In addition to the field experience and student teaching practicum required of education majors, students pursuing Elementary and Early Childhood Education (PreK-4) at Penn State Behrend have ready access to two on-campus sources for observation and volunteer experiences: the Penn State Behrend Early Learning Center (ELC) and Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Community Outreach, Research and Evaluation (CORE).
The ELC provides child care and preschool services to children between 6 weeks and 6 years of age. It is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children; only 8 percent of the country’s preschool programs earn that distinction. It also is endorsed as an Eco-Health Child Care program for its efforts to reduce or eliminate environmental health hazards.
CORE supports regional schools, social service agencies, nonprofits, and businesses by providing research and data-driven services that improve those organizations’ efforts to deliver effective youth-development programs. CORE most often partners with groups trying to address the needs of at-risk children in very urban or very rural environments.
The Academic and Career Planning Center (ACPC) assists students with career and life planning. You can schedule appointments with ACPC staff to discuss career interests, skills, values, and goal setting, as well as to investigate career information, internships, full-time jobs, and graduate schools. Students are encouraged to utilize the services of the ACPC.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the nation’s need for new preschool teachers will grow by 25 percent through 2020. The need for elementary-grade teachers will increase by 17 percent.