Professional Studies in Education

Professional Studies in Education Degree: Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies in Education

About Professional Studies in Education

Make a crucial impact on the intellectual growth of young children.

If you're interested in alternatives careers in education and are not seeking Pennsylvania teaching certification, a bachelor's degree in Professional Studies in Education is the right fit for you. At PennWest California, you'll gain the comprehensive knowledge and skills you need to thrive in a career working with young children.

This non-certificate Bachelor of Education program combines classroom learning with real-world experiences, including a six-credit internship that will introduce you to career opportunities such as child daycare assistant, classroom aide, docent, program planner and more.

Students who do not pursue teaching certification at the undergraduate level may later choose to pursue certification in PennWest California's pre-K to grade 4 master's degree program. Students also may earn a master's degree in school counseling or clinical mental health counseling in a five-year accelerated program.

Discover PennWest California's top standards for teacher education.

  • This bachelor's degree program follows the high standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
  • Our coursework and experiences also adhere to the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC).
  • PennWest California's teacher education programs have been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954, and we are continuing with the successor organization, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Learn about our accelerated bachelor's-to-master's degree program.

Program Highlights: Professional Studies in Education

Hands-on Learning: At PennWest California, learning is not limited to the classroom. Our students are given a wealth of opportunities to gain hands-on experience in a variety of internship settings, designed to prepare the student for an alternative educational career of choice. 

Top Faculty: PennWest California's faculty members are among the best scholars and practitioners in the elementary education and early childhood education fields, cumulatively contributing to hundreds of scholarly books, magazines and journals.

Learn more about applying.

PennWest California has a rich history of preparing teachers and education specialists since 1852.
Top 5 
Pennsylvania ranks among the top five states for highest number of employed childcare workers. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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Degree Benefits

Our faculty is dedicated to creating self-assured undergraduates who are ready to make an impact aseducators. You will graduate with:

  • In-depth knowledge of childhood education, human development and learning.
  • Top strategies in classroom management, student assessment and instructional planning.
  • The ability to adapt your teaching to the individual needs of your students in any type of classroom setting or learning situation.
  • A resume demonstrating hands-on teaching
  • Active job placement support from PennWest California's Career and Professional Development Center
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Graduate Outcomes

This non-certification degree program prepares you for work in a variety of educational settings, including: Day care centers, Head Start centers and nursery schools.

  • Adoption agencies.
  • Tutorial learning organizations.
  • Community recreation centers and camps.
  • Publishers.
  • School service supply companies.
  • Child abuse centers.

Curriculum and Related Programs

This four-year bachelor's degree program combines classroom learning and teaching field experiences. Students will follow the same course schedule for the early childhood education pre-k to grade 4 certification program until their junior year. After that, their paths diverge.


Course Credits
General Education Courses 40 or 41
Building a Sense of Community
UNI 100  First-Year Seminar
ENG 101  English Composition I (or any approved Comp menu course)
Public Speaking
EDU 350  Supporting English Language Learners (or any approved Public Speaking menu course)
Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy
MAT 120  Elementary Topics I (or any approved Math and QL menu course)
Health and Wellness
Any Health and Wellness Course
Technological Literacy
EDU 333  Technology in Teaching and Learning (or any approved Tech Lit menu course)
ESP 210  Special Education Foundation and Collaboration (or any approved Humanities menu course)
Fine Arts
Any Fine Arts Course
Natural Sciences
Select one of the following:
  • PHS 120  Basic Physical Science 
  • PHS 137  Environmental Chemistry 
  • PHY 101  College Physics 
  • EAS 100  Intro to Earth Sciences
  • GLG 150  Intro to Geology
  • CHE 101  General Chemistry
  • Any approved Natural Sciences menu course with lab 
3 or 4
Social Sciences
GEO 102  Geographic Systems (1 credit)  AND  POS 102  American Government for Elementary Education (1 credit)  AND  ECO 102  Economics for Elementary Education (1 credit) (or any approved Social Sciences menu course)
Ethics and Multicultural Awareness Emphasis
CHD 350  Family and Community Collab. Part.
General Education Options
  • Approved American/British Literature Course
  • MAT 130  Elementary Topics II (or any approved Math and QL menu course)
  • HIS 101  U.S. History to 1877  OR  HIS 102  U.S. History since 1877 (or any approved History menu course)
Required Major Courses 30
PSE 200  Intro to Professional Studies in Education 3
ELE 220  Instruction and Assessment in PreK 3
ELE 221  Instruction and Assessment in K-4 3
CHD 250  Health and Physical Education Methods for PreK-Grade 4 3
ELE 300  Emerging Literacy 3
ELE 310  Teaching PreK STEAM 3
CHD 312  Instructional Leadership in Childhood Ed. 3
ELE 410  Field Experience PreK-4 3
CHD 322  Professional Education Internship (x2) 6
Minor Courses* 18 to 24
Free Electives 23 to 32
Total 120 or 121

Additional requirements not counted toward the General Education requirements and included in this program are:

  • Special Experience Course (1 course required): CHD 322 Professional Education Internship
  • Writing-Intensive Component Courses (2 courses required): ELE 410 Field Experience PreK-4 AND CHD 322 Professional Education Internship
  • Laboratory Course (1 course required): Approved Natural Science Course with Lab

* In consultation with your adviser, choose one minor from the university approved minors list.

Program Notes: 

  • The following courses need a grade of ā€œCā€ or higher to pass: MAT 120, MAT 130, ENG 101, Am/Brit Lit course and all ELE, CHD or ESP courses.
  • PSE 200 requires a 2.0 GPA and current clearances. CHD/ELE 200 and ELE 220 require a 2.0 GPA and current clearances; all other ELE, CHD and ESP courses require current clearances and a minimum 2.5 GPA to register.
  • 40% of courses (16 courses) must be 300 to 400 level.
  • At least one minor must be selected.
  • Internship application, training and guidelines must be completed a semester in advance of registration.
  • Internship: must take at least two 3-credit internships. Can repeat up to 12 credits. Consult your dept. adviser.
  • Approved American/British literature courses: ENG 107, 125, 127, 148, 150, 155, 160, 203, 301, 302, 337, 338 and HON 250. (HON 250 has a pre-requisite of HON 150; the 300-level ENG courses have pre-requisites of ENG 101 and 102.)
Related Programs
  • Grades PreK-4 Education Certification
    A four-year Bachelor of Education degree for students seeking Pennsylvania teaching certification in early childhood education, grades pre-k to 4. 
A PennWest California student teaches children in a classroom.

What can I do with a bachelor's degree in Professional Studies in Education?

Abby Tirpak '15 earned her bachelor's degree and quickly found a job as an assistant group supervisor at The Village, a fully accredited early childhood education center in California, Pa. Tirpak was soon promoted and is now the center's lead infant teacher.

An elementary student uses an educational toy.

Professional Development Schools

PennWest California proudly collaborates with public schools in Pennsylvania. The Professional Studies in Education program requires a 6-credit internship, which can be designed to fit the needs and goals of the student who wishes to work in an alternative career in education.

A young student is being taught the alphabet.

Student Clubs

Develop your interests and passions in the field of early childhood education through a number of student-run clubs [link to club and activities page], such as: