Why UM-Flint

What Sets UM-Flint's Early Childhood Education (MA) Program Apart?

Widely recognized and respected for the quality of its graduates, the Early Childhood Education program at UM-Flint offers three tracks to prepare you for a rewarding career working with young children, birth through eight years old. Choose the option that fits your background and professional goals.

MASTER OF ARTS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

UM-Flint’s Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education is designed for early childhood education professionals who seek graduate study in their field, or for those pursuing a career in early childhood education—including individuals with extensive backgrounds in child development who do not hold an elementary teaching certificate. 

MASTER OF ARTS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION WITH EARLY CHILDHOOD (ZS) ENDORSEMENT 

This track, which includes 6 credits of field experience, is designed for certified teachers seeking graduate education in early childhood education together with the ZS endorsement.

EARLY CHILDHOOD (ZS) ENDORSEMENT

UM-Flint’s Early Childhood Education program with ZS Endorsement prepares you to add the Early Childhood Education (ZS) endorsement to your Michigan elementary teaching certificate. 

Note: The endorsement program in Early Childhood Education can be pursued as part of the master’s program in Early Childhood education or independently. However, to qualify for federal financial aid (including loans), students must be enrolled in the master’s program.

FIELD-BASED EXPERIENCE 

UM-Flint offers an onsite Early Childhood Development Center where graduate students engage in hands-on learning experiences working directly with young children and students. Students who earn their Early Childhood Education (MA) degree from UM-Flint develop extensive knowledge and real-world experience in their field as they prepare for careers working with young children.

CHOICE AND FLEXIBILITY

The MA in Early Childhood Education degree features both thesis and non-thesis options to suit your unique career goals and area of focus. Classes are held on UM-Flint’s campus, primarily in the evenings to accommodate working professionals.

EXPERT FACULTY

UM-Flint’s Early Childhood Education instructors are highly experienced and respected experts in their field. Our faculty make themselves available to you beyond the classroom, serving as mentors as well as instructors.

SMALL CLASSES

You’ll complete your studies with a small group of fellow educators who share your passion for educational excellence. This close interaction enables you to develop a strong support network for personal and professional development. Coursework emphasizes team-based project work that allows for networking while improving collaborative and communication skills.

U-M RESOURCES

As part of the world-renowned University of Michigan community, you’ll also have access to the full academic and research resources at the Flint, Dearborn, and Ann Arbor campuses.

Courses

Early Childhood Education (MA)

The Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education program is designed for individuals who currently have or are seeking careers as educators of young children, birth through eight years of age. It focuses on educational issues and practices appropriate for this population. Coursework outside of the concentration strand has been designed to support and enhance the concepts presented. Students select the thesis option (33 credits) or non-thesis option (36 credits). Individuals who wish to pursue a research career, administrative position and/or doctoral degree in education are encouraged to select the thesis option. The program complies with the standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

The program is open to individuals who hold elementary teaching certification. Individuals with extensive backgrounds in child development who do not hold an elementary teaching certificate may also be considered for admission. Upon successful completion of the concentration, the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification in Early Childhood Education (Test Code 106), and a minimum of 300 contact hours (150 with each of two of the age groups infant-toddler, preprimary, and K-3rd grade), graduates with teaching certificates from the State of Michigan will be eligible for a certificate endorsement in early childhood education (coded ZS in Michigan).

Requirements


A. Education Core Courses (6 credits)


  • One from:

  • EDE 500 - Contemporary Issues in Learning and Teaching. (3).
  • EDE 601 - Contemporary Issues in Educational Policy in a Pluralistic Society. (3).
  •  

  • EDE 670 - Research Seminar. (3).

B. Early Childhood Education Courses (18 credits)


  • ECE 500 - Current Trends and Issues in Early Childhood Education. (3).
  • ECE 522 - Understanding and Working with Parents of Young Children. (3).
  • ECE 541 - Developmental Assessment of Young Children’s Learning. (3).
  • ECE 645 - Advanced Study of Early Childhood Integrated Curriculum. (3).
  •  

  • Two from:

  • ECE 520 - Early Childhood Special Education. (3).
  • ECE 649 - Administration, Organization and Operation of Early Childhood Programs. (3).
  • ECE 660 - Advanced Supervised Field Experience in Infant-Toddler Settings. (3).
  • ECE 661 - Advanced Supervised Field Experience in Pre-Primary Settings. (3).
  • ECE 662 - Advanced Supervised Field Experience in Primary Settings. (3).
  • EDE 545 - Instructional Issues in Multicultural Education. (3).
  • EDE 580 - Independent Study in Elementary Education. (1-3).
  • EDE 585 - Special Topics in Elementary Education. (1-6).
  • EDN 510 - Teaching in the Inclusive Classroom. (3).
  • EDR 520 - Reading and Writing Development of Young Children. (3).
  • EDR 530 - Children's Literature. (3).
  • ECE 645 - Advanced Study of Early Childhood Integrated Curriculum. 

Note


Students who already have the ZA endorsement can elect any 6 credits from the list.

Students who do not have the State of Michigan Early Childhood Endorsement (ZS) and who wish to receive it with this program must elect:

  • ECE 660 - Advanced Supervised Field Experience in Infant-Toddler Settings. (3).
  •  

  • One from:

  • ECE 661 - Advanced Supervised Field Experience in Pre-Primary Settings. (3).
  • ECE 662 - Advanced Supervised Field Experience in Primary Settings. (3).

C. Cognate Courses (6 credits)


Two from:

  • LIN 520 - Linguistics for Teachers. (3).
  • LIN 521 - First Language Acquisition. (3).
  • PSY 500 - Growth and Development of Young Children. (3).

D. Option of Choice (33-36 credits)


Non-Thesis Option (6 credits)


  • Additional courses listed under A or B2 above
    and/or
  • ECE 520 - Early Childhood Special Education. (3).

Thesis Option (3 credits)


  • EDE 698 - Master’s Project. (3). (prerequisite: completion of at least 24 credit hours)

Early Childhood Endorsement


This 27-credit-program is designed for individuals who hold elementary teaching certification and wish to add the Early  Childhood endorsement to their teaching certificates. All coursework applied toward the endorsement may also be applied  toward a Master’s degree in Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Education. Upon successful completion of the endorsement program and the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification in Early Childhood Education, individuals will be eligible for a certificate endorsement in early childhood education (coded ZS in Michigan). A minimum of 300 contact hours in two of the three following age groups: infant-toddler, pre-primary and K-3rd grade (150 hours in each setting selected). Students should consult an early childhood advisor before registering for field courses.

Requirements


A. Early Childhood Core Courses (18 credits)


  • ECE 500 - Current Trends and Issues in Early Childhood Education. (3).
  • ECE 520 - Early Childhood Special Education. (3).
  • ECE 522 - Understanding and Working with Parents of Young Children. (3).
  • ECE 533 - Working with Infants and Toddlers. (3).
  • ECE 541 - Developmental Assessment of Young Children’s Learning. (3).
  • ECE 645 - Advanced Study of Early Childhood Integrated Curriculum. (3).

B. Field Experiences (6 credits)


Each includes minimum of 150 contact hours in age groups: Infant/Toddlers and one of Preprimary or Grades K-3.

  • ECE 660 - Advanced Supervised Field Experience in Infant-Toddler Settings. (3).
  •  

  • One from:

  • ECE 661 - Advanced Supervised Field Experience in Pre-Primary Settings. (3).
  • ECE 662 - Advanced Supervised Field Experience in Primary Settings. (3).

C. Electives (3 credits)


One from:

  • ECE 543 - Emergent Literacy. (3).
  • ECE 649 - Administration, Organization and Operation of Early Childhood Programs. (3).
  • EDE 500 - Contemporary Issues in Learning and Teaching. (3).
  • EDE 545 - Instructional Issues in Multicultural Education. (3).
  • EDE 585 - Special Topics in Elementary Education. (1-6).
  • EDE 601 - Contemporary Issues in Educational Policy in a Pluralistic Society. (3).
  • EDN 510 - Teaching in the Inclusive Classroom. (3).
  • EDR 520 - Reading and Writing Development of Young Children. (3).
  • EDR 530 - Children's Literature. (3).
  • EDR 535 - Folklore and Storytelling. (3).
  • EDR 645 - Literacy Instruction for Students Identified with Special Needs. (3).
  • LIN 520 - Linguistics for Teachers. (3).
  • LIN 521 - First Language Acquisition. (3).
  • PSY 500 - Growth and Development of Young Children. (3).


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Admission

Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Minimum overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • If applying for the ZS endorsement, an elementary or special education Michigan teaching certificate is required; otherwise, certificate not required.

Applying

To be considered for admission, submit the following to the Office of Graduate Programs, 251 Thompson Library:

  • Application for Graduate Admission
  • $55 application fee (non-refundable)
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Statement of Purpose describing your goals for entering the graduate program and how these goals connect to your views on teaching and learning
  • Résumé
  • Three letters of recommendation, preferably with at least one from an academic reference and one from an individual familiar with your teaching or professional work
  • A copy of your teaching certificate is required if you will be applying for the ZS endorsement
  • International students must submit additional documentation. Visit the International Students page for details.

Application Deadlines

The program has rolling admissions and reviews completed applications each month.

Application deadlines are as follows:     

  • Fall (early deadline*) – May 1
  • Fall (final deadline) – August 1
  • Winter – November 15
  • Spring – March 15
  • Summer – May 15

*You must apply for admission by the early deadline to be eligible for scholarships, grants, and research assistantships.

International students are required to apply earlier than the deadlines posted here. The final deadlines for international students are May 1 for the fall semester, September 1 for the winter semester, and January 1 for the spring term.