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Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education

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The Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education (BEC) program is designed to prepare graduates to work in child care programs serving young children birth through age four. The BEC program is for students who have already received an Associate in Science (A.S.) or an Associate in Art (A.A.) degree and are interested in pursuing further education. The BEC program meets all requirements set by the state and is fully accredited. While the BEC program does not lead to teacher certification, it does meet requirements identified to become either Head Start or Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) lead teachers. Students will graduate with a strong knowledge base of how young children grow and develop and what practices will best support young children’s success.

Students with an A.S. in Early Childhood Education will transition into the BEC program already possessing a lot of knowledge regarding early childhood. Students with an A.A. in Education will have a core knowledge of working with children in general, but will need additional lower-level early childhood education courses* as they progress through the BEC program. Students with an A.S. or A.A. in any program area will need to successfully complete three core education courses prior to admission into the BEC program. In addition, four lower-level early childhood education courses* are required, but can be taken as they progress through the Bachelor’s upper-level early childhood education courses. (*The four lower-level early childhood education courses are designated as either a prerequisite or co-requisite to an upper-level course.)

BEC Audit Sheet

BEC Handbook

Bachelor of Science – Early Childhood Education Program Application Process

  • Complete a Florida Gateway College (FGC) admission application available at https://www.fgc.edu/apply-now/. If you have previously attended FGC you will need to reapply for the Bachelor Degree program. In order to be considered for admission, you must have already received your A.S. or A.A.degree and have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher. **Admission to the college does NOT automatically admit you to the BEC program. There is a separate application that can be found by clicking on the BEC Application link below.
  • Prior to admission to the BEC program all students must successfully complete all prerequisite courses with a GPA of 2.0 or higher in each.
               EDF1005 – Introduction to the Teaching Profession
               EDF2085 – Introduction to Diversity for Educators
               EME2040 – Introduction to Technology for Educators
  • Submit an official copy of high school or GED transcripts.
  • Submit an official copy of transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
  • Complete an application for admission to the BEC program found by clicking on BEC Application.
  • Return the completed program application by mail, email, or fax to:
Sharron Cuthbertson, FGC, 149 S.E. College Place, Lake City, FL 32025
email – sharron.cuthbertson@fgc.edu
fax – (386) 754-4995

To hear more information please click on the following link to watch an interview shown on “Perspectives”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMKlIs1-eeg

Foreign Language Requirement: Students who have not completed their foreign language requirement in high school or at another higher education institution must complete 8 credit hours foreign language before finishing the BEC program.

Level II Background Screening: State statute requires a Level II Background Screening for all individuals working with children. The statute can be found at http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0400-0499/0435/Sections/0435.04.html.

DCF also provides information and states: “Employees that serve children, child care facility, family day care home, child enrichment service provider, family foster home, residential child caring agency, child placing agency, summer or recreation camp owners, operators, employees or volunteers that assist over 10 hours a month”. The direct link to DCF information is http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/programs/backgroundscreening/who.shtml. Questions related to the Background Screening process and requirements can be answered by calling the DCF Background Screening Help Desk at (888) 352-2842.