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Pre-Kindergarten-Grade 3 School Level

The MEd-Curriculum Studies, PK-3 track is a 30-credit graduate track that adopts a socio-cultural perspective of curricular leadership. The program prepares practitioner leaders to improve practices that address the developmental and educational needs of children from preschool through 3rd grade. Informed by a socio-cultural perspective, the program strengthens practitioner’s ability to support learning in content areas as well as pedagogical and assessment practices relevant to children in PreK-3 settings based on NAEYC Professional Standards for teacher preparation programs. Students are able to choose from a selection of on-line, hybrid (weekend or intensive face-to-face / on-line) or face-to-face course offerings each semester. Electives, additional coursework, capstones, and field-based assessments are pre-selected for students who seek to obtain an “add-a-field” or “option B” license in early childhood education.

Twelve core credits plus at least 18 credits are chosen from the following list or other courses selected in consultation with the program advisor. Students who have not completed a teacher preparation program for initial teaching license in PK-3 may need to complete 6-12 credits of foundational coursework in early childhood education as part of their program of study.

Pre-requisite Foundational Courses:

  • One course on child development in the early years (prenatal – 8 years)
  • One course on developmentally appropriate practices in early childhood education
  • One course on partnering with families and communities in early childhood settings
  • One course on foundations in the field of early childhood education

It is highly recommended that students seeking PK-3 “add-a-field” or “option B” license complete 300-400 level initial license courses (e.g. ITE 318, ITE or EDCS 415, ITE 417, ITE 425, ITE 425) for their pre-requisites.

Required Core Courses:

  • EDCS 622B: Development and Improvement of Curriculum in Early Childhood Education (3)
  • EDCS 606: Introduction to Research (3)
  • EDCS 632: Qualitative Research Methods (3)
  • EDCS 667B: Seminar in Curriculum (Issues and Trends in Early Childhood Education) (3)
  • *EDCS 618 Early Childhood Education: Advanced Topics in Early Childhood Education.
  • Ethics and Professionalism.

*This is a required course for “Add-a-Field” and “Option B” license students.

Students who are not seeking license in PK-3 complete 18 elective credits with a majority of their coursework focusing on PreK-3 issues and content. The following courses are recommended: however, other courses can be selected with advanced approval by the student’s advisor.

Recommended Courses:

  • EDCS 415: Foundations in the Field of Early Childhood Education (Birth to 8 Years) (3)
  • EDCS 415L: Foundations in the Field of Early Childhood Education (Birth to 8 Years) Lab (3)
  • EDCS 416: Teaching and Learning for Diverse Young Children (3)
  • EDCS 416L: Teaching and Learning for Diverse Young Children Lab (3)
  • EDCS 451 Programs for Infants/Toddlers (3) / SPED 451 (3)
  • EDCS 617: Early Literacy and Language Development (3)
  • EDCS 618: Early Childhood Education: Advanced Topics (Inclusion in Early Childhood Settings) (3)
  • EDCS 619: Social and Cultural Constructions of Childhood (3)
  • EDCS 628: Function of Play in Early Childhood Education (3)
  • EDCS 640 (alpha): Seminar (alpha?) Inclusion in Early Childhood Settings
  • EDCS 656: Seminar in Issues in Early Childhood Education (repeatable) (3)
  • EDCS 677 Curriculum Design in Early Childhood Education (3)
  • HDFS 491: Topics in Family Resources (Advanced Child Development) (3)
  • LAW 590R: Child Welfare Clinic (3)
  • SPED 452: Preschool Children-Special Needs (3)
  • SPED 631: Early Intervention for Special Populations (3)
  • SPED 635: Procedures for Early Childhood Special Education (3)
  • SPED 638: Fundamentals of Language and Literacy (3)

Pre-selected Electives:

Electives and capstone options for “Add-a-Field” and “Option B” License students are pre-selected to address license requirements. Students must take 5 courses (15 credits). Choose 1 course from each of the 4 categories below and complete 1 additional elective course approved by your advisor.

Content (3 credits)

  • EDCS 416
  • EDCS 617
  • EDCS 677
  • *EDCS 656

Diversity/Cultural Competence (3 credits)

  • EDCS 416
  • EDCS 640M
  • *EDCS 656

Child Development/ Vulnerable Populations (3 credits)

  • HDFS 491
  • EDCS 619
  • SPED 631

Pedagogy (3 credits)

  • EDCS 416
  • EDCS 628
  • *EDCS 656

*EDCS 656 Since this course topic varies, consult your advisor to make sure the section offered addresses the category requirements and includes key assessments needed to be recommended for license.

Culminating Requirements: Plan A Thesis or Plan B Project / Portfolio that addresses NAEYC Professional Standards in Early Childhood Education.