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MDC to Offer New Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education

Preschool teacher1

Miami, October 13, 2011 - Miami Dade College (MDC) will soon offer a new Bachelor of Science with a major in Early Childhood Education (BS-ECE) to meet the local demand for trained Early Childhood Education professionals in South Florida, thanks to unanimous approval from the Florida Board of Education.  

The college’s renowned School of Education (SOE) will begin offering a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education in fall 2012. This program will be the seventh state-approved teacher education program in the SOE and will offer its graduates professional teacher certification in Birth to Age 4 and Age 3 to Grade 3, with endorsements in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Reading, and Pre-Kindergarten disabilities.

 The 120-credit degree will train teachers to work with children up to grade 3, to work effectively with English Language Learners, to promote early literacy and a love of learning, to identify and remediate exceptionalities, and to fill the employment gap in ECE.

“With this new degree, our graduates will continue filling critical workforce needs in an area that is pivotal to our community’s future,” said Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, president of Miami Dade College. “Early childhood is a very important period in child development that requires highly trained professionals who can address specific needs and issues. Our graduates will be trained for precisely that.”

The BS-ECE degree program will allow graduates to tap into the growing demand for teachers specializing in Early Childhood Education. Research indicates that bachelor-trained early childhood teachers produce children with better developmental skills in vocabulary, literacy, and comprehension compared to children taught by non-credentialed teachers. The American Academy of Pediatrics indicates that early screening and treatment of special needs can help children thrive and saves $30,000 to $100,000 per child. Head Start and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) have declared that all teachers in their pre-schools will have bachelor degrees in ECE by 2013. In Region 23 (Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties), Head Start Centers report that only 29.3%, or 187 of 638 teachers, hold a bachelor’s degree, though not necessarily in ECE. Based on the Head Start mandate, 451 non-degreed teachers would potentially be candidates for this program. In Region 23, there are 1,054 job openings a year for teachers with a BS-ECE. The broad range of training (birth to grade 3) makes graduates more employable. Starting salaries for teachers with a bachelor’s degree in ECE at Head Start and NAEYC centers and Miami-Dade County Public Schools is $38,000. The Children’s Trust and Head Start will support BS in ECE students with scholarships.

 “This degree is transformational for Miami-Dade County.  It will raise the level of professional training received by practitioners who teach the most delicate and fragile populations.  Being ready for school ensures a lifetime of academic success; we cannot accept anything less for the next generation,” said Dr. Susan Neimand, Director of the School of Education.

The development of the BS-ECE is another example of MDC responding to the workforce needs of the dynamic community it serves. In addition to more than 300 associate degrees and certificate programs, the BS-ECE is MDC's fourteenth baccalaureate degree, following the recently added BS in Biological Sciences. The BS-ECE degree offers hands-on experience that emphasizes skill sets and workforce-driven training that is essential and in high demand by local employers.

For more information, please call the School of Education at 305-237-6000 or visit

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
ethnicity, pregnancy, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, or genetic information.
Contact the Office of Director, Equal Opportunity Programs, ADA and Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for assistance.