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The Early Childhood Education program is designed to provide an advanced program of study focusing on the developmentally appropriate care and education of children from birth through age eight within various early childhood and elementary school settings. Students will be given the opportunity to demonstrate a basic knowledge of educational research including research procedures and methods; sources and formats utilized for presenting education research; critical review of research reports; and the preparation and defense of a research proposal.

The Early Childhood Education program emphasizes the whole child and exposes students to the scientific knowledge bases regarding: 1) development of children, 2) learning theory, and 3) appropriate educational practices as well as the opportunity to develop competence in working with parents of young children.

Early Childhood Education

Graduate Program

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Student Learning Objectives

  •  Knowledge and understanding young children's characteristics, and needs, from birth through age 8, and to educate parents regarding multiple aspects of child development and learning.
  • Knowledge and understanding the multiple influences on early development and learning.
  • Knowledge using developmental resources to create healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging learning environments for young children.
  • Knowledge about diverse family and community characteristics.
  • Support and engaging families and communities through respectful, reciprocal relationships.
  • Cultural competence and effective collaboration to involve families and communities in their children's development and learning.
  • Understanding the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment- including its use in development of appropriate goals, curriculum, and teaching strategies for young children.
  • Knowledge about and using observation, documentation, and other appropriate assessment tools and approaches, including the use of technology in documentation, assessment and data collection.
  • Knowledge and practicing responsible assessment to promote positive outcomes for each child, including the use of assistive technology for children with disabilities.
  • Knowledge and the ability to collaborate effectively to build assessment partnerships with families and with professional colleagues to build effective learning environments.
  • Understanding positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation of their work with young children.
  • Knowledge and understanding effective strategies and tools for early education, including appropriate uses of technology.
  • Knowledge using a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate teaching/learning approaches with a high level of cultural competence, understanding and responding to diversity in culture, language and ethnicity.



  • Knowledge of reflecting on own practice to promote positive outcomes for each child.
  • Knowledge of understanding content and resources in academic disciplines: language and literacy; the arts-music, creative movement, dance, drama, visual arts; mathematics; science, physical activity, physical education, health and safety; and social studies.
  • Knowledge using the central concepts, inquiry tools, and structures of content areas or academic disciplines.
  • Self-knowledge of appropriate early learning standards, and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate developmentally meaningful and challenging curriculum for each child.
  • Knowledge of professional identification with and leadership skills in the early childhood field to think strategically, build consensus, create change, effectively collaborate with and mentor others, and have a positive influence on outcomes for children, families, and the profession.
  • In-depth understanding and thoughtful application of NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct and other professional guidelines relevant to their professional role.
  • Knowledge using resources, inquiry skills and research methods to engage in continuous, collaborative learning and investigation relevant to practice and professional role.
  • Engaging in informed advocacy for children and the profession, skillfully articulating and advocating for sound professional practices and public policies.
  • Knowledge and a high level of oral, written and technological communication skills with specialization for professional role(s) emphasized in the program.
  • Knowledge to observe and practice in at least two of the three early childhood age groups (birth-age 3, 3-5, 5-8).
  • Knowledge to observe and practice in at least two of the three main types of early education settings (early school grades, child care centers and homes, Head Start programs).

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