Early Childhood Education Program Shippensburg University offers a master’s in early childhood education program for Central PA students interested in expanding on their undergraduate foundation. The Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction (C & I) includes options in early childhood education. The early childhood options are designed to provide advanced knowledge in child development from birth through age eight (or 3rd grade) and at least one period of that age span: infants and toddlers, preschool and kindergarten, and primary school (grades 1 through 3). The PA Early Childhood Director Credential can also be completed as part of this program. Emphasis is placed on working with young children and their families. Graduate students in the early childhood degree options will apply knowledge of child development, families and best teaching practices to a variety of educational settings including public school kindergarten and primary programs, preschool programs, Head Start, child care, parenting and family support programs. We designed our master’s of early childhood education degree program to provide students with experience in diverse educational settings. Graduate students who are interested in expanding their teaching skills, participating in assessment and policy work, and learning about child development often enroll in our early education master’s program. At the completion of the program, students will be able to: - Demonstrate knowledge of theory and practice for planning and implementing programs for individual and groups of children. - Apply and analyze the core knowledge and to systematically develop appropriate curriculum for individual and groups of children. - Demonstrate capability to refine the core knowledge and evaluate and apply research to improve practice. - Develop and conduct assessments of individual children and groups. - Demonstrate understanding of family strengths and areas for support as they form authentic partnerships with families. - Reflect on practices that result in improved programming for young children and families. - Use strategies for effectively advocating for policies designed to improve conditions for children, families, and the profession. - Contribute to continuing professional development in the field of early childhood education.
National Recognition Both the early childhood option and the early childhood certification programs have recently been awarded national recognition by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the premier national scholarly organization for early childhood education. This recognition is through the auspices of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the noted organization that accredits teacher preparation programs throughout the country. After rigorous review by a national panel, our early childhood programs were granted the highest level of national recognition, meeting 100% of the guidelines for early childhood teacher preparation. NCATE has demonstrated that quality teacher preparation makes a difference in student learning. Further, NCATE accreditation of teacher preparation programs makes a difference in teacher preparation that leads to differences in student learning. Graduates from NCATE-accredited programs become competent, caring and highly qualified teachers.
Early Childhood Special Resources Shippensburg University has been educating teachers for more than 140 years; thus, teacher education is part of the very fabric of the university. A number of specialized curriculum laboratories are located on campus. A Curriculum Materials Center provides a wide range of resources: textbooks, multimedia kits, films and filmstrips, audio and videotapes and more. Also, the university maintains the Grace B. Luhrs University Elementary School, one of the finest demonstration laboratories in the country. The school serves a heterogeneous group of children from kindergarten through fifth grade. The Bartos Child and Family Center, located in the same facility as the Luhrs School, provides childcare and family support to university faculty, staff, students and community members. Shippensburg Head Start serves preschool children and their families and is located in the Cora I. Grove Spiritual Center, adjacent to campus.
Early Childhood Admission Requirements To be eligible for admission to our PA master's in early childhood education program, students must meet the following requirements: - Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. - Have an undergraduate overall GPA of 2.75 or an approved score on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). A 3.0 GPA is required for certification. - Provide official transcripts of all undergraduate/graduate work. - Complete a questionnaire concerning teaching background and future goals - Submit three (3) Reference Forms - Campus interview, if requested.
Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university (See course description for additional information)