Matriculation through the Program
Candidates should progress through the early childhood curriculum coursework as prescribed by the course advising sheet. Courses are aligned so that content in the formative courses creates a firm foundation for future upper level courses. The practicum and seminar courses are meant to be capstone courses that allow candidates to demonstrate their knowledge, skill and disposition in the early childhood setting.
Candidates will build a professional portfolio throughout their tenure at Siena Heights. During the candidate’s matriculation, they are expected to research current, best practices, read professional journals and books, attend workshops and professional presentations, as well as interact with early childhood professionals and children during their clinical field work and practicum experiences. These varied experiences contribute to the development of effective professionals. A professional portfolio will demonstrate how the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of this complex educational experience have shaped the candidate’s professional growth.
Clinical Field experiences are the integration of classroom studies and practical experience. It is a planned part of the program in which candidates participate for specific periods of time. Field work experiences are designed to provide qualified early childhood candidates with the opportunity to gain work exposure and experience as a valuable supplement to their classroom instruction and as a bridge to future employment. We believe that it is in the best interest of the candidate, the University, and the host site to agree and to clearly understand the responsibilities of all parties involved.
Clinical field experiences must be varied by age and setting to ensure the candidate receives a well-rounded exposure to various types of early childhood facilities.
Clinical field work experiences are required in most early childhood courses. The experiences are to occur in a state licensed child care setting with more than four children present. Candidates are required to comply with the school of educations clinical field experience policy as they relate to background checks, approval plans and evaluations.
Candidates must schedule clinical field experiences while the children are awake and engaged in activities. Clinical field work during nap times will not be accepted as credit toward the required experiences. Candidates are not to be left alone in the classroom nor be paid for the time they are completing field work.
Protocol for Reporting Absences
When illness, family emergencies, or dangerous weather conditions lead to absences or late arrivals to your clinical field placement, candidates are to notify the child care setting and the course instructor before the start of scheduled arrival time. Candidates should keep in mind the professional expectation to provide notification, and schedule a make-up time.
Arrival and Departure Times
Candidates should arrive at the cooperating early childhood setting at the scheduled time. Tardiness is not to be tolerated. The candidate is not to leave for the day earlier than is expected without prior notification.
Candidates in the field represent Siena Heights University and the early childhood program. Dress, speech and interactions with children, teachers and families are to uphold the professional code of ethics, program outcomes and university wide protocol. Candidates are guests in the host school setting and should conduct themselves accordingly. Candidates should work to promote high-quality early learning for all young children.
Program Continuance and Expulsion
Candidates will be evaluated based on the professional dispositions and portfolio rubric at the end of each academic year. Annual portfolio reviews will determine a candidate’s status and continuance within the early childhood program.
The Early Childhood Program Coordinator, in consultation with the Division of Education Chair, reserve the right to remove a candidate from the program or to extend the time in the program, in accordance with the Division of Education’s policies regarding admission, continuance and completion of the program. Candidates may appeal through the process defined in the Teacher Education Handbook.
In order to be considered for graduation, candidates must have successfully completed all required coursework in their major, minor and general studies. Clinical field work experiences, professional portfolio and the practicums must also be successfully completed. Candidates must have a grade point average of 2.75 or above in order to complete the program.
Upon successful completion of the early childhood major, candidates will have earned a bachelor’s degree with a major in early childhood and a minor in any given subject.
Candidates successfully completing the early childhood minor will have an opportunity to take the state early childhood endorsement test. Candidates must complete all the requirements for the elementary education program, prior to taking the early childhood certification test.