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Graduate Studies - Early Childhood Education

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  • Visit the Early Childhood Education website for more information.

    The Early Childhood Education Department (ECE) is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The ECE Department offers the following programs and certifications:

    • M.A. in Early Childhood Education Specialist (Curriculum) Track
      Leadership Track (Supervision Certification)
       
    • M.A.T. in Early Childhood Education Includes 30-credit initial P-3 certification 
    • M.A.T. in Early Childhood/Special Education
      Includes P-3 and Teacher of Students with Disabilities certification
       
    • Specialized P-3 Alternate Route 

    The Master of Arts program in Early Childhood Education is designed for educators who hold teacher certification and have teaching experience. This M.A. program is for certified teachers, directors and supervisors, who wish to expand their knowledge base, deepen their understanding and perfect their skills. Emphasis is on current theory and research in child development and application. Students who desire emphasis in curriculum should take the specialist track; students who seek supervision certification should take the leadership track.

    Graduate candidates may seek initial P-3 teacher certification through the traditional or alternate route. Graduate candidates who wish to pursue P-3 certification should apply for P-3 certification (either traditional or alternate route). These candidates may decide to pursue the Master of Arts in Teaching in Early Childhood Education.

    The traditional initial P-3 certification route is a 30-credit sequence that includes course work, field work and a student teaching internship. The entry requirements for this certification include (1) a 2.75 cumulative undergraduate degree average, (2) a liberal arts undergraduate major or liberal arts credits as determined by Licensing, New Jersey Department of Education, (3) an acceptable essay that is submitted to NJCU Graduate Admissions, (4) matriculation, and (5) any department requirements listed on the advisement sheets. Teacher candidates who successfully complete the 30-credit certification sequence are eligible to take two additional specified courses to complete a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degree.

    Candidates interested in the alternate route P-3 program must apply for admission and obtain the proper advisement sheet from the Early Childhood Department. The requirements for admission to the specialized alternate route program include a 2.75 cumulative undergraduate degree average and an acceptable essay that is submitted to NJCU Graduate admissions. Course work is provided by the Early Childhood Department and the Literacy Education Department. Students are responsible for all other requirements deemed by the State of New Jersey Department of Education.

    The goals of all of the Early Childhood programs are as follows:

    • To provide both pre-service and inservice P-3 teachers and education professionals with content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions.
    • To familiarize early childhood educators with developmentally appropriate curriculum and assessment approaches across the birth-third grade age span.
    • To provide opportunities for early childhood educators to model best professional practices in teaching, to assess their own effectiveness, and reflect on ways of growing professionally.
    • To support young children's development and learning by having early childhood educators analyze and collect data related to their work, reflect on their practice, and use research and technology.
    • To demonstrate the importance of supporting families and community involvement.
    • To provide both pre-service and inservice P-3 teachers and other education professionals with the skills and understanding necessary for meeting and serving the broad diversity of teaching/learning needs in an urban community.

    The graduate Early Childhood programs are based upon the Reflective Urban Practitioner Model that seeks to develop teachers who are effective in current and future urban classrooms and who are adaptable to societal changing demands. The Reflective Urban Practitioner Model brings together the dimensions of theory, practice, community resources and reflective practice. Applicants should be aware that programs may be revised in response to changes in state certification requirements and/or changes in accrediting agency standards. Substitution of courses should only be done with the approval of one's officially assigned graduate advisor and/or department chair. Please contact the department for current information and requirements.



    MASTER OF ARTS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (36 CREDITS)
    (*courses pending approval)
    This degree program has two curricular tracks:
    The Specialist Track (Curriculum and Assessment)
    The Early Childhood Leadership Track (Supervision Certification)

    The advanced degree program is designed for students who already possess P-3 certification or who have had teaching experience with young children. (This may include special education, ESL, and elementary teachers.) Students may choose either a Specialist track or the Leadership track. The courses in this program are offered in phases. Both tracks have similar courses in Phase I and III, with Phase II courses centered on the choice of the two tracks. The total credits for this program is 36, with 12 credits in each phase.

     

    Phase I For both Specialist and Leadership Tracks (12 credits) 
    Code Title
    Credits
     ECE 626 Writing Development
    3
     ECE 636 Advanced Theories of Child Development and Learning
    3
     ECE 637 Research Methods in Early Childhood Education I
    3
     ECE 643 Observation, Documentation, Assessment of Young Children
    3
    Phase II  (See courses below for each track.) (12 credits)
     
    All courses listed below are 3 credits each.
    Specialist Track 
    Code Title
     
     ECE 628 Integrating the Creative Arts Across the Curriculum
     
     ECE 603 Science and Math in the Early Childhood Classroom
     
     ECE 629 Constructing Meaning in the Early Childhood Curriculum:
    Research to Practice*
     
     ECE 640 Family, Community and Social World of Children
     
    Leadership Track 
    Code Title
     
     ECE 666 Supervision in Early Childhood
     
     ECE 640 Family, Community and Social World of Children
     
     EDLD 660 Principles of Supervision and Human Resource Management
     
     EDLD 662 Principles of Curriculum Development and Evaluation
     
    Phase III   Specialist Track and Leadership Track (12 credits) 
     
    Code Title
    Credits
     ECE 627 Child Advocacy and the Early Childhood Educator
    3
     ECE 633 Seminar and Practicum in Early Childhood Education
    3
     ECE xxx  Research Methods in Early Childhood Education II*
    3
     ECE 632 Advanced Curriculum and Early Childhood Programs
    3
      Total
    36

     

    NOTE: Any deviation from this schedule must be approved by the student’s Early Childhood advisor.



    MASTER OF ARTS IN TEACHING (36 CREDITS) IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION, INCLUDING P-3 CERTIFICATION SEQUENCE 

    Undergraduate prerequisites must be met prior to or concurrently with the first field experience requirement. These prerequisite courses include the following: General Biology, Sociology of the Family, Developmental Psychology or Child Psychology, and Human and Intercultural Relations. An undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher and an acceptable essay are required to enter and remain in the program. Candidates are required to meet with an advisor prior to the start of this certification sequence.

    This program includes a 30-credit certification sequence and an additional 6 credits to complete the Master of Arts in Teaching in Early Childhood Education. Students who successfully complete this program will be eligible for the New Jersey Preschool through Grade Three Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing endorsement.

     

    P-3 CERTIFICATION SEQUENCE (30 CREDITS) 
    (*courses pending approval)
    Phase I (9 credits)
     
    Code Title
    Credits
     ECE 622 Constructs of Early Childhood Education and Field Experience I
    3
     ECE 631 Early Childhood Curriculum and Programs
    3
     ECE 610 Child Study as a Basis for Educational Planning
    3
    Phase II (9 credits)
     
    Code Title
    Credits
     ECE 638 Theory into Practice, Language Arts PK/K
    3
     ECE xxx Appropriate Practices in the Creative Arts and Social Studies*
    (including field experiences)
    3
     ECE xxx Appropriate Practices in Mathematics and Science* (including field experiences)
    3
    Phase III   (6 credits) 
     
    Code Title
    Credits
     ECE 639 Theory into Practice, Language Arts 1 - 3
    3
     ECE 634 Family, Child and School Interaction
    3
    Phase IV  (6 credits) 
     
    Code Title
    Credits
     ECE 500 Early Childhood Classroom Management
    1
     ECE 650 Internship
    4
     ECE 651 Internship Seminar
    1
      Total
    30

     

    The above courses represent only the 30-credit sequence needed for P-3 certification. The following additional courses are required to complete the full program for the M.A.T. in Early Childhood Education:

     

    Code Title
    Credits
     ECE 635 Research Seminar in Early Childhood Education
    3
      AND
     
    SPEC 508 Helping Exceptional Children and Youth in the Regular Classroom
    3
      OR
     
    SPEC 531 Intro to Early Childhood Special Education in Multicultural Settings*
    3
      Total
    36

     

    NOTE: Certified teachers who wish to add P-3 Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing should meet with the Department Chairperson.


    MASTER OF ARTS IN TEACHING (36 CREDITS) IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION/SPECIAL EDUCATION (P-3 AND TEACHER OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES)  

    (*courses pending approval)
    Please see the Department Chairperson for the approved advisement sheet.

     

    Phase I (9 credits)
    Code Title
    Credits
     ECE 624 Introduction to Urban Early Childhood Special Education:
    3
     ECE xxx  Early Childhood Special Education Curriculum and Program Development I, including Clinical Field Experience*
    3
     ECE 610 Child Study as a Basis for Educational Planning
    3
    Phase II (9 credits)
    Code Title
    Credits
     ECE xxx Assessment Strategies for the Primary Grades II: Best Practices in Diverse Urban Environments*
    3
    SPEC xxx Language Skills in Early Childhood*
    3
    SPEC xxx Curriculum Development for the Early Primary Grades: Modifications and Materials for Students with Disabilities*
    3
    Phase III (10 credits)
    Code Title
    Credits
     ECE xxx  Early Childhood Special Education Field Experience II, including Portfolio Development*
    1
     ECE 634 Family, Child and School Interaction
    3
    SPEC xxx Successful Collaboration and Inclusion in the Early Years/Universal Design*
    3
    SPEC xxx The Development of Symbolic Systems Including Strategies for Alleviating the Impact of Disabilities on Linguistic Processes*
    3
    Phase IV (8 credits)
    Code Title
    Credits
     ECE xxx  Field Internship for Early Childhood Special Educators*
    4
     ECE xxx Early Childhood Special Education Student Teaching Seminar*
    1
    SPEC xxx Classroom Management, Classroom Behavior and Positive
    3
      Total
    36

     

     


    THE EARLY CHILDHOOD SPECIALIZED P-3 ALTERNATE ROUTE PROGRAM (15 CREDITS) 

    This program is designed for candidates working in child care centers that subcontract with Abbott school districts or other programs and are eligible for the Alternate Route Program, or for candidates whose employer permits a candidate to follow the Alternate Route Program. Candidates must meet the state requirements as well as NJCU College of Education's requirements. An undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.75 and an acceptable essay are required to enter and remain in the program. Candidates interested in this program must obtain a current list of the requirements from the Early Childhood Department.

     

    Code Title
    Credits
     ECE 610 Child Study as a Basis for Educational Planning
    3
     ECE 631 Early Childhood Curriculum and Programs
    3
     ECE 623 Early Childhood Field Experience II
    1
     ECE 634 Family, Child and School Interaction
    3
     ECE 500 Early Childhood Classroom Management
    1
     ECE 651 Internship Seminar 1
    1
     LTED 606 Literacy Learning in the Early Childhood Classroom
    3
      Total
    15