MA, Early Childhood Education

Study Formats Online, On Campus, Blended

This degree is available 100% online and through on-campus cohorts.

Program Length 30 credits*, 12 or 24 months


*INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: In addition to the base program curriculum listed below, international students attending face-to-face classes on the CUC campus are required to take the Seminar in Higher Education, a 3-credit course.


Child Development and Ethics in Early Childhood Education

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 experience included.

Observation and Assessment

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.

Infant and Toddler Curriculum

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 experience included.

Early Childhood Curriculum and Content, Ages 3-5

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.

School Age Curriculum, Ages 6-8

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.

Developmentally Effective Instruction for Diverse Learners

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.

Child, Family and Multicultural Community

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.

Professional Leadership and Advocacy in Early Childhood Education

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.

Trends and Issues 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.

Master's Capstone Experience

The capstone experience for Early Childhood Education is embedded in the Practicum and Research in Early Childhood Education course.  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 8 in various early childhood settings. 


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