Early Childhood Education
- Course Information
If you’re passionate about instilling a love of learning and a solid foundation in children, our PhD in Early Childhood Education is for you. This 100% online specialization is designed to help you develop a rich understanding of early childhood education research, curriculum and policy. It is competency-based and emphasizes research and teaching across a broad spectrum of topics, including childhood development, literature, program administration, curriculum and assessment and stakeholder partnerships. Graduates will be prepared to pursue leadership positions in schools, higher education organizations and research in various settings as concerns childhood education and development.
General Degree Requirements
The PhD Program may be completed in 60 semester credit hours. However, up to an additional 15 credit hours will be allowed as needed to complete the dissertation research. If the program is not completed in 75 credit hours, the student will be dismissed from the program.
Completion Period for Doctoral Degrees
Northcentral University allows 7 years to complete all doctoral programs of 60 credits or less. Normal time to complete varies depending upon course take rate and credits transferred.
Certification and Licensing
The School of Education serves educational leaders by providing online graduate studies in education to reach worldwide populations. The PhD program is designed to reach national and international markets and does not purport to provide licensure or certification in any particular state or country.
PhD Degree Requirements
Admission to the doctorate programs at NCU requires a master's degree from an accredited institution. PhD students are also required to demonstrate competency in specific subject areas prior to enrolling in any of the specialization or elective courses.
Foundational Competencies for PhD Program
- Graduate Level Statistics Competency - PhD students are required to complete a Statistics in Education Research Course, EDU8003, and also EDU8006, Advanced Educational Statistics.
- Competency in Research Writing Skills - PhD students are required to show competency in writing skills for research purposes through their Northcentral University graduate coursework before being assigned to any dissertation courses. Students will be required to take EDU8001, Advanced Scholarly Writing, to improve APA formatting skills and to address advanced writing and research skills as necessary.
- Computer Competency - PhD students are required to use appropriate computer skills that are necessary in writing a dissertation. Students must be able to prepare documents using advanced word processing skills (e.g., creation of tables and figures, headers and footers, page breaks, tables of contents, hanging indents, etc.). In addition, students need to use computer programs for the statistical analysis and presentation of data (e.g., Excel, SPSS). The oral defense normally requires a computer-based presentation by the candidate (e.g., a PowerPoint presentation).
All new students enrolling in the PhD in Education program are automatically enrolled in courses that are eight weeks in length. All eight-week courses are indicated by a "-8" (dash eight) at the end of the course code.
Topics in Early Childhood Education
This course presents an overview of early childhood education in American society, including currently respected theories and practical applications for educating the young child. Specifically, students will explore basic educational concepts and developmentally appropriate practices for children, pre-k – grade three, including children with exceptional needs. Historical and contemporary models and delivery systems are presented and innovations in instruction are discussed. It is suggested that students pursuing a specialization in ECE should take this as their first specialization course.
Topics in Early Childhood Growth, Development, and Educational Programs
In this doctoral level course, students will explore theory and research related to the education of young children including societal changes and their influence on early childhood programs, the growth and the typical and atypical development of young children, and methods of studying children's behavior. Emphasis will be placed on the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development of infants, toddlers, and young children and the impact of these factors on the development and management of quality early childhood education instructional programs.
Topics in Early Childhood Program Administration
This doctoral course focuses on the development and implementation of early childhood programs for a variety of age groups and purposes. Specifically, curriculum development, materials, teaching strategies, evaluation, budgets, hiring procedures and state guidelines/regulations are addressed. Skills and competencies to implement the aforementioned concepts will also be addressed.
Early Childhood Curriculum and Assessment
In this course, students explore the theory, research, and trends related to the curriculum and assessment of young children enrolled in early childhood education programs. Developmentally appropriate early childhood lesson plans and activities will be explored and analyzed. Standardized and classroom assessments will be researched and evaluated.
Early Childhood Literacy and Literature
This course discusses literacy development in early childhood education. Balanced literacy instruction including a comprehensive set of strategies designed to meet individual needs will be explored. Methods for developing reading and writing skills that are developmentally appropriate will also be investigated. Since knowledge of children's literature is essential for any early childhood educator, students will determine ways to select appropriate and motivating materials to enhance an early childhood literacy program.
Families, Communities, and Schools as Partners in Early Childhood Education
In this course, students will focus on the development of partnerships between early childhood educators, families, and communities. Encouraging involvement and communicating with families and communities in early childhood education programs will be researched and analyzed. Topics include child abuse, child advocacy, formulating effective strategies for working with families of special needs children, and societal trends and issues specific to diversity.
Language and Literacy Education
Language and Literacy Education will assist the doctoral student in learning about the processes of language development. Students will analyze the theory of mind and the processes of language and meaning development by reflecting on their own understanding of language. Doctoral students will assess specific literacy strategies to promote language development and analyze ways children learn words and concepts. Students will reflect on the impact of language acquisition on learning and teaching literacy. In addition, students will create strategies, lessons, and assessments designed for language and literacy.
Literacy: Focus on Curriculum
This class offers doctoral students opportunities to investigate and assess the issues and research related to literacy development and literacy curriculum development. Students will analyze principles and strategies that foster literacy development in the early grades and apply learnings to classroom curriculum and instruction. Theory, activities, and summative assessments aid the doctoral leaner in the evaluation of literacy based learning and performance. Literacy achievement and best literacy teaching strategies are planned and implemented.
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 PhD in Education costs below:
- Per credit cost: $1,129
- Per 3 credit course cost: $3,387
- Program cost: $68,090
- 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.
- Regionally Accredited
- No Physical Residency Requirements
- One-to-One Teaching
- 100% Doctoral Faculty
- Flexibility of Online Learning
- University Resources
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.