Education

Caroline Riggenbach tutors a student at Hesston Public Library.

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Early Childhood Education 2-year program>

What is early childhood education?

Early childhood education is a broad term used to describe any type of educational program (formal or informal) that serves children from birth through third grade. ECE consists of many experiences designed to nurture children’s development and learning. These early years in a child’s life are among the most critical in his or her life to influence learning.

Success factors

Students who will thrive in early childhood education have a passion for children and a desire to make a difference in children’s lives by helping them get the opportunities and nurturing they need and deserve. Traits such as creativity, flexibility, sense of humor, high energy, love of learning, respect, patience, pragmatism, willingness to take risks, authenticity and perseverance contribute to success in a early childhood education career.

Of course, early childhood educator students will develop a grasp of subject matter and educational techniques. Obviously, it is vital to love being around children. Future teachers of young children also cultivate a love for teamwork, creativity and patience. Some of this comes naturally as part of one’s personality; the rest is grown through experience and information about the educational process.

Career possibilities

  • Students who earn Hesston’s AAAS degree are prepared to go directly into the workforce as a childcare worker, preschool teacher (in programs that do not require teacher licensure), teaching assistant, home childcare provider, nanny, paraprofessional assisting specialists such as occupational or physical therapists or a center director after several years of teaching in childcare.
  • Continuing education. Students are prepared to continue in a teacher education program to become public school preschool, elementary or early childhood education special education teachers. Others pursue studies in related careers such as child psychology, family and child studies, social work, speech pathology, occupational or physical therapy, child life specialist, etc.
“I loved the way that Hesston’s early childhood education program allowed me to be in the classroom setting from the start. I was able to combine what I was learning in my ECE classes with my role as an assistant teacher in the Hesston College Preschool. I gained a well-rounded perspective on child development and early education. Studying ECE at Hesston provided a solid foundation and opened the doors for me to continue growing and using my degree in a variety of ways.”
— Deb Coblentz, class of 2011

Learning opportunities

  • You will study and stretch yourself academically in early childhood and general education courses, and you will not only study about, but also work with children, starting right away in your first semester.
  • You will receive a lot of mentoring when you serve as an integral part of the teaching team for the Hesston College Preschool for a semester during your sophomore year.
  • You will have the opportunity to visit numerous programs (including special education programs) for children birth through eight-years-old.
  • You will be exposed to many career options for your future.

At Hesston, ECE students may earn either an Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences degree (AAAS) in early childhood education, preparing them to enter the workforce after two years, or an Associate of Arts degree (AA), providing a strong foundation for upper-level studies toward a bachelor’s degree. Either path provides a strong foundation in child development, family studies and early childhood education. Students also take courses in liberal arts and gain teaching experience by participating in a licensed program, the Hesston College Preschool. The program is for students who wish to work as teachers or administrators in early care and education programs for children from birth to kindergarten while also gaining an understanding of the early elementary school years.

associate degree in early childhood education

Education-Elementary, Early Childhood and Special 4-year transfer program

What is elementary and early childhood education?

Fulfill your dream of becoming an educator or develop your passion for working with young people by exploring the education department at Hesston College. Your Hesston education will provide you with the strong foundation that you will need for upper-level studies for teacher education licensure.

Majors in teacher education devote the greater portion of their work during the first two years to a broad general education. They take foundational courses in teacher education. Then, the work after transfer and acceptance into an upper level teacher education program consists of continued academic coursework at the upper level and professional courses and experiences.

Why start here for teacher education?

  • Hesston College instructors focus their efforts on the development of first- and second-year education students.
  • Through engaging class sessions, you will gain a thorough understanding of the current world of education as you, for the first time, view school through a teacher’s eyes.
  • The Hesston community warmly welcomes Hesston College education students to participate in classroom observation, reading tutoring and after-school programs.
  • Surrounding schools districts of Newton and Wichita provide more diverse settings for observation and field trips.
  • You will experience ample opportunities to relate personally with faculty in both the education department and in the department of your selected concentration area.

Success factors

Students who will thrive in early childhood education have a passion for children and a desire to make a difference in children’s lives by helping them get the opportunities and nurturing they need and deserve. Traits such as creativity, flexibility, sense of humor, high energy, love of learning, respect, patience, pragmatism, willingness to take risks, authenticity and perseverance contribute to success in a early childhood education career.

Of course, early childhood educator students will develop a grasp of subject matter and educational techniques. Obviously, it is vital to love being around children. Future teachers of young children also cultivate a love for teamwork, creativity and patience. Some of this comes naturally as part of one’s personality; the rest is grown through experience and information about the educational process.

Career possibilities

Many students continue their pursuit in teacher education to become a teacher for preschool, elementary school or early childhood education special education; others transition into studies in related careers such as child psychology, family and child studies, social work, speech pathology, occupational or physical therapy, etc.

“It was not until I transferred to a four-year institution that I realized just how thankful I was I started at Hesston. Teaching in the Hesston College Preschool gave me valuable experience planning, writing and implementing developmentally appropriate lesson plans. Through more than 100 hours of observation in a diverse array of schools, I learned to recognize quality teaching and gained teaching strategies I can one day apply to my own classroom.”
— Bethany Snow, class of 2015 studying education at Wichita (Kan.) State University
associate degree in elementary and early childhood education

Education-Secondary and Special 4-year transfer program

What is secondary education?

Secondary education teachers are knowledgeable in their field of interest – their concentration area – while also having the ability to educate middle/junior high and high school students in that subject matter.

Success factors

Students who will thrive in secondary education have a keen interest in a specific subject area as well as a desire to impact the lives of young people.

Fulfill your dream of becoming an educator and develop your passion for working with young people by exploring the education department at Hesston College. You will take multiple courses in your concentration area as well as the foundational education courses for a teaching license. Then, after your transfer and acceptance into an upper level teacher education program, you studies will consist of continued academic coursework at the upper level and professional courses and experiences.

Why start here for teacher education?

  • Hesston College instructors focus their efforts on the development of first- and second-year education students.
  • Through engaging class sessions, you will gain a thorough understanding of the current world of education as you, for the first time, view school through a teacher’s eyes.
  • The Hesston community warmly welcomes Hesston College education students to participate in classroom observation, reading tutoring and after-school programs.
  • Surrounding schools districts of Newton and Wichita provide more diverse settings for observation and field trips.
  • You will experience ample opportunities to relate personally with faculty in both the education department and in the department of your selected concentration area.
“Majoring in secondary education at Hesston College allowed me to explore a couple of different content areas during my two years. I was placed in a real classroom to observe and even teach a lesson in my first year of college. Hesston prepared me for the tangibles of teaching, like content knowledge, learning styles and teaching strategies. What was so valuable for me were the intangibles of teaching that I acquired: work ethic, patience, empathy and caring for students are values that shape my teaching more than any lecture even would. Hesston did that.”
— Alex Roth, class of 2011, high school math teacher

Secondary education curriculum

The secondary education curriculum will provide you with the strong educational foundation you will need for upper-level studies and a degree in education. Academic advisors work one-on-one with students to ensure requirements are met for a seamless transition to continuing education and professional careers. The education advisor and the faculty in their concentration area guide their selection of the most appropriate general education, teacher education, and concentration area coursework.

associate degree in secondary education

Hesston College Preschool

The  Hesston College laboratory Preschool provides rich observation and hands-on experiences for students studying early childhood education. It also provides a half-day preschool program to serve children, families and the Hesston community.