The Early Childhood Education (ECE) program leads to a master's degree in early childhood education. 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. The 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.
The MA in ECE includes course content 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
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. Course experiences and learning are facilitated to support the growth of each candidate toward professional competencies and outcomes for graduates of the program.
|Working with Families and Communities
|Curriculum in Early Childhood Education
|Research In Schools
|Capstone in Early Childhood Education
|Choose 5 of the following courses:
|Perspectives of Disability
|Advanced Infant and Toddler Development:
|Screening and Assessment of Young Children
|Language and Literacy in Young Children
|Early Intervention Strategies
|Social Competence and Classroom Supports
|Dual Language Learners Learning and Development
|Equity for Leadership in Early Childhood Programs
|Educators as Social Change Agents
|Messing About with STEM
|In consultation with your faculty advisor, students may also take up to 5 courses from the Thematic Course Categories https://education.ucdenver.edu/academic-services/student-resources/thematic-course-categories
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 students 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.
Courses are offered in various formats, including hybrid, remote or asynchronous online classes. During the fall and spring semesters, in-person courses are offered in the late afternoon and evening and meet for three hours, eight times over a 16-week semester. In the summer semester, eight week sessions are offered.
For practicing full-time educators, 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 your program plan with your faculty advisor.
Students must complete their programs within seven years, maintaining a GPA of 3.0. Students typically take four-six courses each calendar year. Failure to enroll over three contiguous semesters will result in a requirement to submit readmission materials.