McDaniel College announces new Early Childhood Education undergraduate major to begin fall 2024

McDaniel College announces new Early Childhood Education undergraduate major to begin fall 2024

McDaniel College has received approval to offer a new undergraduate major in early childhood education from the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC).  

This new major, beginning fall 2024, expands McDaniel’s education offerings to prepare undergraduate students to teach infants, toddlers, and young children, which is a focus of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.  

“Our education programs are well-known, highly respected, and regarded, and we are excited to be able to build upon our current offerings while focusing on the need for high quality teachers in support of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, which emphasizes access to early education opportunities to prepare all children for success,” said Tracey Lucas, assistant dean of education.

McDaniel has provided programs to train teachers and administrators for over 110 years and currently offers an elementary education major, as well as secondary education and pre-K-12 minors in specialized areas, such as art, physical education, and Spanish, along with almost 20 graduate degrees and certificates. The new major provides a pathway for students looking to obtain a bachelor’s degree and seek teacher certification for pre-K through third grade.

Grounded in the liberal arts, the program pulls from existing coursework and expertise within McDaniel’s Education department with new courses directly related to early childhood development and topics focused on young learners.

In developing the program, McDaniel’s Education department consulted with the college’s existing partners, including Carroll County Public Schools and Carroll Community College, and considered the impact on private childcare centers and independent providers, plus programs like Head Start. 

“We know that this new program will play an important role in addressing the growing teacher shortage across the state, including right here in Carroll County, as well as the surrounding region, by helping to fulfill the anticipated demand for teachers certified in early childhood education,” added Lucas.

Since the fall of 2020, McDaniel has added 13 new majors that directly prepare students for careers in growing fields, including actuarial science, American Sign Language (ASL), applied mathematics, biochemistry, biomedical science, criminal justice, food studies, health sciences, international business, marketing, and writing and publishing. A new Bachelor of Science in Nursing also begins this fall 2024.

In addition, McDaniel has launched a new accelerated Master of Science in teaching, which allows students to receive their degree after four semesters, including a yearlong internship with Carroll County Public Schools. Students in the program are also eligible for a $23,000 Teacher Collaborative Fellowship to support up to 24 recent graduates and career changers who enroll in the program for spring 2024, which is currently underway, and summer 2024.

For more information about McDaniel College, visit

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McDaniel College, founded in 1867, is a four-year, independent college of the liberal arts and sciences offering more than 70 undergraduate programs of study, including pre-professional specializations and student-designed majors, and over 20 graduate programs. One of the original “Colleges That Change Lives,” McDaniel emphasizes experiential learning and student-faculty collaboration to develop the unique potential in every student. Represented by the Green Terror, its over 20 athletic teams compete in the NCAA Division III Centennial Conference. A student-centered community of 1,800 undergraduates and 1,400 graduate students offers access to both Baltimore and Washington, D.C., plus a European campus in Budapest, Hungary.

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