B.S.Ed. in Early Grades Preparation (PreK-4)
Welcome to Early Grades Preparation! It is our mission to prepare candidates to be
professional educators excited about teaching and committed to life-long learning.
We provide programs that are based on principles of developmentally appropriate practice
and research-based decision making. The Department prepares teachers to serve the
needs of diverse populations of children through the development of active, constructive,
and collaborative approaches to teaching and learning. Many co-curricular clubs and
service opportunities complement the Department’s programs; candidates are encouraged
to explore the many opportunities the campus offers.
Many graduates of the Early Grades Preparation program teach in Pennsylvania. In addition, West Chester University’s graduates have obtained teaching assignments in schools across the nation and are well prepared for teaching in American schools abroad, for work with agencies such as the Peace Corps, and for rewarding careers in a variety of settings that serve the needs of children and young adolescents.
- PDS The Professional Development (PDS) program is a year-long experience for seniors in Early Grades Preparation or Middle Grades Preparation majors to co-teach in a K-8 classroom from August through June. Attend an information session in the fall semester.
- EGP students can learn how to be justice-focused community teachers through the Community Immersive Semester for Educators experience.
- The Urban Teacher Track is a series of courses that pay special attention to topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion in an urban context.
Early Grades Preparation majors must apply for teacher candidacy status once they have met the Undergraduate Requirements. Teacher candidacy status is required for upper-level education courses.
Field experiences begin during the candidate's first semester and culminate in a semester-long, student-teaching experience. Candidates have opportunities to participate in supervised field experiences in urban, suburban, and rural school districts-all within one hour of our campus.
Students must obtain clearances for each course containing field experience in accordance with Pennsylvania statutes. These include:
- Pennsylvania Criminal Record Checks
- FBI fingerprinting
- Pennsylvania Child Abuse Record checks - required for all who enter a school.
- TB Test
View More Clearance Information for specific details about your program.
All clearances must be completed prior to the first day of the field course in which you are enrolled and updated every year. Please contact the Office of Candidate Services at 610-436-2999. Some school districts hosting early field students and student teachers require a TB test issued within the year they begin their school district assignment.
NOTE: School district requirements take precedence over university policy. Failure to maintain a current set of clearances will prevent you from enrollment and/or may require your dismissal from field-based courses, blocked classes, and student teaching.
Apply for Student Teaching
EGP majors must apply for student teaching one year in advance of their student teaching semester. The Office of Clinical Experiences facilitates the student teaching application process. All coursework other than EGP 400 must be successfully completed prior to the beginning of student teaching. EGP 400 may be taken just prior to, or during student teaching.