Jul 16, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] 
    
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year]

Early Childhood Education [M.A.]

Location(s): Online


The Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education is an asynchronous, fully online program for those interested in pursuing or furthering their careers as early childhood professionals. Examples include teachers in inclusive early childhood settings and classrooms, early childhood special educators, Early Intervention Specialists (birth-age 3) administrators, child care program directors, entrepreneurs, or other positions related to educating and advocating for children ages birth through eight years. Our program features a convenient course schedule with multiple start dates each year. Each semester offers two 7.5-week terms within this accelerated schedule, providing greater scheduling flexibility. In consultation with an advisor and based on the student’s educational background, experiences, and professional goals, students create a Program of Study that will include the requirements to prepare them to meet their professional goals. 
Aligned with NAEYC Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators working with children birth through age eight (2020) and MDE’s Birth-Kindergarten General and Special Education Teacher Preparation Standards (2020), this program also facilitates several pathways to meet the State of Michigan’s teacher certification requirements including the following:

  1. Earn an initial Birth-Kindergarten General Education (ZN) teaching certificate
  2. Add the ZN endorsement to an existing teaching elementary education teaching certificate (i.e., PK-3)
  3. Add the ZN endorsement to an existing teaching special education certificate
  4. Convert a ZA endorsement to a ZS or ZN endorsement

Therefore, every ECE graduate course has a minimum requirement of 5 clinical hours associated with course content. Pursuing certification and/or an endorsement is NOT required to earn this degree. See Earning a Certificate and/or Endorsement  if you want to pursue certification and/or endorsement without completing the master’s degree.

Program Admission


Admit Terms and Deadlines

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; students may start the program in the Summer, Fall, or Winter. See Application Deadlines.

Online Education Eligibility

  • The U.S. Federal Government limits the number of online courses international students may enroll in while living in the United States. For this reason, we cannot admit students on F1 or J1 VISAs to fully online programs. Please check with International Admissions to confirm eligibility before applying.
  • All applicants, please review Online Education for Out-of-State Students to confirm your eligibility to enroll in an online program based in Michigan.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

For full admission, applicants must have 1) Earned a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution, 2) a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale, or 3.0 in the last half of the undergraduate program. Conditional admission may be available to applicants not meeting minimum admission requirements.

Program Requirements

A Bachelor’s degree in Education or a closely related program that includes core content related to working directly with children and families (i.e., Child Development, Social Work, Psychology, Sociology, Speech and Language Pathology, Occupational Therapy). 

Application

Your application will be submitted using GradCAS, a Centralized Application Service (CAS) hosted by Liaison. After reviewing the admission requirements, please review the application instructions  and select the appropriate application.

Domestic Applicants Domestic applicants are required to submit only the transcript from the institution granting their bachelor’s degree if either of the following criteria is met: 1) Lists 30 or more credit hours with an overall GPA of 3.0 or over OR 2) Lists 60 or more credit hours with an overall GPA between 2.7 and 2.99. Within the application, follow the instructions to submit an official transcript. The University may ask applicants to submit additional transcripts after applying.

International Applicants Before applying, applicants must review the international application/process deadlines at emich.edu/international as they may differ from general program requirements.

For additional information regarding the application process, please see Graduate Admissions or International Admissions.

 

Department Information


Teacher Education 313 Porter, 734.487.3260

Wendy Burke, PhD, Department Head

Advisor Information


Christina Mirtes, PhD, Graduate Coordinator, 313 Porter, 734.487.3260

Degree Requirements: 30 hours


The following are the coursework and clinical hour requirements for Initial ZN certification or to add a ZN endorsement to an existing certification, which will result in the student earning a master’s degree. This program prepares completers to take the MTTC exam for the ZN initial certification. A student could earn the master’s degree without earning certification or an endorsement; in this case, the student would complete only the coursework and would not complete the clinical hours required for the endorsement.

Initial B-K General & Special Ed. Teacher Certification: This candidate holds a Bachelor’s degree in education or a very closely related field but does not hold a teaching certificate.

Certified Elementary Teacher (e.g., K-5, PK-3, or 3-6): This candidate has completed an approved teacher education program and holds elementary teacher certification.

Each candidate will complete ten graduate courses and required clinical hours, as listed below.

Clinical Requirements:


Students must satisfy one of the following two clinical hours requirements, determined by the student’s prior certification/endorsement and their goals.

Initial B-K General & Special Ed. Teacher Certification (600 clinical hours): Students must have at least 70 hours of apprenticeship before their ECE 689 Student Teaching Colloquium and Internship. These can be completed while taking courses. Every ECE graduate course has a minimum expectation and requirement of 5 clinical hours associated with course content. The ECE 689 Student Teaching Internship is a minimum of 300 hours during the 7.5 weeks of teaching directly with children in an approved B-Kingergarten inclusive early childhood or early special education classroom under the supervision of a qualified teacher. Students have up to 200 flex hours, which can be included at any time and double-dipped during the ECE 689 Internship. The Internship or clinical hour experience can be at their approved work environment. Students must have diverse experiences working with children at the following levels: infant and toddler, preschool, and kindergarten.

Certified Elementary Teacher (i.e., K-5, PK-3, or 3-6) (240 clinical hours): The ECE 689 Student Teaching Colloquium and Internship is a minimum of 240 hours during the 7.5 weeks of teaching directly with children in an approved B-Kingergarten inclusive early childhood or early special education classroom or program under the supervision of a qualified teacher. The Internship or clinical hour experience can be at their approved work environment. Students must have diverse experiences working with children at the following levels: infant and toddler, preschool, and kindergarten.

Critical Graduation Information


Each graduate student is responsible for fulfilling the requirements or equivalents of the Eastern Michigan University catalog in force at the time of their initial registration or a subsequent catalog, including the one in effect at the time of their graduation.

Master’s degree requirements must be completed within six (6) years of first enrollment in the master’s degree program.

In the event a student does not complete the master’s degree requirements within six years of the date of their original registration, the student may be required to have their credits re-evaluated by the academic department(s) of their degree in keeping with catalog requirements in force during the year of their graduation.

The following are minimum requirements for all master’s degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University. Some programs require more than the minimum in one or more areas below.

  • A master’s degree must require a minimum of 30 credit hours.
  • No more than six credits of independent study courses and no more than 12 credit hours of special topics and independent study courses combined may be applied to a graduate degree.  
  • Residency Requirement:
    • For students admitted to master’s degree programs of 36 or fewer required hours, at least 24 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere). 
    • For students admitted to master’s degree programs of 37 or more required hours, at least 30 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. Minimum degree hours must still be met for graduation. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere).
    • Residency and enrollment in multiple programs: Students enrolled in multiple master’s/specialist degree programs must have 24 unique credit hours in each degree program.
  • Only credits from one completed graduate certificate may be applied to a master’s or specialist degree in a relevant field of study, as determined by the Graduate School and with the approval of the degree-granting academic department, and be included in the residency hours above.
  • Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA in all graduate-level courses taken at EMU and in their program of study to remain in good academic standing and be eligible for graduation. Students do not need to be registered for classes during the semester of graduation.
  • The Graduate School does not permit the use of undergraduate courses (499 and below) to meet degree requirements on graduate programs of study.
  • Some master’s programs require a thesis; others require a special project or internship; others require students to pass a final exam. See the Graduate School website for Thesis and Dissertation Manuals, all forms, and information about research and human subject approval. Every completed thesis or dissertation must be submitted to Digital Commons. Any form of graduate student work submitted to Digital Commons must first be approved by a faculty advisor and the Graduate School.