Master of Arts in Early Childhood Leadership
This program is designed for working professionals with strong experience in early childhood or related educational disciplines. The program works to develop leaders from within the field who reflect the profession's rich demographic diversity and the wide range of interests and service sectors. Students learn to become effective leaders working for coordinated and equitable early learning systems at local, state, and federal levels.
Students enrolled in the program apply to either the MA program, from which they receive an MA in early childhood with an emphasis in leadership, or to the EdD program, during which they pursue an early childhood leadership emphasis for their MA before completing their doctorate degree.
- Students will understand a sampling of current theories of leadership; analyze dynamics of organizational and individual behavior (including their own) that influence effective leadership.
- Students will understand the interplay between personal and organizational factors that influence successful leadership; explore the challenges of leadership in a world where change is constant; and articulate the particular challenges faced by leaders in 21st century organizations.
- Students will explore the history of early care and education focusing on changes inservices, attitudes, stakeholders and public investment over time. Students will examine how the local system differs from that in other communities in the United States, other industrialized countries, and other related disciplines.
- Students will develop a nuanced understanding of the current early care and education system which includes knowledge about the policies, goals, funding, infrastructure, and politics related to the wide range of services serving children and their families.
- Diverse field placements: Field placements are individually designed to expand students' knowledge and expose them to the complexity of early childhood services. Field placements also emphasize the vital connection between public policy and program delivery, and reinforce the need for cross-disciplinary approaches.
- Leadership development: Through inquiry, students develop skills in listening and collegiality, so that they become effective and ethical leaders in the increasingly complex and diverse communities where early childhood professionals work. Students participate in local and statewide policy meetings and in advocacy events to observe leadership in action and to practice the skills and dispositions they are studying.
Students work with their advisor to choose courses that are in line with their interests. Many courses are designed to develop students' professional work with young children (prenatal through third grade) and families.
Students enrolled in the doctoral degree program take core courses in the Early Childhood MA Program that emphasize leadership, followed by the doctoral core courses described in the Educational Leadership Doctorate Program. See the Requirements page for a list of courses required for this program; see the Course Descriptions page for paragraph-length descriptions of individual courses.
Students participate in two semesters of field experience individually developed for them. Through experience and critical reflection, these placements expand students' perspectives on and understanding of the complex systems and issues impacting the early childhood field and their responsibilities as field leaders.
Students work in collaboration with their field supervisors to strengthen their skills in areas such as program administration, policy and legislation, effective advocacy and coalition building, workforce development, fiscal and business services, family and community engagement, research, evaluation, and systems-building work. Field placements average eight hours per week. All students work with their field supervisors to plan a final field placement project.
Students complete regular reflections during their field placements to help them become reflective professionals through self-evaluation and critical analysis.
Graduates of the program have a wide range of careers in program administration, policy and professional development, advocacy, research, philanthropy, college teaching, and family support.
Master of Arts in Education with an Emphasis in Early Childhood Leadership (MA/ECL)
Minimum of 40 semester course credits
The Early Childhood Leadership strand was developed for working professionals. Students take classes in leadership theory and development, organizational change, public policy and systems analysis, ethics and morality, family and community diversity and the application of child development theory to current issues in early care and education. In addition to academic coursework, students complete year-long field placements to expand their understanding of the various sectors of the early childhood field and to deepen their knowledge of the complex issues challenging the profession. They also regularly attend policy meetings, advocacy forums and legislative events to learn the vital connection between public policy and program delivery and to prepare them to become effective at working for more coordinated, cohesive, and equitable early learning systems across local, state, and federal contexts. Graduates of the early childhood leadership program assume a variety of leadership roles in policy, program development, administration, advocacy, teaching, professional development, coaching/mentoring, higher education, and research.
A total of 40 semester units are required to earn the MA in education with an emphasis in Early Childhood Leadership. Students work with their advisor to tailor the MA or EDD to their individual interests and specific career goals. Students enrolled in the early childhood leadership program may also complete an EDD (see Educational Leadership Handbook) or work concurrently on their Preliminary Administrative Services Credential (see ASC requirements in the Educational Leadership Handbook).
|EDUC 203||Public Policy: Children, Youth, and Family Issues||2-4|
|EDUC 214||Family Systems and Cultural Diversity: Connections with Schools, Communities, and Hospital Setting||3|
|EDUC 263||Administrative Practicum in Early Childhood Programs||3|
|EDUC 265||Child Development for Early Childhood Leaders 1||4|
|EDUC 276||Leadership and Administration in Early Childhood Programs||3|
|Plus 3-6 semester course credit of electives chosen in conjunction with advisor|
or departmental equivalent such as EDUC 236
|EDUC 290||Advanced Seminar in Child Development||3|
|EDUC 294A||Graduate Seminar: Research in Education—ECE||3|
|EDUC 294B||Research Seminar—ECE||3|
|EDUC 426||Ethical and Moral Considerations in Educational Leadership||4|
|Plus 6-9 semester course credits of electives chosen in conjunction with advisor|
- Multiple Subject Credential
- Single Subject Credential in Humanities (Art, English, or Social Science)
- Single Subject Credential in Mathematics or Science
- MA in Education (MEET)
- Language, Culture, and Trauma Certificate in Teaching
Early Childhood Education
- MA in Early Childhood Education—MA/ECE
- MA in Education, Child Life in Hospitals—MA/ECE/CL
- MA in Early Childhood Leadership—MA/ECL
- MA in Educational Leadership
- Joint MBA/MA in Educational Leadership
- Doctorate (EdD) in Educational Leadership
- Administrative Services Credential
Infant Mental Health
Accelerated Degree Programs
- BA/MA Child Development & Elementary Education
- BA/MA Early Childhood Education
- BA/MA Early Childhood Special Education/Teaching Credential
- BA/MA Education/Teaching Credential
- BA/MA Infant Mental Health