Wayne State University

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Early Childhood Education

Frequently Asked Questions


How can I be admitted to the program?


Students must complete an Undergraduate application for admission to the university. Suggested deadlines to apply are:

  • August 1: Fall semester (August-December)

  • December 1: Winter semester (January-April)

  • April 1: Spring/Summer semester (May-August)

Undergraduate students are directly admitted to the College of Education from high school or another institution of higher learning upon admission to the university. The Early Childhood program requires completion of two levels. Students are admitted to the university in Level 1 status. Level 1 students work to fulfill general education and College requirements, begin taking courses in their teaching major and complete requirements for admission to Level 2. In Level 1, Early Childhood students take ELE 3200/Literature for Children and PSY 3430/Infant Development.  Please see an undergraduate advisor in Academic Services (469 Education) for the appropriate curriculum guide and advising.

Admission to Level 2 requires a separate Level 2 application, which is available in 469 Education. In Level 2, students begin taking Professional Sequence courses (including methodology coursework, Pre-Student Teaching and Student Teaching) and will complete the Early Childhood coursework. The sequence for Early Childhood students requires an additional semester of student teaching. 


Students not previously enrolled in Wayne State University Graduate School are required to complete a Graduate application. Students who have previously been accepted to the Graduate School should present their application directly to the Division of Academic Services Graduate Office, 489 Education. Students admitted initially to the Graduate School as "Special Students" or in different major must complete a "Change of Status" form in order for their application to be considered. This can also be accomplished by filling out the proper form in 489 Education. The deadlines to apply are:

  • July 1: Fall semester (August-December)

  • November 1: Winter semester (January-April)

  • March 15: Spring/Summer semester (May-August)

A Graduate School applicant must hold or be completing an earned baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university. Applications are reviewed by the Division of Academic Services Graduate Office (489 Education) to insure that they are complete and are then forwarded to the appropriate program for consideration. Only those applications, which are received by the Graduate Office by the application deadline noted above will be reviewed for the approaching semester. Late applications will be considered for the next semester's class.

The University Office of Admissions will make every effort to process applications in time for the applicant's preferred semester. Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for processing of your application.

How long will it take and how many hours are needed to complete the Early Childhood (ZA) Endorsement?

The Early Childhood General and Special Education (ZS) Endorsement attaches to an Elementary Teaching Certificate either as a major or minor. The ZS Endorsement is a Michigan Department of Education (MDE) specialty area and can be obtained either as a 33-credit major or as a 24-credit minor with initial elementary certification.  The length of your program will depend on the number of pre-requisite courses needed and whether you are enrolled full or part time.  A more accurate determination can be made after meeting with your advisor and developing a plan of work.

Undergraduate students in Level 1 will be advised by advisors in Academic Services (469 Education). Undergraduate students in Level 2 will be advised by Anna Miller. Graduate students are advised by Mark Larson. To make an advising appointment, call 313-577-0902. For further information, contact Mark Larson.

How can I find out more information about the program to see if this is what I really want?

Academic Services (469 Education) provides walk-in advising on Tuesdays. You may also contact Placidia Frierson, Director of the College of Education Early Childhood Center at University Towers, for an on site visit.

Who are my advisors?

Undergraduate students in Level 1 will be advised by advisors in Academic Services (469 Education). Undergraduate students in Level 2 will be advised by Anna Miller. Graduate students are advised by Mark Larson. To make an advising appointment, call 313-577-0902. For further information, contact Mark Larson.

What is the job outlook for early childhood teachers? 

Nationally, job prospects for early childhood teachers over the next 10 years are projected to grow at a rate of 23-26%, depending on the locality. In Michigan, growth is expected to be between 11-13%; however, employment in some states is expected to grow faster due to districts moving toward full-day kindergarten and universal preschool. Check the Occupational Outlook Handbook for this information, by state or nationally.

What is an Early Childhood General and Special Education (ZS) endorsement and what are my career options?  Am I limited to classroom teacher or are there other career options?

Upon completion of the ZS endorsement, students will be certified to teach in programs for children from birth to 8-years-old or through 3rd grade. This would include preschool through third grade in public, private and charter school settings. With practical experience, additional coursework in specialized areas or advanced degrees, other employment possibilities include instructional coordinator/curriculum specialist, director or assistant director of a preschool or daycare program, settings with infants and toddlers, parent educator, government positions related to licensing and the well-being of children and families, university settings, careers in research, public policy and advocacy. See career options at Great Start Collaborative Wayne website/Resources for Professionals page

How can I find out which credits/courses are transferrable from other schools?

Please consult an advisor in Academic Services (469 Education) or visit Wayne State University's Transfer Credit website to determine course equivalencies from other institutions.

Can I get credit for prior work experience with children?  What do I do if I have prior experience?

Public Act 335 of 1993 Sec. 1531b. Effective July 1, 1995: Applicants to the teacher education program must demonstrate successful group work with children.  Documentation of this group work (a total of 40 hours) is required to enter the program. Your group work experience needs to be recent (within the last 5 years) at the time of admission into the teacher certification program. An applicant's group work experience can be documented on the Level 2 application.

It may also be possible to use prior experience to waive pre-student teaching. It is required that you document this experience on a Student Appeal Form for Waiver of Pre-Student Teaching and your advisor must sign the form. This is reviewed after admission into the program and requires an advisor's support and signature. 

What can I expect in a field experience at the College of Education Early Childhood Center?

A field experience at the College of Education Early Childhood Center is usually done in the fall or winter semesters. The center is located just south of the main campus at 4500 Cass Ave., University Tower apartment building, north entrance.

The practicum includes the following: developing, implementing and adapting curriculum to meet the needs of groups of children and individuals, including those with special needs; developing a better understanding of best practices for young children using approaches such as theme planning, emergent curriculum and principles of the Reggio approach; practice in authentic assessment using written observations, collected work samples and analysis of children's portfolios; opportunities for parent and family contacts in school, and during parent conferences, home visits and experience in team teaching with support staff and other educational professionals. 

Hours for the field experience are as follows:

  • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 8:00 am-12:30 pm (in classroom)
  • Tuesday: 8:00 am-3:00 pm (classroom & ELE 6080, co-requisite)
  • Friday: 8:00 am-3:00 pm (classroom & team planning)

Which tests are needed to enter and complete the program?

Undergraduate students must take and pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) Basic Skills Test #96 for admission to Level 2. During Level 2, Students must pass the MTTC Elementary Education Test #83 prior to the elementary student teaching experience and must pass the MTTC Early Childhood Education Test #82 prior to the Early Childhood student teaching experience. 

What happens if I fail the MTTC Early Childhood Education Test?

Before taking the test (try and take the test after taking most of your course work is completed, STUDY. Be sure to go the MTTC website for the ECE test objectives and study guide. You may also consult with your advisor and watch this website for a schedule of study sessions.

Can I just get a ZS Endorsement?

No. The ZS Endorsement attaches to either an Elementary Teaching Certificate or a K-12 Special Education Certificate.

Does the Early Childhood Program offer SB-CEUs?

State Board Continuing Education Units (SB-CEUs) are State Board approved credits used for the renewal of teaching certificates issued by the Michigan Department of Education. Credits are available through programs associated with the Early Childhood Program. See the following links:

Where can I find financial aid/scholarship information?

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) helps students  meet their educational expenses while attending Wayne State University. Assistance is provided through grants, scholarships, student employment and loans.

Is there academic assistance/advising/tutoring available if I'm having trouble in a course?

The first step is to contact the instructor when you first encounter difficulties in a course. In addition, the Academic Success Center (ASC) assists undergraduate students in becoming self-determined, motivated and independent learners. The ASC provides instruction and services that will support students in the development of skills to promote academic excellence and foster student retention. 

What types of support services are offered to new teachers? 

Each year the College hosts an Annual Teacher Placement Job Fair. Once you are enrolled as a College of Education student, you will be invited.

There are a variety of supports to mentor new teachers in their professional development. In Section 380.1526 of Public Act 335, the Michigan Legislature mandated the New Teacher Induction/Teacher Mentoring Program, which requires that in the first 3 years of teaching, all new teachers be mentored by at least one master teacher and receive 15 days of professional development.

The Michigan State Board of Education in partnership with Michigan State University, and other state universities and educational organizations, has developed a web-based support network with resources for beginning and experienced educators, "Advocating Strong Standards-based Induction Support for Teachers" (ASSIST).

Wayne State University provides support services for students through a variety of Learning Communities (LCs). This program provides peer and faculty mentors for students, and offers experiences, which help develop leadership skills and academic interests.

The Annual Teacher Mentoring Institute takes place in the summer on Wayne State University campus. Check the Wayne State University Events Calendar in the spring for details. 

I am a parent, are child care services available on campus?

There are two preschool programs available on campus; the WSU College of Education Early Childhood Center (313-577-1686) and the Merrill-Palmer Skillman Institute Early Childhood Center (313-873-0724).