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Pre-Kindergarten through Fourth Grade (PK-4) Option

The PK-4 teaching option in the Elementary & Early Childhood Education (CEAED) major supports the growth and content understanding beginning with the youngest learners through the fourth grade. The PK-4 option uses the Penn State Teacher Education Performance Framework to guide the development of teaching and learning within the CEAED PK-4 courses and experiences.

Major Requirements

Undergraduate students interested in the PK-4 option take general education courses and Entrance to Major (ETM) requirements typically during their first two years and apply to the program during their 4th semester.

Upon entrance to the major, teacher candidates take the required courses to complete the option during their final two years. This generally includes completing the courses in the Arts & Literacy block during the third year (or summer after the third year) and the courses in the Discipline Inquiry (DI) block one or two semesters prior to student teaching. 

Student Teaching

Candidates may choose from several options for a semester-long student teaching experience during their final year. During student teaching, candidates are placed in a school setting for a semester or longer where they work closely with a student teaching supervisor and mentor teacher to gain extensive experience in teaching. Students who choose the Professional Development School (PDS) option complete a full-year field experience that includes both the DI block and student teaching (30 credits total).

Upon successful completion of all requirements for graduation, students receive a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. For teacher certification, students must also meet all clearance and testing requirements specified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.


Graduates have often been successful in securing teaching positions in public and private schools. Because school employers seek top quality teachers, graduates benefit from the excellent reputation of Penn State's teacher education programs.

The CEAED PK-4 option is recognized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and is reviewed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to ensure that all certificate requirements are being met.

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