B.S.Ed. in Early Learning and Development

  • College

    College of Education

  • Degree

    B.S.Ed.

  • Location

    Atlanta, Douglas County, Henry County

  • APPLY NOW

Support and nurture young learners

Mercer University’s Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.Ed.) in Early Learning and Development prepares students to teach children from birth to kindergarten in various settings such as childcare centers, preschool and pre-K programs, kindergarten classrooms, or early childcare agencies. During the program, students complete studies in Child Development, Observation and Assessment, and Child Care Administration.

  • Child Development focuses on knowledge of how typical and atypical infants, toddlers, and young children grow, develop, and learn.
  • Observation and Assessment provides opportunities to know and use systematic observations, documentation, and other effective assessment strategies.
  • Child Care Administration serves to provide education in the theory and practice of management and human resource issues in childcare centers and other early learning and development settings.

The B.S.Ed. in Early Learning and Development provides two options: the certification track (Birth–Kindergarten) and the non-certification track (Birth–5 years). The certification track leads to initial teacher certification in Georgia and requires successful completion of the GACE Program Admission assessment. The non-certification track does not lead to certification and does not require the GACE Program Admission assessment. All students are required to pass the Georgia Educator Ethics assessment. Both tracks lead to a bachelor’s degree.

Designed for busy and working adults

Earning a bachelor’s degree at Mercer University while managing other priorities is possible. With the program’s flexibility, many of our students are able to continue working while earning their degree.

Students pursue the B.S.Ed. in Early Learning and Development through a blended combination of online and in-person meetings at Mercer’s Atlanta, Douglas County, or Henry County location.

  • The majority of each course is completed through both synchronous and asynchronous online instruction, and students only attend class in person twice per course.
  • Most students register for two courses per eight-week session.
  • Sessions begin five times a year in January, March, May, August, and October.
  • Students are also required to participate in field experiences during the day.

Transfer your credits

We want you to get the credit you deserve toward completion of your B.S.Ed. at Mercer. That’s why we’ve made the process of transferring credits as seamless as possible.

Expand your knowledge

Upon completion of the program, students demonstrate proficiency in:

  • Child care development and classroom strategy
  • Building an integrated, technologically enhanced curriculum that meets the needs of children in child care centers
  • Preparation and knowledge of various curriculum models and best practices in early learning and development programs

Learn more about our Early Learning and Development major

Ready to take the next step?

Schedule your personalized admissions counseling appointment or contact Renee Slaton at 678.547.6500 or enroll@mercer.edu for more information.

It’s easy to be an educator that is knowledgeable, but it doesn’t mean anything if you are not passionate about what you do. Mercer prepares educators that are passionate about their work to provide young children with an unforgettable learning experience while in their care.

Marchellette Thomas
B.S.Ed. in Early Learning and Development, ‘19
Pre-Kindergarten Teacher, Sheltering Arms East Lake Center

Marchellette Thomas

Mercer has prepared me to be a teacher and leader by educating me on developmental milestones of children. I am so humbled by the impact that Mercer University has made on my life. I am profoundly grateful of how it has shaped me and helped me become a well-prepared and flourishing educator.

Tyyonna Williams
B.S.Ed. in Early Learning and Development, ‘18

Tyyonna Williams

I have worked in daycare centers, and I was inspired to go back to school to further my education and to learn the importance of understanding the early learning process of child development. Mercer has prepared me to be the best teacher I can be.

Phylena Barrett
B.S.Ed. in Early Learning and Development, ‘19

Phylena Barrett

Additional Steps

Keep planning ahead

Prepare for the GACE

The Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) website provides materials to help students prepare for the GACE assessments. Mercer also offers workshops, preparatory courses, and more to help students prepare for the GACE Program Admission assessment. Students may access the preparatory course prior to enrolling at Mercer.

Students on the non-certification track are not required to take the GACE Program Admission assessment.

Explore teacher candidacy

During sophomore year, students apply for full admission to teacher candidacy to gain eligibility to enroll in junior year courses. Admission criteria include submitting the online application for teacher candidacy, passing the GACE Program Admission assessment and the Georgia Educator Ethics assessment, maintaining a 2.5 GPA, and more.

Students on the non-certification track are not required to take the GACE Program Admission assessment.

Gain valuable field experience

To expand on the academic perspective covered in their courses, students spend time in public school classrooms in the local community. Throughout the program, students complete a variety of field experiences, including pre-practicum and student teaching. Field experiences are coordinated through our Office of Field Placement.

Meet the Faculty

Mercer's Tift College of Education is supported by faculty and staff who devote themselves to preparing students to become transforming educators within their communities and throughout the world.