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What is Early Childhood Education?

Nevada families seek early education for their children, and Nevada offers a school choice through an educational savings account voucher system. The public system reports some teacher shortages in various teaching disciplines and geographic areas. Overall, the demand for teachers in public and private schools is high. There are strong voices in Nevada, including teachers and educator organizations that promote increased state and federal resources for all educational levels with a special emphasis on early childhood education.

In Nevada, many educators believe that there are opportunities for growth in the state public school system that require additional funding and an overhaul in the financing structure. The use of testing and student learning goals is an additional area for improvement. Teacher's organizations urge less reliance on testing and a greater reliance on quality outcomes in student and teaching assessments.

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Steps to Become an Early Childhood Education Teacher in Nevada

The state of Nevada requires teachers to qualify for a state teacher’s license in the specific subject and grades they seek to teach. The Nevada government approved eight schools, colleges, and universities to offer teacher preparation courses that qualify students to sit for the state licensing examinations. The best-known schools are the University of Nevada-Reno and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

Field experience and student teaching are important and legally required elements of teacher preparation in Nevada. Student teaching is a semester-long assignment that begins with a carefully monitored beginning and develops into a full participation classroom teaching assignment. Field participation begins with the first semester and continues throughout the teacher preparation course of study.

Teachers in the early childhood space have an opportunity to create a foundation for a lifetime of learning and achievement. Nevada offers both public and private organizations that contribute to the development of early learners. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, kindergarten and elementary teachers average about $52,000 per year.

The state of Nevada has organized state government support to align with progressive educational ideas. Following the models of the NAEYC, Nevada is among the leading advocates for continuous assessment and improvement of birth through age eight education. Nevada offers Head Start and Preschool Development programs from the federal and state levels. The coordination mechanisms include the Nevada Office Of Early Learning and Development (ELD).

Step 1. Earn Your Degree

Students must engage in a teacher preparation program at an accredited Nevada college or university. The state approved eight schools to offer these programs, which culminate in either a bachelor’s or master’s degree. The approved schools are also regionally accredited, so your education will remain relevant even if you decide to leave the state at some point. Students may complete their degree online to tan extent consistent with the need to perform laboratory work, practice teaching, and any other required, in-person assessments.

Step 2. Complete Your Exams

The state of Nevada uses the PRAXIS exam series for all teachers, and specific PRAXIS exams for grade and teaching specializations. The exams that apply to early education teachers are the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (CORE) exam and The Principles of Learning and Teaching (test code 5622) for K-6. To be certified in Early Childhood Education (Birth-K) you must pass the Early Childhood Education Exam. To be certified in early childhood education (Birth-grade 2), teachers must pass the Early Childhood Education and the Education of Young Children Exams. To be certified in Elementary Education (K-8) Teachers must pass Elementary Education: Instructional Practice and Applications exam.

Step 3. Standards and Qualifications

Nevada laws set out the standards and qualifications for early childhood educators in the state of Nevada. Licensure applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college and complete a board-approved teacher preparation program. The standards state the practice teaching, experience, and the educational requirements for early childhood curriculum, language, and literacy, play theory, and creativity. The overall standard requires education and knowledge about community relations, working with student families, and diversity in young children.

  • Preschool Teacher
  • Kindergarten Teacher
  • Elementary School Teacher
  • Special Education Teacher

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Alternative Paths to Licensure

Nevada may require multiple credentials and certifications for early education teachers. They can obtain a certification for teaching children up to second grade but will require additional certification for the early elementary grades.

Applicants with a bachelor’s degree can qualify for Nevada licensure through alternative pathways. The alternatives will take a year or more and consist of certificates, a master’s degree in education, or certification in a core subject that also includes an approved certification program. Nevada has three pathways to alternative licensure.

Qualified candidates will have a bachelor’s degree and pass the PRAXIS exams for Core Academic Skills and the PRAXIS subject content exams in the areas the applicant wishes to teach. Out-of-state applicants will need to pass the Nevada state laws on schools, the Nevada Constitution, and the US Constitution. Some Nevada schools offer an alternative admission program that can ease the applicant’s way into alternative recognition.

  • The alternative route to licensing (ARL) program helps anyone looking for licensure with a bachelor’s degree. The open season for submitting an ARL license applications happen only twice per year. The applicants must have a major or minor field of study in the area they wish to teach. Alternatively, they can pass PRAXIS subject examinations to demonstrate competence. Great Basin College is a school on this list that has an alternative licensure preparation program.
  • Special Qualifications Licenses enable applicants with a bachelor’s degree and two or more years of teaching experience. The state can waive testing for applicants with a master’s degree.
  • You also have the option of a Transfer Teaching License from another state or jurisdiction. The reciprocity exceptions are limited and applicants must present regular licenses and not alternative licenses from other states. Reciprocity rules favor applicants with prior teaching experience.

Top Early Childhood Teacher Preparation Programs in Nevada

The State of Nevada is in the Department of Education designated region for the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The NWCCU is an institutional accreditation agency, and its certification of quality covers the entire school, college, or university. Accreditation is an assurance to other educational institutions and the public that the accredited college has met or exceeded standards that reflect the entire region. The NWCCU region includes Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Nevada.

Specialized accreditation looks at a specific part of a college or university. This type of accreditation has a particular weight within a field of study. In Nevada, the NAEYC, CACREP, and CAEP provide specialized accreditation of early education programs in the state. Specialized accreditation adds value to a degree by displaying approval from a specialist accreditation agency.

Leading Nevada Colleges for Early Childhood Education

  • Great Basin College

    Degrees Offered:

    • Early Childhood Education and Teaching; Associate’s & Undergraduate Certificate
    • Elementary Education and Teaching; Associate’s, Bachelor’s, & Undergraduate Certificate
    • Special Education and Teaching; Undergraduate Certificate
    • ESL Teaching; Undergraduate Certificate

    Accreditation By:

    • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities- Department of Education approved Regional Accreditation
    • Commission on English Language Program Accreditation- English language
  • Nevada State College

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bilingual and Multilingual Education; Bachelor’s
    • Education/Teaching of Individuals in Elementary Special Education Programs; Bachelor’s
    • Elementary Education and Teaching; Bachelor’s

    Accreditation By:

    • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities- Department of Education approved Regional Accreditation
    • Commission on English Language Program Accreditation- English language
  • University of Nevada - Las Vegas

    Degrees Offered:

    • School Counseling and Guidance Services; Bachelor’s, Master’s, & Post-grad Certificate
    • Curriculum and Instruction; Master’s, Dr., & Post-grad Certificate
    • Early Childhood Education and Teaching; Bachelor’s, Master’s, & Post-grad
    • Elementary Education and Teaching; Bachelor’s
    • Special Education and Teaching; Bachelor’s, Master’s, Dr., & Post-grad Certificate
    • ESL Teaching; Master’s

    Accreditation By:

    • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities- Department of Education approved Regional Accreditation
    • Commission on English Language Program Accreditation- English language
  • University of Nevada-Reno

    Degrees Offered:

    • School Counseling and Guidance Services; Master’s & Dr.
    • Curriculum and Instruction; Dr.
    • Elementary Education and Teaching; Bachelor’s & Master’s
    • Multicultural Education; Master’s
    • Special Education and Teaching; Master’s
    • ESL Teaching; Post-Grad Certificate

    Accreditation By:

    • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities- Department of Education approved Regional Accreditation
    • Commission on English Language Program Accreditation- English language
    • NCATE accredited teacher preparation program
    • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
    • National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
    • the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR).
  • Sierra Nevada College

    Degrees Offered:

    • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Emotional Disturbances; Master’s
    • Educational Leadership and Administration; Master’s
    • Elementary Education and Teaching; Master’s
    • Special Education and Teaching; Master’s

    Accreditation By:

    • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Specialization Additional Certifications

Nevada rules permit adding endorsements to licenses that expand the scope of the authority to teach. Applicants can add Nevada endorsements in things like teaching English as a second language or special education with a focus on specific disabilities or impairments. The endorsement is noted on the applicant’s file and transcripts and allows greater range in what classes and subjects they can teach.

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Potential Careers and Salaries for Graduates

  • Public schools
    are a leading source of jobs for licensed early education educators in the state of Nevada. Public school teachers at all levels must have licenses that describe the specific subjects and age groups they can teach.
  • Private childcare
    for businesses, organizations, and families often use licensed teachers and teaching specialists. Many families prefer to select instructors with bachelor’s, master’s, or other advanced qualifications.
  • Private schools
    use licensed teaching professionals. Many private schools must compete with public schools and demonstrate that they offer high-quality education for the children that enroll. The state licensure system is a guarantee that the teachers have been trained and reviewed for competence, knowledge, and skills.
  • Head Start programs
    in Nevada are federal and state collaborations using federal and state funds. The Head Start program employs licensed teachers with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in early childhood education and teaching along with some specialized and administrative qualifications.
  • Community-based programs
    use licensed early education teachers to provide education services and supervision over teaching assistants and other organization personnel.
  • Faith-based programs
    use licensed Nevada early childhood teachers for their schools, childcare, and other educational activities for early learners. School choice policies in Nevada offer parents and families options for selecting charter and faith-based schools.
  • Military programs
    reach for the best educational and child development services possible in every geographic area where military families reside. Early education is an important benefit for military families and licensed Nevada teachers at the master’s and bachelor’s levels can provide high-quality early education and child development services.

Early Childhood Education Teaching Salaries in Nevada

Occupation Entry-Level Mid-Career Late-Career
Preschool Teacher $22,500 $27,300 $31,100
Elementary School Teacher $40,200 $47,000 $63,800
Professor of Education $97,200 $101,500 $136,100
Special Education Teacher $50,400 $55,700 $63,600
ESL Teacher $37,600 $39,200 $41,200
School Psychologist $76,800 $90,400 $98,000

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