Early Childhood Education Certificate

Certificate of Advanced Study
Program Director: Janese Daniels
410-704-4832
ecedgrad@towson.edu

The Certificate of Advanced Study (C.A.S.) in Early Childhood Education is a post-master’s program that is in clear alignment with the mission and vision of the university and the College of Education, and is responsive to the needs of early childhood professionals. This 30-unit post-master’s certificate program is designed to address the need for increasing professionalism and leadership for those who work in a variety of settings with young children from birth through age 8 and their families. The C.A.S. will prepare graduate students to assume greater roles as advocates and policy specialists, administrators, family specialists, master teachers, researchers and teacher educators, and may lead to later doctoral study. Guiding principles for the C.A.S., as for the M.Ed., include an interdisciplinary perspective, collaboration, mentoring, professional dispositions and advocacy, with a foundation of the most current knowledge base in early childhood and best practice for all young children and families, consistent with national professional standards and positions.

The C.A.S. in Early Childhood Education is a 30-unit program aligned with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standards for Advanced Professional Preparation in Early Childhood Education and is structured to reflect advanced areas of specialization for professionals in the field. Individualized as well as interdisciplinary, the program includes six required courses and four elective courses, selected by the student to support an “area of focus,” as defined by NAEYC. The required courses include 6 units of internship aligned with the student’s area of focus.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

  • A master’s degree in Early Childhood Education or related field from a regionally accredited college or university**
  • An overall GPA of 3.75 or above for graduate work

Send the following admission materials to:

University Admissions
Towson University
8000 York Road
Towson, MD 21252:

  • Completed Graduate Application
  • Official transcripts for undergraduate and graduate course work
  • A letter of application describing the student’s professional goals for advanced graduate study and proposed individualized area of focus
  • Current résumé or curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation that describe the candidate’s professional experience and academic work

Non-immigrant international students: See additional admission information in Graduate Admissions.

**See Exceptions to Policy in Graduate Admissions.

CERTIFICATE REQUIREMENTS

Required Courses (18 Units)
ECED 694INTERNSHIP IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAMS6
ECED 750PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION3
ECED 760CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES IN EARLY CHILDHOOD3
ECED 762LEADERSHIP AND ADVOCACY IN EARLY EDUCATION AND CARE3
ECED 764ETHICS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE IN EDUCATION AND RELATED HUMAN SERVICES3
Electives (12 Units)
See below12
Total Units30

Electives

Students select elective courses with approval of the program director or adviser to support their professional and academic goals. National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation in Advanced Programs recognizes possible areas of focus such as the following:

  1. Early Childhood Advocate/Policy Specialist will prepare candidates to act as advocates for children, families and the profession, specializing in a particular issue or area of need or developing more generalized advocacy and public policy skills. Candidates will work with the program director or adviser to identify specific professional goals and select electives to support those goals. Suggested courses may include:
    ILPD 603SCHOOL LAW3
    HRD elective or related field: Organizational and Environmental Change3
    POSC elective or related field: Government and Legislative Processes3
    WMST, SOCI, ECON elective or other issue-specific elective3
  2. Early Childhood Teacher Educator/Researcher will prepare candidates for doctoral study at Towson or elsewhere, for teaching in institutions of higher education, or for research. Candidates will work with the program director or adviser to identify specific professional goals and select electives to support those goals. Suggested courses may include:
    EDUC 765QUALITATIVE METHODS IN EDUCATION3
    EDUC 791ADANCED QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS3
    EDUC 790ADVANCED MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICS IN EDUCATION3
    ISTC XXXElective course in Instructional Technology3
    ECED XXXElective course to support specialization for teacher educators3
    ECED 695INDEPENDENT STUDY IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION3
    EDUC 715STATISTICAL PRINCIPLES OF RESEARCH DESIGN AND ANALYSIS3
  3. Early Childhood Family Specialist will prepare candidates for further work with families of young children and will also meet requirements for a Family-Professional Collaboration Certificate. Candidates will work with the program director or adviser as well as the program director for Family Studies to determine course work:
    FMST 601APPLIED FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS3
    FMST 610FAMILY-PROFESSIONAL COLLABORATION3
    FMST 620PROJECT IN FAMILY FOCUSED PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT3
    ECED or FMST elective or related field3
  4. Early Childhood Accomplished Teacher will support candidates in preparation for NBPTS certification. Candidates will choose four courses as needed to supplement prior course work in order to align with NBPTS. ECED 694 may focus on mentorship or portfolio building. Candidates who did not receive the M.Ed. at Towson may include one or more of the required courses for the M.Ed. Possible course choices:
    ECED 604MATH/SCIENCE IN THE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAM3
    ECED 608INTEGRATED CURRICULUM AND AUTHENTIC LEARNING IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION3
    ECED 612CONFLICT RESOLUTION AND MANAGEMENT IN PROGRAMS FOR YOUNG CHILDREN3
    ECED 623STRATEGIES FOR TEACHING READING &WRITING: BALANCED LITERACY APPROACHES IN ECED CLASSROOM3-6
    or ECED 680 CELEBRATING THE ARTS WITH YOUNG CHILDREN: INTEGRATING THE ARTS IN CURRICULUM FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
    ISTC XXXElective in Instructional Technology3
    REED XXXElective in Reading3
  1.  

Key elements of Standard 1
1a: Knowing and understanding young children’s characteristics and needs, from birth through age 8.
1b: Knowing and understanding the multiple influences on early development and learning
1c: Using developmental knowledge to create healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging learning environments for young children
Key elements of Standard 2
2a: Knowing about and understanding diverse family and community characteristics
2b: Supporting and engaging families and communities through respectful, reciprocal relationships
2c: Involving families and communities in young children’s development and learning
Key elements of Standard 3
3a: Understanding the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment including its use in development of appropriate goals, curriculum, and teaching strategies for young children
3b: Knowing about assessment partnerships with families and with professional colleagues to build effective learning environments
3c: Knowing about and using observation, documentation, and other appropriate assessment tools and approaches, including the use of technology in documentation, assessment and data collection.
3d: Understanding and practicing responsible assessment to promote positive outcomes for each child, including the use of assistive technology for children with disabilities.
Key elements of Standard 4
4a: Understanding positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation of their work with young children
4b: Knowing and understanding effective strategies and tools for early education, including appropriate uses of technology
4c: Using a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate teaching /learning approaches
4d: Reflecting on own practice to promote positive outcomes for each child
Key elements of Standard 5
5a: Understanding content knowledge and resources in academic disciplines: language and literacy; the arts music, creative movement, dance, drama, visual arts; mathematics; science, physical activity, physical education, health and safety; and social studies.
5b: Knowing and using the central concepts, inquiry tools, and structures of content areas or academic disciplines
5c: Using own knowledge, appropriate early learning standards, and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate developmentally meaningful and challenging curriculum for each child.
Key elements of Standard 6
6a: Identifying and involving oneself with the early childhood field
6b: Knowing about and upholding ethical standards and other early childhood professional guidelines
6c: Engaging in continuous, collaborative learning to inform practice; using technology effectively with young children, with peers, and as a professional resource.
6d: Integrating knowledgeable, reflective, and critical perspectives on early education
6e: Engaging in informed advocacy for young children and the early childhood profession
Key elements of Standard 7
7a. Opportunities to observe and practice in at least two of the three early childhood age groups (birth age 3, 3-5, 5-8)
 7b. Opportunities to observe and practice in at least two of the three main types of early education settings (early school grades, child care centers and homes, Head Start programs)

Courses

ECED 515 DAY CARE CENTER (3)

ECED 603 TEACHER-LEARNER RELATIONSHIPS IN THE EARLY CHILDHOOD CLASSROOM (3)

Theory, philosophy and research on teacher-learner relationships with emphasis on developing corresponding learning classroom environments and interaction between teacher and learner in the early childhood classroom.

ECED 604 MATH/SCIENCE IN THE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAM (3)

Theory, pedagogy and related research on developmentally appropriate practices in math and science for young children, with emphasis on a constructivist approach to learning.

ECED 605 THE ARTS AND YOUNG CHILDREN (3)

Explores the fundamental role of the arts in young children's lives and curricula, expands on teacher understanding of the arts for all individuals, provides references for low- or no-cost materials, as well as concrete, practical strategies for fine arts learning design and implementation. The course identifies how the arts build interest, motivation and learning in all areas of the curriculum.

ECED 607 LEARNER DIVERSITY, CULTURAL RESPONSIVENESS, AND INCLUSION IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (3)

Theory, pedagogy and related research on multiple aspects of learner diversity, with emphasis on developing appropriate culturally responsive and inclusive environments for young children.

ECED 608 INTEGRATED CURRICULUM AND AUTHENTIC LEARNING IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (3)

An integrated approach to learning in preschool and primary programs, with emphasis on social studies, the arts and technology through the Project Approach and inspirations from Reggio Emilia. Based on an understanding of young children's growth and development, and on appropriate curriculum practices with strategies for meaningful learning within various curriculum systems and settings. Addresses the skills, knowledge and attitudes that children need in a diverse, democratic society. Prerequisites: Graduate standing or permission of instructor.

ECED 609 GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF YOUNG CHILDREN (3)

Current theory and research on the growth and development of young children, including both typical and atypical development; methods of studying behavior; implications for early childhood programs. To be completed during the fall or spring semesters within the first 6 credit hours of the program.

ECED 610 LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS: CURRICULUM AND TECHNOLOLGY (3)

Research and practice on school transformations and new educational directions as a result of evolving technologies. Examine how emerging technologies can support curriculum and create new learning environments that are developmentally appropriate for young children.

ECED 611 TEACHER AS RESEARCHER: RESEARCH METHODS IN EDUCATION (3)

Development of skills, insights and understanding basic to planning and conducting research, with emphasis on interpretation and application of research results. Focus on research methods and literature applicable to early childhood education. To be completed during the fall or spring semesters within the first 6 credit hours of the program.

ECED 612 CONFLICT RESOLUTION AND MANAGEMENT IN PROGRAMS FOR YOUNG CHILDREN (3)

Examines the nature of young children's peer conflicts, the role of conflict in children's development and ways for practitioners and families to promote children's pro-social interaction, conflict resolution and early violence prevention. Also addresses adult conflict issues in early childhood settings.

ECED 613 PROGRAMS FOR INFANTS AND YOUNG CHILDREN (3)

Research, theory and best practice relating to the development and care of young children from 0 to 3. Examines the design, implementation and evaluation of programs for infants and toddlers. Emphasis on the needs of young children and their families in diverse and inclusive settings.

ECED 614 WORKING WITH LINGUISTICALLY DIVERSE YOUNG CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES (3)

Examines research, theory and practice in educating linguistically diverse learners in the early childhood classroom. Designed to enhance understanding and implementation of instructional materials, methodologies, and assessment practices to support linguistically diverse learners and literacy development. Strategies to enhance collaboration with diverse families and cultures will also be emphasized in this course.

ECED 615 ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION OF EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS (3)

Theory and practice of operating programs for young children, staff selection and mentoring; curriculum development; working with families; licensing and accreditation; budgeting; program and staff evaluation.

ECED 616 MATERIALS AND PRACTICE FOR MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY AND LEARNING (3)

Research and practice on multimedia technology and early childhood education. Experience and evaluate resources for young children. Experiment and integrate technology in classrooms with young children, grades Pre-K to 3.

ECED 618 THINKING THROUGH THE PROCESSES AND ACQUISITION OF LITERACY (3)

Literacy acquisition, birth through age 8, through study of learning theories based on brain research, cognition, language acquisition. Strategies for integrating reading and writing processes across the curriculum. Bachelor's degree in ECE or related field, teaching experience or permission of instructor.

ECED 619 ASSESSMENT, OBSERVATION AND EVALUATION IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (3)

Forms, functions and roles of assessment for planning and implementing effective programs for young children from diverse cultures and home languages and with varied learning needs. Qualitative and quantitative approaches to assessment and evaluation and methods of observing children. Appropriate strategies for conducting, reporting and decision-making related to various procedures and instruments.

ECED 621 ASSESSMENT OF READING AND WRITING IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (3)

Assessment to Guide Instruction: Assessment of primary-grade children's reading and writing. Purposes and types of assessment tools available for use in the classroom, types of information provided by assessment tools and appropriate use of the information including communicating results and formulating specific instructional recommendations to enhance each child's growth in reading and writing.

ECED 623 STRATEGIES FOR TEACHING READING &WRITING: BALANCED LITERACY APPROACHES IN ECED CLASSROOM (3)

Reading and writing instruction with young children: development of comprehensive, effective programs, management of programs, evaluation of learning, use of strategies to develop comprehension, word skill and composition.

ECED 647 ADVANCED PROCESSES OF TEACHING AND LEARNING (3)

Systems of analyzing teaching behavior; models of teaching for achieving cognitive, social and personal learning objectives; and analysis of classroom application of teaching models.

ECED 665 CURRICULUM THEORY AND DEVELOPMENT (3)

History, theories, research and contemporary influences of curriculum development in early childhood education; objectives, content and evaluation; teacher as curriculum developers and implementers.

ECED 670 SPEC TOPICS ECED (1-3)

In-depth study of a selected topic in Early Childhood Education. The specific requirements and prerequisites will vary with each topic and will be designated by the department each time there is a topic scheduled. Each topic may be taken as a separate course.

ECED 671 SPEC TOPICS ECED (1-3)

In-depth study of a selected topic in Early Childhood Education. The specific requirements and prerequisites will vary with each topic and will be designated by the department each time there is a topic scheduled. Each topic may be taken as a separate course.

ECED 672 SPEC TOPICS ECED (1-3)

In-depth study of a selected topic in Early Childhood Education. The specific requirements and prerequisites will vary with each topic and will be designated by the department each time there is a topic scheduled. Each topic may be taken as a separate course.

ECED 673 SPEC TOPICS ECED (1-3)

In-depth study of a selected topic in Early Childhood Education. The specific requirements and prerequisites will vary with each topic and will be designated by the department each time there is a topic scheduled. Each topic may be taken as a separate course.

ECED 674 SPEC TOPICS ECED (1-3)

In-depth study of a selected topic in Early Childhood Education. The specific requirements and prerequisites will vary with each topic and will be designated by the department each time there is a topic scheduled. Each topic may be taken as a separate course.

ECED 675 SPECIAL TOPICS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (1-3)

In-depth study of a selected topic in Early Childhood Education. The specific requirements and prerequisites will vary with each topic and will be designated by the department each time there is a topic scheduled. Each topic maybe taken as a separate course.

ECED 676 SPECIAL TOPICES IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (1-3)

In-depth study of a selected topic in Early Childhood Education. The specific requirements and prerequisites will vary with each topic and will be designated by the department each time there is a topic scheduled. Each topic maybe taken as a separate course.

ECED 677 SPECIAL TOPICS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (1-3)

In-depth study of a selected topic in Early Childhood Education. The specific requirements and prerequisites will vary with each topic and will be designated by the department each time there is a topic scheduled. Each topic maybe taken as a separate course.

ECED 678 SPECIAL TOPICS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (1-3)

In-depth study of a selected topic in Early Childhood Education. The specific requirements and prerequisites will vary with each topic and will be designated by the department each time there is a topic scheduled. Each topic maybe taken as a separate course.

ECED 679 SPECIAL TOPICS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (1-3)

in-depth study of a selected topic in Early Childhood Education. The specific requirements and prerequisites will vary with each topic and will be designated by the department each time there is a topic scheduled. Each topic maybe taken as a separate course.

ECED 680 CELEBRATING THE ARTS WITH YOUNG CHILDREN: INTEGRATING THE ARTS IN CURRICULUM FOR YOUNG CHILDREN (6)

Understanding and integration of the arts in teaching and learning with all young children. Experiences in music, dance, drama, and visual arts, supported by computer technology, with focus on inclusion of children with special needs. Emphasis on developing creative and aesthetic expression. Exploring the potential of the arts in literacy learning and the value of the arts in diverse and inclusive settings. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of the graduate program director.

ECED 692 GRADUATE INTERNSHIP: PREPRIMARY (3)

Integration of theory and practice in a public Pre-Kindergarten or Kindergarten setting with guidance from the classroom mentor teacher and university supervisor. Approximately eight weeks. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all identified prerequisite coursework; completion of application with the Center for Professional Practice (CPP); consent of Graduate Program Director, Department Chair, and CPP Director.

ECED 693 GRADUATE INTERNSHIP: PRIMARY (3)

Integration of theory and practice in a public 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade setting with guidance from the classroom mentor teacher and university supervisor. Approximately eight weeks. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all identified prerequisite coursework; completion application with the Center for Professional Practice (CPP); consent of Graduate Program Director, Department Chair, and CPP Director.

ECED 694 INTERNSHIP IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAMS (3-6)

Experience relating theory and practice in early childhood education programs. Prerequisites: Early Childhood graduate student standing and consent of the Early Childhood Education graduate program director.

ECED 695 INDEPENDENT STUDY IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (3)

Independent study in selected areas of early childhood education. Prerequisites: Early Childhood graduate student standing and consent of Early Childhood Education graduate program director.

ECED 696 DIRECTED READING IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (3)

Independent readings in journals and professional books in selected areas of Early Childhood Education. Prerequisites: Early Childhood graduate student standing and consent of the Early Childhood Education graduate program director.

ECED 750 PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (3)

The design, development and evaluation of programs in education and human services, including early childhood education. Theory, paradigms and models; policy in the program development process; grant writing; Brofenbrenner's notions of the ecology of human development in the design of programs; budgeting; program evaluation and use of technology in program development.

ECED 752 FAMILIES, SCHOOLS, AND COMMUNITIES IN A CONTEMPORARY CONTEXT (3)

Family, community, and school as a focal point of professional practice for teachers and teacher educators; relationship between teachers and families in support of the education and development of children in the context of the community; addresses teacher/child/family interactions within diverse contemporary communities, including urban, rural, tribal, migrant, linguistic, ethnic and others. Within a bioecological systems framework, the course builds on knowledge base of research, theory and practice, addressing national standards and practical applications for teachers.

ECED 760 CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES IN EARLY CHILDHOOD (3)

In depth consideration of guiding theories and critical perspectives in the field of early childhood. Readings to include original works by Vygotsky, Bronfenbrenner, Piaget and others. Post-modern, feminist, post-colonial perspectives, activity and systems theories offer a critical examination of traditional theories in relation to current research and to the students' professional experiences. Prerequisites: No prerequisite courses. Open only to students in CAS in Early Childhood or with permission of the program director.

ECED 762 LEADERSHIP AND ADVOCACY IN EARLY EDUCATION AND CARE (3)

Theory, research and practice in early childhood as a foundation for leadership in the field and advocacy on behalf of young children, families, communities and the profession. An examination of current issues in the field and strategies for articulating positions and for working toward change. Leadership in teaching administration, policy-making and ethical decision-making. Prerequisites: Open only to students in CAS in Early Childhood Education or other graduate students with permission of the program director.

ECED 764 ETHICS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE IN EDUCATION AND RELATED HUMAN SERVICES (3)

An examination of the nature of ethics, social justice, and related critical social issues, addressing theoretical foundations and emphasis on implications for practice and advocacy among education and other professionals in early childhood education, elementary education, secondary education, special education, and other educational specializations as well as for those in administration and in related human services settings. Open only to students in CAS in Early Childhood Education or to other graduate students with permission of the program director.

ECED 773 SEMINAR IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (3)

The final course for students enrolled in the graduate program in Early Childhood Education. Focus of seminar discussions on issues and topics of importance in early childhood education. Exploration of theoretical, philosophical, historical and/or sociological foundations of topics (to be taken in the final semester of the program).

ECED 794 TRAVEL AND STUDY IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (1-6)

A field study, including cultural tours in selected foreign countries, of current early childhood education programs, facilities, and trends. Academic work includes lectures, observations, and personal interactions. Participation in planned educational activities and a follow-up paper are required. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units.

ECED 897 EARLY CHILDHOOD ED THESIS (6)

Original investigation using acceptable research method and design under the direction of one or more faculty members.

ECED 898 EARLY CHLDHOOD ED THESIS (3)

The previous course, ECED 897, taken over two consecutive semesters.

ECED 899 THESIS CONTINUUM (1)

Continuation of thesis research.