Early Childhood Education
This two-year, 30-33 units, Master of Arts in Education, Option in Early Childhood Education (ECE) program is designed to provide a diverse student body with updated knowledge and skills necessary to fulfill various roles in the field of ECE. The curriculum emphasizes knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for ethical, developmentally and culturally appropriate teaching practices in diverse and inclusive classrooms (with children from birth through age 8). The program also prepares candidates for leadership and advocacy of early childhood organizations that best represent the interests of all children and families. The program curriculum primarily focuses on inquiry, critical and analytical thinking, and professional collaborations (in class and off-campus settings) with the goal of fostering a pursuit for life-long learning among candidates and nurturing a community of learners. Students gain a deeper understanding of global perspectives in early childhood education through coursework and interactions with international peers and graduates.
The program adopts a cohort model and offers hybrid courses and Saturday and evening classes to accommodate working professionals. To support students’ success, the program provides mentoring by faculty members and program graduates, and the college and university provide a wide-array of support services. General academic scholarships and ECE program specific scholarships are available for eligible candidates. Students are introduced to careers in the ECE field and are included in networking opportunities with ECE professionals in courses as well as program events. Students apply their knowledge through course projects, such as field-based experiences, teaching and learning, parent education, and program evaluation. Under faculty mentorship, students engage in empirical research projects and present their research to colleagues locally, regionally, and nationally.
Areas of Training
Students will be able to:
- Analyze in-depth theoretical perspectives that apply to young children and their families
- Demonstrate competency in building family and community relationships
- Apply educational theories of teaching and learning to early childhood classrooms
- Analyze personal and professional philosophies and practices within culturally diverse early learning contexts
- Synthesize understanding of leadership roles that benefit children and families
- Evaluate current issues, debates, trends, and research in the field of early childhood education
- Evaluate children’s issues and early childhood education around the world
Our graduates obtain a host of leadership positions such as community college instructors and tenure track faculty members in private and public universities in the US and internationally, early childhood education curriculum specialists; ECE program directors; early childhood education consultants; mentor teachers; coaches for Child 360; grant writers; research/development specialists for organizations such as Lakeshore Learning, WestEd., and American Institute for Research; leadership roles in national organizations such as Zero to Three (LA chapter) and National Children’s Center. Our graduates also open their own ECE programs locally and in international contexts, and pursue doctoral programs in various universities in the US (including Ivy League schools) and universities in other countries.