About the Program
- Top Ten Reasons SFA is a GREAT Place to Learn How to Teach
- Hands-on experiences - Experience working with and observing children in classroom settings provides the foundation of the EC-6 program. Beginning with the foundational courses in the program, extending to the internship opportunities, and culminating in the student teaching experience, our students gain hands-on experience with children.
- Successful graduates - The graduates of the EC-6 program at SFA go on to have highly successful careers in the field of education. Our graduates are highly sought out from administrators in school districts and many go on to receive recognition for their excellence in teaching, such as "Teacher of the Year."
- Constructivist-based pedagogy - The EC-6 program emphasizes the importance of play and discovery as an integral part of learning for children. As we develop teaching strategies and techniques, we work to instill a love of learning and curiosity in our future teachers and the students they teach!
- Supportive faculty - Perhaps the most common comment that we hear from our students is about the caring and supportive faculty. Faculty members in the EC-6 program are dedicated helping each and every one of their students to perform at their highest levels.
- Research center - In addition to preparing future educators, the EC-6 program is dedicated to research in the field of education, providing our students with current trends in education, research-based strategies, and access and opportunities for undergraduate research.
- Specialized facilities - The Elementary Education Department is also home to the SFA Charter School (providing an inquiry-based education to students kindergarten through fifth grade) and the SFA Early Childhood Lab (providing Constructivist-based learning experiences to infants through pre-kindergarten). These two programs provide field-based experiences for students in the EC-6 program.
- State-of-the-art resources - The EC-6 program is housed in the new Early Childhood Research Center. This facility, completed in 2009, provides state-of-the-art technology in classrooms for our students.
- Experienced faculty - The faculty teaching courses in the EC-6 program offer a variety of experiences to share with students. All of our faculty have experience teaching children in school settings. In addition, members of our faculty have written books, published research in leading academic journals, served as administrators at the school and school district levels, and served on national organizations.
- Student organizations - The EC-6 program offers a variety of opportunities for students to be involved in organizations, such as Kappa Delta Pi, TSTA-SP, and ECHO. These organizations allow students opportunities for leadership, as well as providing a community of friends and professional networks.
- Rewarding career - Finally, the faculty in the EC-6 program as SFA feel that becoming an elementary school teacher is among the most rewarding careers that a student could choose. The opportunity to shape the lives of our future generation through education is a career that matches no other!
- Special Programs
- The Elementary Education Department is home to the SFA Charter School and the SFA Early Childhood Lab which provide field-based experiences for all of the EC-6 college students.
"As a faculty member here at SFA, I am constantly amazed by the dedication of the EC-6 students" - EC-6 faculty member
"My SFA professors gave really good feedback on many different topics. They also took the time to talk one on one if we needed help or clarification on a certain topic." - EC-6 Intern Student
"I had a wonderful experience as a teacher candidate at SFA! I loved the hands-on opportunities I had through the internship. -EC-6 Graduate
"Thank you to the entire science program designed for EC-4 candidates for the opportunity to learn how to teach science in a constructive, hands-on fashion." -EC-6 Student Teacher
Graduates of the EC-6 program
- Candice Hardin, Teacher of the Year, Huntington ISD
- Laurie Wells, Teacher of the Year, Tyler ISD
- Jennifer Hartman, Teacher of the Year, Alvarado ISD
- Brittany Tanner, 1st Year Teacher of the Year, Columbia-Brazoria ISD
- Dawn Castille, Teacher of the Year, Clear Creek ISD
Please email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to add additional achievements of our graduates!
Classes in the EC-6 program include university-based courses designed to develop future teachers' knowledge and skills in education along with field-based courses designed to give future teachers hands-on experiences in working with children.
The core curriculum includes 42 hours in Communication, Mathematics, Life and Physical Sciences, Language/ Philosophy/Culture, Creative Arts, American History, Government/Political Science, and Social and Behavioral Sciences.
Interdisciplinary Academic Major
The Interdisciplinary major includes courses in Early Childhood as well as courses designed to develop teaching techniques in Reading, Math, Science, Art, Music, and Health and Physical Activities.
Pre-Professional Teacher Education
Pre-professional teacher education courses provide the foundational skills and knowledge in areas of social and environmental foundations and special education.
Field Experience I
Field Experience I (typically completed in the 2nd semester of a student's junior year) gives future teachers the opportunity to work directly with students in a classroom setting, focusing on literacy skills and social studies while taking additional courses in education. (8 hours a week)
Field Experience II
Field Experience II (typically completed in the 1st semester of a student's senior year) gives future teachers experience teaching Science and Mathematics to students in a classroom setting, while taking additional courses in education. (12 hours a week)
Student teaching (completed in a student's final semester) provides extensive and full-time experience in a classroom setting.
What's the Next Step?
Every semester, education students should visit with an advisor who can help students to plan their courses and stay on track for graduation. Advising is mandatory.
The Elementary Education Department at Stephen F. Austin State University is pleased to be offering a program for a special group of students who seek the early childhood through sixth-grade certification for teaching and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.
We know that there are many dedicated students who are unable to pursue traditional campus-based, college careers. Therefore, even though we highly recommend face-to-face courses and think these courses best serve most students, we are pleased to offer an online program in order to meet the needs of this special population. This program is offered for TEXAS residents only.
This special group of students includes the following:
- people who are paraprofessionals (aides) in public schools
- Head Start teachers, assistant teachers, coordinators or curriculum specialists
- heads of household with dependents
- people who have full time jobs and cannot attend regular daytime classes
- primary care providers for family or other dependents
- distance from a university
- others with extenuating circumstances
After completing at least 45 hours that transfer towards the EC-6 degree plan at a community college or university, you may apply for admission to this program. Candidates must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher to be eligible. Candidates in this program may transfer as many as 66 hours from a community college. Hours from a university may also be accepted. Once admitted to this program, the remaining courses will be offered online from SFASU. The number of spaces in this program is limited.
A lab component requiring one trip to SFA campus per semester for a minimum of one to a maximum of three days is necessary in order to complete the program. If you are a paraprofessional, you will need to make arrangements with your school so that you can make this trip.
Candidates may take as many as twelve hours per semester or as few as three hours per semester. Online courses are currently offered during the fall and spring semesters only. During the summer you may take needed courses from your community college or university.
The application for admission further explains the requirements.
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For additional information, please contact:
Dr. Paula Griffin
Stephen F. Austin State University
Department of Elementary Education
P.O. Box 13017 - SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962