitly following the ALSDE-approved checklist under which they were admitted.

Listed below are the current certification checklists for early childhood education (birth – 3rd grade) and elementary education (grades 3-6).

Programs of Studey/Checklists are available on the Office of Student Services website.

Certification at the undergraduate level

Class B in early childhood education
Class B in elementary education

Certification at the master’s level
Initial certification for new teachers
Alternative Class A in early childhood education
Alternative Class A in elementary education
Advanced certification for already-certified teachers
Class A in early childhood education
Class A in elementary education

Certification at the EdS level
Class AA in early childhood education
Class AA in elementary education
Class AA in teacher leadership

Non-Certification
2 + 2 Non-Certification Early Childhood Education Program with Jefferson State
Early Childhood Non-Certification Option 4 year

Faculty

joe burns headshot

Joe Burns

Associate Professor

jburns@uab.edu |  EB 100-B  |  Tel 205-934-8636

Charles Calhoun Headshot

Charles Calhoun

Associate Professor

ccalhoun@uab.edu  |  EB 116-B  |  Tel 205-934-8093
Lois Christensen headshot

Lois Christensen

Professor

lmchrist@uab.edu  |  EB 109  |  Tel 205-934-8362
Ann Dominick headshot

Ann Dominick

Assistant Professor

adominic@uab.edu |  EB 115  |  Tel 205-934-8365
Kay Emfinger headshot 210x265

Kay Emfinger

Associate Professor

emfinger@uab.edu |  EB 107-C  |  Tel 205-934-7003
James Ernest

James Ernest

Associate Professor

jernest@uab.edu |  EB 117  |  Tel 205-934-8360
grace jepkemboi headshot

Grace Jepkemboi

Assistant Professor

memoi@uab.edu |  EB 105  |  Tel 205-934-6650
Constance-Kamii headshot

Constance Kamii

Professor

ckamii@uab.edu  |  EB 116-A  |  Tel 205-934-9669
lynn kirkland

Lynn Kirkland

Professor

lkirk@uab.edu |  EB 119  |  Tel 205-934-8358
Sherry-Parrish headshot

Sherry Parrish

Assistant Professor

parrishs@uab.edu |  EB 106  |  Tel 205-975-4810
Kathy Scott headshot

Katherine Scott

Instructor

scottk@uab.edu |  EB 113-A  Tel 205-934-8359
Deborah Strevy headshot

Deborah Strevy

Assistant Professor

dstrevy@uab.edu  |  EB 103  |  Tel 205-934-5419
jennifer summerlin headshot

Jennifer Summerlin

Instructor

jsummerl@uab.edu  |  EB 119  |  Tel 205-934-5371