Concordia University Chicago’s master of arts in early childhood education is directed toward the preparation of educators who desire to become an accomplished early childhood teacher, an early childhood administrator, an early childhood public policy and advocacy specialist, or an early teacher educator or researcher. This program is designed to provide candidates with a strong background in child and language development, family and community relationships, assessment, research, theory and practice of birth-through-age-eight programs within a variety of educational settings. After receiving their degrees, our graduates will be ideal educators in the design and implementation of early childhood curriculum and programs in centers, home child care, schools, districts and other settings. They will also be able to contribute their leadership and advocacy to various early childhood programs and organizations.
To be eligible to receive this master of arts degree, students must complete 30 credit hours of coursework as well as the capstone experience, all of which are detailed below. Two years of teaching, child-care or related experience must be acquired prior to completion of the graduate program.
Courses are listed below in the order in which they are taken.
This course examines child development and ethics of current theory and practice in early childhood education. Critical examination of a variety of current models is included. Issues of mainstreaming, inclusion and cultural pluralism as they relate to the education of children from birth through grade three are also incorporated. Field experiences are included.
Methods of observation, documentation and other assessment strategies are studied as a way to assess children’s growth and the development of knowledge and skills. Current classroom practices and learning environments are explored to identify changes that benefit children, their families and communication between program and home.
Programs for infants and toddlers in centers, homes and agencies. Issues related to program provision for all children in a pluralistic society. An overview of early intervention services and issues. Field experiences included.
Programs, standards, materials and resources for early childhood curriculum. Understanding of issues, trends and current practices related to foundations of developmentally appropriate practices in various models and programs. Experiences in curriculum design, development, implementation, adult-child relationships, evaluation and field experiences are included.
This course develops candidate’s ability to design, implement and evaluate experiences for the school age child. Focus on essential concepts, inquiry tools, content areas and overall academic discipline including working with differentiated learners. Field experiences with school-age children are included.
This course uses a wide variety of developmentally appropriate approaches, instructional strategies, and tools that connect children of diverse backgrounds and experiences to learning. Field experiences involving observations and interactions with diverse learners will be included.
Processes, research, skills and in-depth knowledge about families and multicultural communities needed to develop reciprocal relationships with families in centers, home child care, schools, districts and communities. Demonstration of cultural competence in multicultural settings and effective communication and collaboration involving families and communities in children’s development and learning are included.
Candidates will demonstrate leadership skills in alignment with NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct and other professional guidelines relevant to their collaborative professional role. Candidates will be engaged in advocacy for children and the profession. Oral, written and technological articulation will be demonstrated throughout the course.
Exposure to the total range of services for young children and their families including administration and supervision of programs. Research and implications for instruction will be studied. Supervised field experience. Prerequisite: 24 hours of graduate work in early childhood education.
Trends, problems, challenges and issues confronting the early childhood professional will be studied and presented in class. Presentation of a challenge or issue with proposed courses of action will be given to a center or school staff. Prerequisite: 24 hours of graduate work in early childhood education or permission of instructor.
The capstone experience for early childhood education is in the course ECE-6190, Practicum and Research in Early Childhood Education. As the capstone course, candidates will demonstrate proficiency on all National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) advanced standards by designing a culminating project. This culminating project allows candidates to demonstrate their proficiency, knowledge and skills in child development, family and community relationships, assessment, developmentally appropriate practices, leadership and advocacy as they experience teaching and learning with young children birth through age eight in various early childhood settings.
The master of arts degree in early childhood education is directed toward the preparation of specialists in early childhood education. This program provides the opportunity for the early childhood professional to extend knowledge in early childhood education through coursework and practical experiences. The program will enable candidates to:
The program requirements for the master of arts degree in early childhood education will support candidates to:
Throughout the program, candidates will be required to reflect on their beliefs and practices as they relate to early education. As a culminating experience, all graduate candidates will choose a capstone experience from several educational options, including field-based research, community outreach projects and other performance that demonstrate the integration of new knowledge and theory into instructional practice and early childhood advocacy
This program is offered in a traditional, cohort, face-to-face setting in a variety of locations and is typically completed in two years. This program is also offered online.
Our distinctive cohort system encourages you to foster lifelong professional relationships and worthwhile friendships. You will complete the program one class at a time, according to your cohort template sequence with your group. This collaborative environment facilitates learning and reinforces achievement. In addition, we offer occasional networking opportunities for our graduates, encouraging them to interact with other cohorts, educational professionals and alumni.
A master’s capstone is required for all master of arts candidates. This culminating project highlights the candidate’s mastery of content throughout his or her studies. Capstones are traditionally a summary of work demonstrating overall growth and specific understandings of the professional standards. The capstone serves as a performance-based evaluation and promotes reflective practice. It also demonstrates the professional’s proficiency in integrating technology and his or her ability to interpret theory into practice.
The masters of arts in early childhood education is aligned with the NAEYC 2010 Standards.
The programs is nationally recognized as an accredited early childhood program by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and by NCATE, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
Concordia-Chicago’s education programs received their first recognition by NCATE in 1962 and the colleges in which they are housed have been continually accredited since that time. The recognition is a highly sought distinction of excellence granted to select few programs across the country that meet the national accrediting body’s highest and most rigorous standards for the preparation of educational leaders.
The master of arts in early childhood education is an advanced program for candidates seeking to enhance their teaching and leadership skills in the field of early childhood education. As such, it does not offer or lead to teacher certification. Concordia offers endorsement and certification programs in reading education (Type 10), ELL/ESL and special education, among others.