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MS in Education, Early Childhood Education

School of Public Service and Education

The Early Childhood Education specialization offers master’s learners the opportunity to expand their knowledge and improve their teaching skills and ability to help young children learn. This specialization prepares learners for professional instructional roles in the field of early childhood education through relevant learning experiences that incorporate personal knowledge, critical dialogue with peers, faculty expertise, research-based curriculum, and interdisciplinary instruction. Learners evaluate early childhood education theory, research, and curriculum, and examine the learning styles of young children, the educational needs of exceptional children, and the role of family relationships in childhood education. The curriculum reflects nationally recognized standards, including the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).

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Eleven Required Courses

 

 

At least 46 quarter credits

Practicum/Internship Experience Requirement(s):

Minimum of 80 practicum hours. See the Practicum/Internship Experience section below for more information.​

Core courses:

ED5010
Foundations of Master’s Studies in Education

This course provides learners with opportunities to acquire and use graduate-level skills, including the ability to critically examine and apply relevant educational theory to professional practice. Learners develop expertise in academic inquiry and scholarly writing as well as explore the importance of multicultural perspectives and diversity in professional contexts. Finally, learners articulate and examine their professional purpose and its alignment with their specialization and career aspirations.  Must be taken during the first quarter by learners who have been admitted to the MEd in Teaching and Learning, MS in Education, MS in Education Innovation and Technology, and MS in Higher Education degree programs and the Adult Education and Higher Education Leadership and Administration graduate certificate programs. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or credit for prior learning.

4 quarter credits
ED5006
Survey of Research Methodology

This course is an overview of graduate research methodology. Learners examine fundamental research methodologies and their respective quantitative and qualitative approaches to rigorous scholarly inquiry.

4 quarter credits
ED5420 *
Exceptional Children in the Early Childhood Setting

In this course, learners gain the skills and knowledge needed to meet the needs of young learners in an inclusive environment. The course deals specifically with emotionally, mentally, and physically challenged children, including those who receive special education services in the P–12 system. Learners develop authentic curriculum and learning assessment strategies that are meaningful and understandable to children with various needs. This course requires access to educational settings, programs, and/or practitioners with a focus on children from birth to age eight. Prerequisite(s): ED5405.

4 quarter credits
ED5500
Standards-Based Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

In this course, learners examine national and state learning standards related to their content area or grade level. Learners utilize research-based curriculum to craft assessments that are aligned to standards, and implement instruction that is meaningful to students and supports their academic achievement. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district.

4 quarter credits
ED5501
Assessment and Improvement of Instruction

In this course, learners examine instruction and learning improvement strategies and collaborate with students’ families, the community, and other professionals for the purpose of improving instruction. Learners also evaluate instruction to determine how well it promotes professional teaching standards and dispositions. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district.

4 quarter credits
ED5503
Classroom Management Strategies

Learners in this course apply strategies for managing diverse and challenging student behaviors and develop the skills needed to create classroom environments that maximize the opportunity for each student to learn. This course emphasizes the roles, rights, and responsibilities of all stakeholders under The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Section 504 legislation. This course requires access to a P–12 classroom and/or educational stakeholders in a P–12 school or district.

4 quarter credits

Specialization courses:

ED5405
Infant and Child Development

This course addresses the developmental stages of children from the prenatal period to age eight years. Learners examine how children develop physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually; and evaluate the influences family, society, and culture have on infant, toddler, and K–grade three child development. Learners also assess children’s evolving needs and apply theory and research to recommend appropriate responses to those needs. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or credit for prior learning except by coursework from Minnesota schools with approved licensure programs.

4 quarter credits
ED5410 *
The Early Childhood Learning Environment

This course covers the early childhood environment and its effects on growth and learning. Learners evaluate the physical environment, the role of the caregivers and teachers, and the interaction among children, and identify methods of increasing child engagement, effective communication, and learning. Learners explore ways to create supportive and nurturing learning environments and how to monitor, reflect, and adjust them to best meet the needs of young children. Learners also become familiar with the responsibilities associated with working in the early childhood learning field. This course requires access to educational settings, programs, and/or practitioners with a focus on children from birth to age eight. Prerequisite(s): ED5405. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or credit for prior learning except by coursework from Minnesota schools with approved licensure programs.

4 quarter credits
ED5430 *
Children, Families, and Society

Learners in this course examine the importance of actively engaging families in the education and care of children. The course takes an ecological approach to children’s relationships with parents, caregivers, and the broader community. Learners study the characteristics, lifestyles, and contributions associated with various racial, cultural, and economic groups to gain an understanding of the impact of human behavior on children’s growth and development. This course requires access to educational settings, programs, and/or practitioners with a focus on children from birth to age eight. Prerequisite(s): ED5405. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or credit for prior learning except by coursework from Minnesota schools with approved licensure programs.

4 quarter credits
ED5440
Early Childhood Reading and Literacy Instruction

 Learners gain an understanding of theories that drive strategies and practices for teaching reading and promoting literacy in children. Using diversity, equity and inclusion as a frame, learners identify the factors significant to literacy development in children, including the classroom environment, family and community connections, and best practices in professional development for reading and writing instruction. Learners also work with children on improving their reading and literacy ability and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions associated with excellence in reading and literacy curriculum development, instruction, and assessment.  This course requires access to educational settings, programs, and/or practitioners with a focus on children from birth to age eight. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer except by coursework from Minnesota schools with approved licensure programs.

4 quarter credits
ED5450 *
Early Childhood Education Practicum

This course is the required capstone course for learners in the master’s Early Childhood Education specialization and is taken after completing all required coursework. Learners complete an 80-hour practicum and review the master’s specialization outcomes in preparation for developing a final portfolio that demonstrates proficiency in early child education. This course requires access to a licensed daycare center, a preschool and/or a K-3 classroom.  For MS Early Childhood Education learners only. Grading for this course is S/NS. Must be taken during the learner’s final quarter. Prerequisite(s): A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better and the completion, submission, and approval of a practicum application. Please refer to practicum and internship Campus resource pages for information regarding application due dates and site and supervisor guidelines. ED5006; ED5010; ED5405; ED5500; ED5501; ED5503; ED5504 or ED5420; ED5410; ED5430; ED5440. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or credit for prior learning.

6 quarter credits

 

 

Total

 

 

At least 46 quarter credits

* Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the descriptions for further details.

Learners who do not complete all program requirements within quarter credit/program point minimums will be required to accrue such additional quarter credits/program points as are associated with any additional or repeat coursework necessary for successful completion of program requirements.

Practicum/Internship Experience 

​Learners enrolled in the MS in Education, Early Childhood Education degree program must complete 80 hours of site-based learning experience as a requirement of their program. Learners apply the skills developed through the course of the program at approved sites and develop a final portfolio that demonstrates proficiency in early childhood education. The practicum course (ED5450) serves as the culmination of their program and the final hours of the practicum. Practicum and/or Internship hours are considered complete once all program required practicum/internships hours have been successfully achieved. Partial completion of practicum/internship requirements/hours can't be verified for licensure or transfer of hours.

Learners in the MS in Education, Early Childhood Education specialization are required to complete ED5010 with a grade of “B" or higher as a condition of continued enrollment in the program.

Capella University cannot guarantee eligibility for licensure, endorsement, other professional credential, or salary advancement. State licensing regulations and professional standards vary; learners are responsible for understanding and complying with the requirements of the state in which they intend to work. For more information, see the professional licensure disclosures for this program on Capella’s website. Contact your school district for a determination on qualifications for salary advancement. 

Learners are required to pass the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations (MTLE) to successfully complete their program. Learners must identify Capella University as a recipient to ensure the score report is sent to the university. Learners are responsible for any costs associated with these examinations.

Arkansas and Kentucky residents are not eligible to enroll in this specialization.

 

 

 

 

Multiple specializations available  (must be within the same degree program)