The early childhood program offers the Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree: Special Needs and also supports the Ph.D. in Education for those candidates who choose to focus in the area of Early Childhood.
The program is designed for experienced teachers and other early childhood practitioners who wish to improve their professional competence and broaden their career opportunities. The curriculum emphasizes the acquisition of knowledge and competencies in child development (birth through eight years), learning environments, developmentally appropriate curriculum, developmental and cultural diversity, parent collaboration, and professional leadership. The course work culminates in an extensive 1-year internship experience. This program emphasizes the personal development of each student in close collaboration with faculty and fellow students.
The Early Childhood program is designed to prepare leaders for new careers in early childhood education such as:
- Early childhood teachers and team leaders
- Curriculum consultants and staff development coordinators
- Coordinators for home-based infant and toddler programs or for family and group day care programs
- Junior college and vocational school child care instructors
- Administrators of early childhood programs
- Early childhood special education teachers
- Early Interventionists