About the ProgramMaster of Arts
There are three initial certification programs in Early Childhood Education:
The course of study for the M.A. in Early Childhood Education (ECED-INIT) leads to initial certification in Early Childhood Education (birth-8 years).
The course of study for the M.A. in Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE-INIT) leads to initial certification as a Teacher of Students with Disabilities, Early Childhood (birth-8 years).
Students with backgrounds in elementary education or with no previous coursework in education must complete at least 40 points in order to obtain the Master of Arts degree and the department’s recommendation for initial certification.
The course of study in Dual Certification: Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood/Special Education (ECSE-DUAL) leads to initial certification as both an Early Childhood Education teacher and a Teacher of Students with Disabilities in Early Childhood (birth-8 years). Students must complete at least 48 points in order to obtain the Master of Arts degree and the department’s recommendation for initial dual certification.
Students in these programs are prepared to teach in diverse and inclusive environments, including homes, schools, and other community settings, which serve children from birth to age 8 and their families. Child-centered and culturally sensitive practices are emphasized throughout the program, focusing on the need for multiple methods of instruction to accommodate a broad range of learners. Through a curriculum that integrates general and special early childhood education content, we aim to enable our initial certification students to become outstanding early childhood teachers, decision makers, and intellectual and ethical leaders. Honoring the importance of understanding children’s development and learning in context, the Master of Arts program emphasizes collaboration with families and other professionals and considers policies that affect families’ access to desirable services, especially in urban settings. Our students participate in several field experiences, which serve as the foundation from which theories about development, learning, and curriculum come to life and through which teachers begin to construct their professional practice.