Early Childhood Education

Master of Education
  • Overview
  • Course Information
  • Tuition
  • Benefits

If you have a desire to shape, coach and guide young children through their first years of life when social, physical, cognitive, and emotional development occur, the master’s degree in Early Childhood Education specialization is an ideal choice. Mentored by your doctoral professors, you’ll learn to assess educational potential, create instructional programs, direct and coordinate learning activities, and manage early childhood classrooms. As an Early Childhood Education graduate, you are prepared to pursue positions at public or private schools, daycare centers, kindergarten institutions or community colleges, such as curriculum developer, manager or administrator, early childhood consultant and early childhood case manager.

Certification and Licensing

The School of Education serves educational leaders by providing online graduate studies in education to reach worldwide populations. The MEd program is designed to reach national and international markets and does not purport to provide licensure or certification in any particular state or country. Certification requirements vary by state. Students are advised to contact their state department of education or local school district for guidance in obtaining certification or licensure, or for approval in fulfilling district level incentive programs.

There are several reasons why an educator would want to pursue a graduate degree in education that does not lead to state licensing or certification.

Reasons may include:

  • "Move up" steps on the salary schedule.
  • Improve skills and professionalism in general or to pursue a ”leadership” position outside the classroom (school-based or district level).
  • Advance as a ”teacher leader” through a graduate degree (already has a bachelor's degree and certification).
  • Meet the needs of increasingly diverse students.
  • Work in a traditional K-12 classroom environment (trainer, educational consultant, etc).

Completion Period for Master's Degrees

Northcentral University allows 5 years to complete all 30 credit hour master's programs. Normal time to complete varies depending upon the rate courses are taken and credits transferred.

See below for specialization courses specific to this program. To learn more, fill out the request information form below or view the course catalog.

Course Code


Course Description


Foundations of Early Childhood Education

In this course, students will examine the historical, theoretical, and developmental foundations of education for students in Pre-K through grade three. An emphasis will be placed on theoretical perspectives related to early childhood development, including students with exceptional needs and English Language Learners. Course activities include investigating a variety of historical and contemporary models, educational concepts, and practices essential to developmentally appropriate classrooms, delivery systems, and educational innovations. It is strongly encouraged that students pursuing a specialization in ECE take this as their first specialization course.


Growth and Development of Young Children

Students enrolled in this course will explore theories and research related to the education of young children. The intellectual, social, emotional, and physical growth and development of infants, toddlers, and young children will be examined. Implications for the construction of developmentally appropriate early childhood education instructional programs will be a resulting focus.


Administration of Early Childhood Programs

In this course, students will focus on the administrative development and implementation of early childhood programs for a variety of age groups and purposes. Curriculum development, materials, teaching strategies, evaluation, budgets, hiring procedures, and state guidelines/regulations are also addressed. Skills are gained through practical application of these topics.


Children and Families in a Diverse Society

In this course, multicultural and anti-bias issues in early childhood settings are introduced. Students will explore culturally relevant methods for working with children and families. Upon completion of this course, students will have a comprehensive understanding of multi-cultural, bilingual, and anti-bias issues, and appropriate strategies for providing culturally relevant programs in an early childhood setting.


Childrens Literature

This course provides students with effective strategies for using literature to support emerging literacy skills. Students will explore a variety of criteria for selecting high-quality literature in all genres for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and primary age children. Students will investigate strategies to support the development of children's language, cognitive skills, personality, social and moral development, and aesthetic and creative development. Upon completion of this course the prospective early childhood educator will have a comprehensive understanding of high quality children's literature and its use as a teaching tool for literacy development in educational settings from infancy to age 8.


Early Childhood Education

In this course, students will learn effective strategies for selecting and sharing literature appropriate for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and primary age children to support emerging literacy skills. A variety of genres and criteria for selecting and using high-quality literature with young children will be addressed. Emphasis is placed on strategies to support development of children’s language, cognitive skills, personality, social and moral development, and aesthetic and creative development. Upon completing this course students will have a comprehensive understanding of quality children’s literature and its use as a teaching tool for literacy development in educational settings from infancy to age 8.


Foundations of Language & Literacy Education

This course will assist educators in learning more about the foundations of language development and the impact language acquisition has on literacy learning. Educators will be asked to reflect on their own understanding of language development and reflect on their teaching of language.


Literacy Teaching and Learning

This course provides students working in professional teaching settings opportunities to develop their understanding of the eight principles guiding literacy development in the early years. Theory, strategies, activities as well as a summative assessment are presented throughout this course to assist teachers in gaining a more thorough perspective on literacy development in the early grades.

At Northcentral University, we pride ourselves in being completely transparent when it comes to tuition and fees. If a cost is not included in our Cost Per Course Tuition Rate, we let you know up front. Currently, the only additional cost above your program rate* is books. Learn more about the NCU’s MEd costs below:

  • Per credit cost: $628
  • Per 3 credit course cost: $1,884
  • Program cost: $19,190
  • Average book cost per course: $110
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Learning Management Fee (one-time per program): $350
  • Registration Fee: $0

Click here to learn more about payment and financing options.

*Program rates are subject to change and generally increase at the start of each calendar year.

Total program costs reflected are calculated based on standard degree program credits exclusive of the program’s potential evaluation track. The actual cost of a program is determined based upon the program and track the student enters, transfer credits if any, and other unique student factors. For more information: please contact Admissions or refer to the catalog.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about our students, it’s that they are motivated and ambitious—but they are also busy! At Northcentral University, we’ve designed our education experience to work with you, not against you, so you can achieve your academic goals without sacrificing the quality, flexibility and support you need to be successful.

To learn more, request information or call 1-866-776-0331 to speak with an enrollment advisor today. We offer new courses every Monday of the year so you can get started when it’s best for you.

Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC)

 The Northcentral University Master of Education Program, which is designed to prepare professional educators to become effective leaders, reflective practitioners and successful communicators within the diverse field of education, centering on improving teaching, learning, research and leadership contributions throughout PK-12 Education, is granted Initial Accreditation by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) for a period of five years, from June 24, 2013 – June 24, 2018.This accreditation certifies that the forenamed professional education program has provided evidence that the program adheres to TEAC’s quality principles. To view the Summary of the Case that has been posted on the TEAC website (www.teac.org/membership/teac-members).