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Education: PreK - 4 and Special Education

Education: PreK - 4 and Special Education

A major in Pre-K-4 and Special Education Pre-K-8 integrates theory and practice about the physical, cognitive, social and educational development and learning of young children in grades Pre-K-4, as well as young students in grades Pre-K-8 identified with disabilities. Candidates are prepared to use content knowledge and other resources to design, implement and evaluate curriculum that promotes comprehensive developmental and learning outcomes for young children in a variety of classroom settings.

Program Information

Students majoring in Pre-K-4 and Special Education will complete courses within the Education Department. In addition to meeting all core requirements, students will complete student teaching and the student teaching seminar. This dual program integrates contemporary research, theories and scholarship in Early Education and incorporates practical knowledge and developmentally effective approaches, instructional strategies and tools to connect with students and families in order to meet the needs of all students, including special populations of learners such as students with disabilities and from diverse cultures.


For information about major requirements, view the catalog.

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Student Teaching

Our partnerships with public, private and parochial schools in surrounding urban and suburban school districts offer students a rich tapestry of classroom teaching experiences. Chestnut Hill College education programs require students to begin as observers, advance to teaching lessons two half-days a week, and then take charge of a full classroom of young students. These classroom environments increase the opportunities for our majors to gain valuable real-world experience. In fact, it's not uncommon for a student teaching experience to lead to a full-time employment upon graduation.

Career Opportunities

Across the nation, teachers who have been teaching for 25 years or more are retiring from the profession. Since 2010, this mass retirement has opened up more than 10,000 new teaching positions per year.  New teachers can choose from a variety of classroom settings that match their background, college preparation, and particular philosophies.

Positions are currently available in the following settings:

  • Private schools which offer specialized curricular, usually connected to a specific philosophy.
  • Parochial schools which offer specialized curricular woven with specific faith teachings.
  • Public schools; including Charter schools which offer curricula aligned to state and national standards, with many varieties of organizational structures.