College of Education & Human Services

Office of Dean
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg PA 17257
coehs@ship.edu
(717) 477-1373
College Site

Department of Teacher Education

214 Shippen Hall
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257
717-477-1688
TMHeckmanHann@ship.edu
Department Website

*Online 
PA Early Childhood Directors Credential

spacer image

Highlights

Academic Master Plan

spacer image

Related Links

Semester Information

Academic Affairs Directory [PDF]

Admissions

Graduate Studies

Provost's Office

Registrar's Office

Professional, Continuing, and Distance Education

Our Ranking

spacer image

Contacts

Undergraduate
Office of the Provost
OM 308
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1371
provost@ship.edu 

Graduate
The School of Graduate Studies
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257
Phone: (717) 477-1148
Fax: (717) 477-4016
GradSchool@ship.edu

spacer image

Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction: Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education Program

The Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction (C & I) includes options in early childhood education. The early childhood options are designed to provide advanced knowledge in child development from birth through age eight (or 3rd grade) and at least one period of that age span: infants and toddlers, preschool and kindergarten, and primary school (grades 1 through 3). The PA Early Childhood Director Credential can also be completed as part of this program.

Emphasis is placed on working with young children and their families. Graduate students in the early childhood options will apply knowledge of child development, families and best teaching practices to a variety of educational settings including public school kindergarten and primary programs, preschool programs, Head Start, child care, parenting and family support programs.

At the completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of theory and practice for planning and implementing programs for individual and groups of children.
  • Apply and analyze the core knowledge and to systematically develop appropriate curriculum for individual and groups of children.
  • Demonstrate capability to refine the core knowledge and evaluate and apply research to improve practice.
  • Develop and conduct assessments of individual children and groups.
  • Demonstrate understanding of family strengths and areas for support as they form authentic partnerships with families.
  • Reflect on practices that result in improved programming for young children and families.
  • Use strategies for effectively advocating for policies designed to improve conditions for children, families, and the profession.
  • Contribute to continuing professional development in the field of early childhood education.

National Recognition

Both the early childhood option and the early childhood certification programs have recently been awarded national recognition by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the premier national scholarly organization for early childhood education. This recognition is through the auspices of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the noted organization that accredits teacher preparation programs throughout the country. After rigorous review by a national panel, our early childhood programs were granted the highest level of national recognition, meeting 100% of the guidelines for early childhood teacher preparation.

NCATE has demonstrated that quality teacher preparation makes a difference in student learning. Further, NCATE accreditation of teacher preparation programs makes a difference in teacher preparation that leads to differences in student learning. Graduates from NCATE-accredited programs become competent, caring and highly qualified teachers.

Early Childhood Education Degree Requirements

The three options in early childhood education emphasize child development and family theory and practice. Most courses have a balance of theory, research, and practical application. A minimum of 36 credits is required for the MEd without certification.

Option A: MEd in Curriculum and Instruction: Early Childhood Education

Core Courses (18 credits)

  • ECH577 Early Childhood Curriculum & Assessment
  • TCH501 Strategies for Effective Teaching
  • OR
  • TCH502 Strategies for Critical Thinking & Problem Solving
  • ECH563 Leadership in Early Childhood Education
  • TCH575 Advanced Child Development
  • ECH510 Including Young Children with Special Needs in Early Childhood Education
  • TCH600 Elements of Research

Early Childhood Specialization Courses (12 credits)

  • ECH520 Social & Emotional Development in Early Childhood
  • ECH530 Cognitive & Language Development in Early Childhood
  • ECH540 Families & Early Childhood Education
  • TCH609 Internship & Action Research Seminar

Electives with Advisement (6 credits)

  • ECH410 Physical, Motor and Sensory Development
  • RDG528 Foundations of Literacy Development
  • TCH440 Gender Equity in Education
  • TCH570 Perceptual-Motor Development
  • TCH490 Special Topics
  • TCH612 & 613 Thesis I and II
  • Other electives in consultation with adviser

Option B: MEd and State Early Childhood Teaching Certification

Option B is for students who already hold certifications in elementary, special education, or middle school education.

  • Meet all requirements in Option A.
  • Applicants with current certification who wish to pursue Pre K-4 certification will follow the Option C plan after an individual evaluation of coursework.

Option C: MEd and State Early Childhood Teaching Certification

Option C is for students without any existing certification. The following is a list of proposed alternatives to meet Pre K-4 Competencies (63 credits total):

  • TCH560 Making Social Studies Dynamic*
  • TCH546 Teaching Science in the Elementary School*
  • ECH540 Families and Early Childhood Education*
  • ECH415 Professional Practicum in PK-4
  • RDG528 Foundations of Literacy Development
  • TCH542 Modern Elementary School Mathematics
  • RDG443 PreK-4 Literacy Assessment and Data-Driven Instruction
  • EEC526 Special Topics in Special Education
  • EEC423 Effective Instructional Strategies for Children with Exceptionalities
  • EEC483 Assessing Children with Exceptionalities
  • RDG383 English Language Learners in PK-4
  • ECH489 Early Childhood Student Teaching (12 credits)
  • ECH563 Leadership in Early Childhood Education*
  • ECH575 Advanced Child Development*
  • ECH577 Curriculum and Assessment in Early Education*
  • ECH520 Social/Emotional Development*
  • ECH530 Cognitive and Language Development*

*Offered as online options. Note: TCH600 and TCH609 are required to complete the master’s degree in Early Childhood Education.

Special Resources

Shippensburg University has been educating teachers for more than 140 years; thus, teacher education is part of the very fabric of the university. A number of specialized curriculum laboratories are located on campus. A Curriculum Materials Center provides a wide range of resources: textbooks, multimedia kits, films and filmstrips, audio and videotapes and more.

Also, the university maintains the Grace B. Luhrs University Elementary School, one of the finest demonstration laboratories in the country. The school serves a heterogeneous group of children from kindergarten through fifth grade. The Bartos Child and Family Center, located in the same facility as the Luhrs School, provides childcare and family support to university faculty, staff, students and community members. Shippensburg Head Start serves preschool children and their families and is located in the Cora I. Grove Spiritual Center, adjacent to campus.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admission to this program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • Have an undergraduate overall GPA of 2.75 or an approved score on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). A 3.0 GPA is required for certification.
  • Provide official transcripts of all undergraduate/graduate work.
  • Complete a questionnaire concerning teaching background and future goals.
  • Submit three letters of reference.
  • Campus interview, if requested.

Scholarships and Tuition Reimbursement

The  Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program pays 95% of tuition costs for eligible college coursework taken by early learning professionals, with a maximum benefit of $4,500 per individual each fiscal year (July 1 through June 30).

Pennsylvania Keys to Quality offers a College Tuition Reimbursement Voucher up to $500 per college credit and up to $3000 per year in tuition reimbursement.

Tuition scholarships of $900 are available through a partnership of Shippensburg University and the South Central Regional Key.

Learn more about these programs and other financial assistance available.


Faculty

The Department of Teacher Education faculty has a wide range of interest and focus areas as well as in-depth preparation in their subjects. They are passionate about not only their teaching areas but also about assisting students in meeting their educational goals. Our faculty has involved students in writing for publication, engaging in student-faculty research, introducing them to presenting at conferences as well as involving them in many different educational outreach programs and student clubs.