The Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education program at Governors State University provides you with advanced knowledge and teaching techniques through an integrated academic approach that connects pedagogical theory to on-site field applications. Courses extend your comprehension of primary curricula and teaching methodology and reflect the professional standards identified by NAEYC and NCATE accrediting agencies. The program is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education to prepare candidates for a professional educator license and early childhood special education approval.

Three Program Options:

  • Students holding a Professional Educator License endorsed in Elementary Education or Special Education are not required to complete additional clinical hours in those areas in which they have previously had supervised experience.
  •  Students who do not hold a Illinois Professional Educator License must complete all program requirements.  
  •  Students who have significant undergraduate preparation in early childhood education or a closely-related field must complete the core and professional courses. 

The program provides students with significant field experiences in school settings. Here, you will encounter a range of situations and challenges that you will face as a practicing professional. Near the end of the program, you are required to complete a culminating experience demonstrating the integration of what you have learned in the form of a portfolio, a research study/project, thesis, or internship.

For more information, contact the Program Advisor Cynthia Hutson.

Option I - Licensed Teachers, Non-Early Childhood

Option I: Students Holding an Illinois Professional Educator License Endorsed in Elementary or Special Education

A student holding an Illinois professional educator license is not required to complete additional clinical hours in those areas in which they have previously had supervised experience. Field experiences are required of those without previous Pre-K through grade 3 experience. A practicum experience is required for those with a license, but who are lacking experience in teaching grades P-3. Students who have an Illinois professional educator license do not need to complete additional general education requirements.

Degree Requirements

Students must meet all university requirements for a Master of Arts degree. In addition, students:

  1. Must complete all course work on the student’s approved study plan.
  2. May apply a maximum of six hours of course credit earned from other accredited institutions or as a student-at-large toward the degree requirements, subject to approval by the coordinator of graduate studies.
  3. Must maintain a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher, with a grade of “B” or better in EDUC6100 and either EDEC8810 or EDUC8820, and a grade of “C” or better in all other coursework, having no more than two core or professional courses with a grade of “C”.
  4. Must complete all course work, including transfer credits, within six calendar years.
  5. Must pass a written comprehensive examination.
Core Courses (18 Hours)
  • EDUC 6100 Issues in Education (3)
  • EDEC 7740 Issues and Methods for At Risk/Special Needs (3)
  • EDUC 8114 Teacher as Researcher (3) 
  • EDEC 8810 History and Philosophy of Early Childhood Education (3)
  • EDEC 8820 Advanced Early Childhood Development (3) 
  • EDEC 8968 Culminating Experience (3)*

*Note: This experience consists of writing a thesis, completing a research project, preparing a portfolio, completing an internship, or other experience approved and supervised by a committee of three faculty members. Further information is available in the Graduate Early Childhood Education Student Handbook.

Additional Required Courses 

Option I: 22-30 hours or 34-42 hours with student teaching, plus the 18 hour core.

  • EDEC 4510 Beginning Reading and Writing Instruction (3)
  • EDEC 6641 Lab 1: Infant and Toddler (1)
  • EDEC 6640 Child with and without Special Needs and Family in the Community (3)
  • EDEC 6620 Methods of Teaching in the Arts (2)
  • EDEC 6650 Preprimary and Special Education Curriculum Development in Early Childhood (3)
  • EDEC 6651 Lab 2: Preprimary (1)
  • EDEC 7780 Psycholinguistics (3)
  • EDEC 8830 Advanced Assessment Techniques for Children with and without Special Needs in Early Childhood (3)
  • EDEC 8860 Integrating Instruction in Early Childhood Education (3)

Students who do not have prior course work in teaching reading, language arts, science, math, or social science at the primary level will be required to complete the appropriate courses below or equivalent course work determined by the coordinator of the Early Childhood program:

  • EDEC 6680 Literacy Methods in Early Childhood Education (3)
  • EDEC 6681 Lab 3: Literacy in Early Childhood Education (1)
  • EDEC 6690 Methods of Teaching Primary Math, Science, and Social Studies (3)
  • EDEC 6691 Lab 4: Teaching Primary Math, Science, and Social Studies (1)

Students who do not document previous student teaching in grades K-3, or successful teaching experience while holding a valid license at these grade levels, are required to complete:

  • EDEC 4499 Student Teaching (12)

Total - 40 - 60 Hours

Option II - Non Licensed Candidates

Option II: Students seeking the Illinois Professional Educator License endorsed in Early Childhood Education who do not hold an elementary or special education endorsed license (39 hours; plus the 18 hours required core).*

Core Courses (18 Hours)

  • EDUC 6100 Issues in Education (3)
  • EDEC 7740 Issues and Methods for At Risk/Special Needs (3)
  • EDUC 8114 Teacher as Researcher (3)
  • EDEC 8810 History and Philosophy of Early Childhood Education (3)
  • EDEC 8820 Advanced Early Childhood Development (3)
  • EDEC 8968 Culminating Experience (3)

Additional Required Courses

  • EDEC 6641 Lab 1: Infant and Toddler (1)
  • EDEC 6640 Children with and without Special Needs and Family in the Community (3)
  • EDEC 6620 Methods of Teaching in the Arts (2)
  • EDEC 6650 Preprimary and Special Education Curriculum Development in Early Childhood Education (3)
  • EDEC 6651 Lab 2: Preprimary (1)
  • EDEC 6680 Literacy Methods in Early Childhood Education (3)
  • EDEC 6681 Lab 3: Literacy in Early Childhood Education (1)
  • EDEC 6690 Methods of Teaching Primary Math, Science, and Social Studies (3)
  • EDEC 6691 Lab 4: Primary Math, Science, and Social Studies (1)
  • EDEC 7780 Psycholinguistics (3)
  • EDEC 8830 Advanced Assessment Techniques for Children with and without Special Needs in Early Childhood (3)
  • EDEC 8860 Integrating Instruction in Early Childhood Education (3)
  • EDEC 4999 Student Teaching (12)

* Also required is documentation of an 18-19 hour approved teaching specialization area (see choices in the Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education Section).

Total 57-76 Hours

Option III - Licensed Early Childhood Teachers

**This program is undergoing a redesign and is currently not accepting applications**

 

Option III: Students with undergraduate preparation in early childhood education (15-19 hours; plus the 18 hours required core).

Students in this option must complete an additional preparatory course.

Core Courses (18 Hours)

  • EDUC 6100 Issues in Education (3)
  • EDEC 7740 Issues and Methods for At Risk/Special Needs (3)
  • EDUC 8114 Teacher as Researcher (3)
  • EDEC 8810 History and Philosophy of Early Childhood Education (3)
  • EDEC 8820 Advanced Early Childhood Development (3)
  • EDEC 8968 Culminating Experience (3) 

Additional Required Courses

  • STAT 4720 Statistics or an equivalent course (3)

The following professional advancement courses:

  • PSYC 4750 Research Methodology (3)
  • PSYC 6110 Measurement and Evaluation (3)
  • PSYC 8653 Human Neuropsychology I: Brain Function (3)

Select 3 or 4 credit-hours from the following electives:

  • EDEC 7780 Psycholinguistics (3)
  • EDEC 6641 Infant/Toddler Laboratory (co-requisite EDEC6640) (1)
  • EDEC 6640 Children with and without Special Needs and Family in the Community (co-requisite EDEC651) (3)
  • EDEC 8860 Integrating Instruction in Early Childhood Education (3)
  • SPED 8619 Psychological Diagnosis of Learners with Exceptionalities (3)

Total - 33-37 Hours

Academic Advising

The Division of Education provides professional Academic Advisors to serve the needs of all of its candidates. Your program's Academic Advisor is the ideal first contact for: 

  • Individuals considering transfer into this degree program.
  • Newly admitted candidates who need to develop a plan of study, including evaluation of transfer credits.
  • Continuing candidates who have questions or comments on program policies, procedures, and requirements.

The Academic Advisor who works with the M.A. Early Childhood Education program faculty and candidates is Ms. Cynthia Hutson. Ms. Hutson's office is located in the Division of Education Academic Advising area within the College of Education.

You can contact Ms. Hutson via phone: 708.235.7304 or Email:  chutson@govst.edu.  

 

 

Program Requirements

Program Requirements

In order to continue in the program after meeting university admission requirements and before completing nine hours of graduate course, work which must include EDUC6100 and EDEC8810 or EDEC8820 with a grade “B” or higher, students must submit to the College of Education a supplemental application packet containing: 

  • Transcripts showing a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.75 or higher in all undergraduate work attempted and a grade of “B” or better in current graduate coursework.
  • Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (General Test, and Writing Subtest).
  • If seeking the Early Childhood Education certificate, evidence of having passed the Basic Skills Test, the Test of Academic Proficiency of the Illinois CertificationTesting System or evidence of possessing an Illinois teaching certificate. 
  • If seeking the Early Childhood Education certificate, evidence of completing the GSU approved criminal background check prior to enrolling in any field experience courses.
  • Some assigned field site locations may, due to state licensing, require students to submit a brief physical including a TB test, as well as finger print background check. For more information please consult the program advisor. 

Admission to Lab Courses

Before enrolling in any lab courses, students must:

  1. Submit to their advisor verification of a passing score on the Illinois Basic Skills, ACT or Test of Academic Proficiency exam.
  2. Verify the completion of the general education requirements of English 1 and 2, Math 1 and 2, one science, and one social science course before entering labs 3 and 4.
  3. Complete all prerequisite coursework.
  4. Maintain a cumulative 3.0 G.P.A. with a grade of “C” or better in all coursework, having no more than two core or professional courses with a grade of “C”.

Admission to Student Teaching

Students required to student teach must:

  1. If seeking teacher licensure for the first time, verify completion of any undergraduate general education requirements as well as documentation of an 18-19 credit hour in as teaching specialization area.
  2. Complete all professional education requirements maintaining a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher, with a grade of “B” or better in EDUC6100 and EDEC8810 or EDUC8820, and a grade of “C” or better in all other coursework, having no more than two core or professional courses with a grade of “C”.
  3. Have no more than a total of nine approved general education/specialization hours outstanding.
  4. Verify successful completion of the early childhood content area state examination. 

Candidacy

To qualify for candidacy, a student must:

  1. Attain a score of “4” or higher on the GRE Writing Exam (students scoring a “3” may be granted probationary status with additional requirements assigned).
  2. Complete undergraduate preparatory courses, SPED6101, EDEC3320, and EDCP6101 with a “B” or better.
  3. Complete all course work applicable to the degree with a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher, with a grade of “B” or better in EDUC6100 and EDEC8810 or 8820, and a grade of “C” or better in all other courses having no more than two core or professional courses with a grade of “C”.
  4. Display, or be judged as developing, the dispositions expected of graduate students as listed in the section, Teacher Education and Certification of the current catalog.
  5. Be recommended for candidacy by the Early Childhood Education program faculty. 

Degree Requirements

In addition, students:

  1. Must complete all course work on the student’s approved study plan.
  2. May apply a maximum of six hours of course credit earned from other accredited institutions or as a student-at-large toward the degree requirements, subject to approval by the coordinator of graduate studies.
  3. Must maintain a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher, with a grade of “B” or better in EDUC6100 and either EDEC8810 or EDUC8820, and a grade of “C” or better in all other coursework, having no more than two core or professional courses with a grade of “C”.
  4. Must complete all course work, including transfer credits, within six calendar years.
  5. Must pass a written comprehensive examination.