Bryn Athyn, Pa.— The Pennsylvania Department of Education has approved Bryn Athyn College’s application to offer a dual certification program in early childhood education, pre-kindergarten to fourth grade and special education, pre-kindergarten to eighth grade. Students who complete the program will graduate with a degree in both early childhood education and special education and be prepared to take the certification tests required by the state.

Allen Bedford, Bryn Athyn College dean of academics, says, “The need for special training in how to teach children with a diverse range of abilities and specific learning difficulties is growing. Accordingly, BAC graduates will have a better chance of securing a teaching position if they have a dual certification in early childhood education and special education.”

The already thriving education program at BAC has been preparing and training teachers for more than a century. The certification component extends the current BSEd program by expanding the curriculum’s integrative learning model where multiple learning skills are introduced using gardening and nature. The garden learning model will also take advantage of the beautiful vegetable and flower gardens on the Bryn Athyn College campus. Here, students get hands-on experience planting, tending, and harvesting the fruits of their labor, and then graduate knowing how to plan and implement a school garden at any grade level.

 In addition, the Bryn Athyn College education curriculum places attention on the art of storytelling. “Children love stories and learn effortlessly when academic instruction is given through this medium, the language of the imagination,” says Angela Rose, chair of the education department at Bryn Athyn College. “Education majors graduate knowing how to craft creative lessons and give children the gift of story.”

Dean Bedford reports that of the BAC education graduates between 2010 and 2014, 89 percent are employed full time in a degree-dependent field. “This type of success is indicative of the solid training our students receive at BAC,” says President Blair, “and provides a great launching pad for this new program and the overall vision for the education department.”