Early Childhood Education Major – The Merciad

When you were a child, did you ever want to become a teacher when you grew up? Students majoring in young children / special education have realized this dream and made it a reality. The department aims to guide future teachers to work with students of general and special education. The motto of the department is “Teach. Any. Anywhere. “

“Our graduates are becoming teachers, but even more, we hope to really be able to teach anyone and anywhere,” said Su-san Johnson, Ph.D. chairman of the education department. “It means helping students and families achieve equal opportunities, being better allies of children and families and ensuring that the most demanding communities get highly qualified teachers. Perfection does not just happen; it’s intentional, like our mission, to get there. ” Mercyhurst’s Education students are easily among the most involved, both on and off campus.

“Perhaps the hallmark of our programming is our robust clinical internships, which begin as soon as a freshman is a student,” Johnson said. “We ensure that pre-service teachers have experience in all types of classrooms before students teach their senior year so they feel ready for each student. Our students participate in far more hours of clinical internships than most pre-service teachers, which improves their student learning skills. ” In addition, there are organizations such as the International Honorary Society Kappa Delta Pi and the Council for Exceptional Children. In addition to this major, Mercyhurst also offers master’s programs in special education and teaching excellence for students who choose to pursue their education outside of a bachelor’s degree.

Johnson knew she wanted to be a teacher from 5 years old. “Simply put, learning breathes life into me,” Johnson said. “I’m at my best when I’m with students in class. My training has prepared me to teach future teachers about disability and how it manifests for children and their families. I teach that my students can stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. “

Many students in this major share the same passion. Sophomore Caitlin Bizarre wanted to pursue this career for her brother. “My twin brother Christian has nonverbal autism, and since school I have been very interested in helping people with special needs. I have always thought about being a teacher so that people with autism or other disabilities have an education, even if it is different from what their peers learn, ”Bizzaro said. “I like going to different events with my brother because there are always children with special needs, so I can help other children. Talking to them is always a lot of fun and a lot of learning. ”

Sophomore Matt Schwartz entered Mercyhurst as an unspecified major, but this passion for teaching has always been at the core. “Ultimately I chose this specialty because it would allow me to work with a lot of people from different backgrounds and it allows me to be in a position where I can help someone and change someone’s life, which just makes me feel really good “Schwartz said. “My favorite thing about this specialty is how practically everything feels. I feel like I’m really learning a lot from this program, and going out and helping out in schools is a lot of fun. ”

The Mercyhurst Department of Education definitely stands out among other similar programs, and it’s a gem on our campus. Our students who are enrolled are destined to do great things when they are in schools across the country and even around the world!

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