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Contact Information

Department of Teacher Education
College of Education & Human Services

Shippen Hall 214
Shippensburg University
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA  17257

Phone: 717-477-1688
Fax: 717-477-4046

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Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction

Early Childhood Education

The Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction (C & I) at Shippensburg University 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 third grade) and at least one period of that age span: infants and toddlers, preschool and kindergarten age, and primary school (grades one through three) age. 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.

The mission of early childhood education at Shippensburg University is to prepare professionals to plan, implement, and evaluate programs that serve children from birth through age eight and their families, including children with special developmental and learning needs. Settings for these programs may include centers, schools, or homes. 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. 
  • To contribute to continuing professional development in the field of early childhood education.

Both the early childhood 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. Of special note in the commentary from NAEYC were our strengths in the following areas: the infusion of family theories and family context throughout our courses, the strong emphasis on social and emotional development as well as application of this information to educational settings, and the interwoven concepts from child development theory and research through the program. 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.

To be eligible for admission to the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction (C & I) Early Childhood options, a prospective student must meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. 
  • Have an undergraduate overall grade point average of 2.75 or an approved score on the Miller Analogies Test. (A 3.0 grade point average is required for certification).
  • Submit an application and $30 application fee to the Office of Graduate Admissions. 
  • Provide official transcripts of all undergraduate/graduate work. 
  • Complete a questionnaire concerning teaching background and future goals. 
  • Submit three letters of reference. 
    •  May be requested to come to campus for an interview.

Three options are available: 

  • Option A: Master's degree in C & I with option in early childhood education. 
  • Option B: Master's degree in C & I and state certification in early childhood education (for students with existing state certification in elementary, special education, or middle school).
  • Option C: Master's degree in C & I and state certification in early childhood education (for those without certification listed in Plan B).

The options in early childhood education emphasize child development and family theory and practice. Most courses will have a balance of theory, research, and practical application. A minimum of 3 credits is required for the M.Ed. without certification.

Requirements for admission are:

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. 
  • An undergraduate overall grade point average of 3.00. If the GPA is under 3.00 the candidate has the option of taking either the Miller's Analogy Test or GRE or the candidate may start the program as a provisional student. 
  • A completed application submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions 
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate/graduate work. 
  • A completed questionnaire concerning teaching background and future goals. 
  • Three letters of reference 
  • An interview and a planning review session may be required.

Planning Sheet:

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