Early Childhood Education Program
The Early Childhood Education (ECE) program leads to a master’s degree in early childhood education and/or Colorado teacher license/endorsement in early childhood special education (ECSE) specialist. The program prepares leaders who will enrich the life experience of young children (ages birth to 8 years) and their families through a variety of professional roles.
The ECE program focuses on building and supporting learning and development of all children across inclusive settings in the natural environments where they live, grow and learn. Our program emphasizes family-centered practices, culturally sustaining teaching and is inspired by the potential of all children and families. The program draws on university resources and the clinical expertise of various professionals and early childhood partners in the community. Field experiences are a part of each course and provide an opportunity for each student to gain knowledge, abilities and dispositions while interacting with children, families, program staff and community agencies. Fieldwork experiences are designed for students to apply knowledge and practice skills in a closely supervised learning environment.
Curriculum and Program Requirements
Semester Hour Requirements
Personalized Professional Master’s degree in ECE: 30 semester hours
This program allows candidates to work closely with faculty advisors in specific course selection that is most relevant for them and their desired professional path, including courses outside the ECE program area.
The early childhood education program provides potential preparation in:
- language and literacy development,
- child growth and development,
- teaching and learning approaches with young children,
- learning, development and education grounded in culture, context, and identity of young children,
- research methods for education,
- early childhood curriculum and program development for culturally and linguistically diverse inclusive classrooms,
- collaborative program development and supports for children with families and communities,
- leadership of programs and early childhood professionals for practice, advocacy and social change,
- screening and assessment of young children,
- inclusive intervention strategies with infants, preschoolers, and primary aged children,
- social emotional competence and classroom support including for children with severe and persistent challenging behavior,
- working as a participatory member of a transdisciplinary team,
- learning and development of children from diverse sociocultural backgrounds and abilities,
- inclusive services for children diagnosed with low incidence disabilities including autism, developmental delay and chronic illness
Coursework and plans of study are available at https://education.ucdenver.edu/academic-services/student-resources/graduate/early-childhood-education
The Early Childhood Education Capstone fulfills the COMPS requirement for MA students. The intent of the Capstone is to help candidates synthesize learning through a final project that speaks to academic and professional development in the ECE Program. The capstone should tell the story of what was learned, specific areas of interest, address ongoing barriers experienced in the field, and future professional plans. All ECE MA completers must do a Capstone project, and register for the 3 credit Capstone class.
Program Requirements and Courses
To complete the Early Childhood Education program and earn a master’s degree and/or license/endorsement, students must complete the appropriate course work as outlined. All courses require a grade of B- or better and a 3.0 minimum GPA is required for graduation.
During the fall and spring semesters, most courses are offered in the late afternoon and evening and meet for three hours once a week over a 16-week semester. Courses are offered in various formats, including completely face-to-face classes, hybrid, or online classes. In the summer semester, three-to eight-week sessions are offered, and courses may be in the morning, afternoon or evening.
For practicing full-time teachers, we recommend taking two courses each fall and spring semester, and up to two courses each summer. If you prefer a less intensive course load, we recommend one course each fall and spring semester. Please review with your faculty advisor your preferred plan.
Students must complete their programs within seven years, maintaining a GPA of 3.0. Students typically take four courses each calendar year. Failure to enroll over three contiguous semesters will result in a requirement to submit readmission materials.