URI to offer new degrees in early childhood and world language education

KINGSTON, R.I. — December 7, 2022 — Beginning in fall 2023, the University of Rhode Island’s Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Education and Professional Studies will offer two new bachelor’s degrees that are relevant and necessary in preparing educators for today’s learners.  

A new Bachelor of Science degree in early childhood education for preK-2 was developed in conjunction with the Community College of Rhode Island, to give the incumbent workforce of early childhood educators accessible, high-quality, and meaningful pathways toward credential attainment, career advancement, and earning potential.

The early childhood program, developed by Associate Professor of Education, Hyunjin Kim, offers access to workforce development in the early childhood education sector through an accelerated, online program where students can complete a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or earn a preK-2 teaching certificate, while keeping their current full time childcare and teaching position.  

“This program will add value to the University, achieving a state university’s mission by providing affordable education opportunities to the public and contributing to resolving a state-wide staffing shortage problem in early childhood education and learning quality,” said Kim.

Also being introduced next fall is a new Bachelor of Arts degree in world language education to meet the changes in the Rhode Island Department of Education credentials for world language instructors in PreK-12. The program allows students to become certified to teach at all levels of elementary, middle, and secondary education in the state, making them more versatile and employable educators to teach effectively in a wide variety of educational settings.

“There is a shortage of qualified world language teachers across the country,” said Danielle Dennis, interim dean of the college.

Developed by Iñaki Pérez-Ibáñez, assistant professor of world languages, the program will prepare educators to work in preK-12 and provide greater academic achievement and more positive attitudes towards other languages and cultures.

“Both of these programs are addressing high needs areas in Rhode Island and beyond,” said Dennis.