Early Childhood Education
Office: Lawrence Street Center, 701
Web site: www.ucdenver.edu/education
More information about faculty in this division is available online at www.ucdenver.edu/education.
Early Childhood Education Program
The early childhood education (ECE) program leads to a master’s degree in early childhood education (early childhood accomplished teacher focus) and/or licensure in early childhood special education (early childhood special education specialist). The program prepares leaders who will enrich the life experience of young children (birth to 8) and their families through a variety of professional roles.
ECE Program students may select from three program options:
- MA in early childhood education
- ECSE specialist license (initial or added endorsement)
- MA plus ECSE specialist license (initial or added endorsement)
The ECE program is interdisciplinary in focus, drawing on university resources and the clinical expertise of various community professionals. There is a strong emphasis on fieldwork and practicum experiences in both regular and special education concentrations. 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. Practicum experiences are designed to allow students to apply knowledge and practice skills in a closely supervised environment.
The early childhood accomplished teacher focus and the early childhood special education focus share course content in:
- literacy development and disorders
- child growth and development, differences and disorders
- learning approaches with young children
- measurement and evaluation
- basic statistics/research methods
- multicultural education
- research and current issues
- early childhood curriculum and program development for inclusive classrooms
- working collaboratively with parents and families
- program administration/leadership
The early childhood special education program provides specialized preparation in:
- screening and assessment of young children
- intervention strategies with infants and preschoolers
- behavior management
- working as a member of the transdisciplinary team
- cognitive and socio-emotional development and disorders
- treatment of children who have neurological impairment and chronic illness
- challenging behaviors and autism
Semester Hour Requirements
Master’s degree in ECE: 40 semester hours
ECSE specialist license: 40 semester hours
Master’s degree plus ECSE specialist license: 49 semester hours
Master’s degree plus ECSE specialist added endorsement: 40 semester hours
ECSE specialist added endorsement: 25 semester hours
Fieldwork and Practicum Requirements
The master’s degree in early childhood education includes a total of 425 hours of required fieldwork/practica. Approximately 200 hours of fieldwork are associated with course assignments; 225 hours of intense, culminating practica occur toward the end of the second year of study. Students completing the MA program take a written comprehensive exam (take home) during the final semester of their program (concurrently with courses at the end of the program sequence).
For the master’s degree in early childhood education plus the ECSE specialist initial license, a total of 800 hours of fieldwork/practica is required. Approximately 290 hours of fieldwork are associated with course assignments; 510 hours of intense, culminating practica occur toward the end of the second year of study. Students seeking an added endorsement in ECSE specialist also complete 510 hours of practicum experiences.
Nine semester hours can be transferred for the master’s degree; 15 semester hours can be transferred for the ECSE specialist license. These credits include courses taken through continuing education, from other institutions or as a nondegree student at the University of Colorado Denver before the term officially admitted.
Plans of Study
The following table delineates course work and program completion requirements for the MA degree and ECSE specialist license through various program options.