M Ed Early Childhood
|Jennifer Lynn Prior, PhD|
Making a Positive Difference in the Lives of Children
The Master of Education in Early Childhood is a degree program that draws a broad population of students with varied interests in the field of early childhood. Typically, students pursuing this degree hold teaching certificates and desire greater knowledge and expertise with children from birth through grade three.
By 2012, the Arizona Department of Education will require that all public school teachers working with kindergarten-aged children or younger have either an early childhood certification or an early childhood endorsement. While the Early Childhood master's program does not lead to certification, it can lead to endorsement (with proper course selection), which meets the state’s requirements when combined with a valid Arizona teaching certificate in elementary education or special education.
The Master of Education in Early Childhood is not limited to educators. Many students pursuing this degree have other interests in the field. A number of our students pursue the degree in order to increase their knowledge of child development and early education in order to become better parents. Other students from the business world take an interest in early childhood as they develop on-site childcare centers for businesses.
The program allows students the opportunity to customize their coursework to focus on key areas related to early childhood, including multi-age education, bilingual and/or multicultural education, and literacy. Courses for this program are offered in face-to-face and online formats, with many offered in the summer to accommodate those who teach full-time during the school year.
—Jennifer Lynn Prior, Associate Professor, Teaching and Learning