Institute for Early Childhood Teaching and Learning

Apple on top of book

Opportunity for those working in Early Childhood Education

Rhode Island College, in collaboration with the Rhode Island Department of Education, has created the Institute for Early Childhood Teaching and Learning to provide opportunities and pathways for individuals currently working in the field of early childhood education to complete their bachelor’s degree in one of two areas of study: early childhood learning (Pre-K-2 certification) or early childhood education, with a concentration in birth-five.

The institute fills a need not currently met by traditional degrees in early childhood education. This innovative bachelor’s degree program is designed for working professionals teaching in varied early childhood settings. The program intentionally builds upon the professional’s current experiences as an educator and offers coursework that incorporates reflective protocols and evidence-based practices to meet the needs of all learners in their classrooms.

This exciting program allows individuals to enroll in a supportive cohort and progress via one of two distinct pathways: those with associate’s degrees (or their equivalent) can move to a bachelor’s degree or those with bachelor’s degrees in other fields can earn second bachelor’s degrees. Each student will be provided with an individualized academic plan that maps out their courses and program based on their personalized requirements in order to monitor the successful completion of their teacher education program.

This innovative program has been developed as a hybrid model to meet the needs of working adult learners by combining face-to-face learning and flexible online content components. Students are also provided with academic and nonacademic support to ensure their success. Through the T.E.A.C.H. Rhode Island® program, generous scholarship opportunities are available for educators working 30+ hours weekly in early childhood settings (see T.E.A.C.H. R.I ® scholarship information).

Finally, this program restructures the way students complete practicum assignments and student teaching experiences to ensure that this nontraditional cohort program offers students pathways to fulfill the objectives of these experiences while remaining in their current classrooms and receiving the guidance of knowledgeable mentors in the field.​

For additional information about these new programs or to find out how your coursework can lead to pre-K-2 certification or a birth-five concentration, contact: Professor Susan Zoll, director of the Institute for Early Childhood Teaching and Learning, at 401-456-8414 or