The M.Ed. in Early Childhood
The Department of Education offers the master of education degree in early childhood education and an option in special needs. Certification as an early childhood teacher (PreK- 3) or as an Early Childhood Special Educator (birth - 8 yr) is available (see Teacher Certification).
This program is an advanced course of study designed for teachers, administrators, and other early childhood practitioners who wish to improve their professional competence and broaden their career opportunities. The program emphasizes the acquisition of knowledge and competencies in child development (birth through eight years), learning environments, developmentally appropriate curriculum, developmental and cultural diversity, and professional leadership. The coursework culminates in extensive field-based experience.
Core Requirements (16 cr)
EDUC 941 Diversity and Child Development
EDUC 942 Sociocultural Perspectives on Teaching and Learning
EDUC 861 Inclusive Curriculum for Young Children
EDUC 948 Leadership and Advocacy for Early Childhood Education
Special Needs Core (4 cr) Candidates must also take at least one course from below:
EDUC 860 Introduction to Young Children with Special Needs
EDUC 856 Supporting Families of Individuals with Exceptionalities
EDUC 862 Curriculum for Young Children with Special Needs: Evaluation & Program Design
Internship (6 cr)
EDUC 900B Internship and Seminar in Early Childhood Education
EDUC 901B Internship and Seminar in Early Childhood Education
Electives (10 cr)
Students will elect a minimum of ten additional credits in consultation with their academic advisor. In special circumstances, students with prior advanced course work may request the required courses be waived and other electives substituted.
Required courses are offered once each academic year. Required courses are very rarely offered during summer sessions.
Concluding Experiences: Comprehensive Examinations or Research Thesis
Students may elect to take the comprehensive written and oral examination or write a research thesis to fulfill the concluding experience requirement. Guidelines for the comprehensive examination and the research thesis are available from program faculty. Those electing the thesis option may count thesis credit hours to fulfill elective requirements.
By the end of the graduate program in Early Childhood, students should be able to provide evidence of their professional development in a variety of ways. Regardless of whether students elect the research thesis option or the written comprehensive examination, additional means for demonstrating professional knowledge and competencies will be provided through the presentation of a graduate portfolio.
The purpose of the graduate portfolio is to provide a flexible and highly individualized opportunity for each student to demonstrate her/his evolving understanding and mastery of the discipline of early childhood education as well as the ability to carry out multiple roles as teacher, leader, and advocate.
For a suggested sequence of courses and in-depth information about the concluding experiences, the graduate portfolio, and the internship, see the Program Planning page.