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Early Childhood Education, MSE - Leadership Option

Master’s Degree for Leaders in Early Childhood Education

Inspire and shape the minds of young children with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education focused on Leadership from the University of Central Missouri. Early childhood educators who lead their organizations play a significant role in ensuring that children and staff are able to grow, learn and thrive in classroom environments. To meet this responsibility, they must be capable supervisors, managers and directors.

Our Leadership option in the master’s in Early Childhood Education degree program bridges the gap between early childhood teaching and administration and fulfills requirements for the Missouri Early Childhood Director credential.

Get your UCM Early Childhood Education degree online

Offered on our Warrensburg campus, as well as 100% online, the master’s in Early Childhood Education at UCM offers flexible options for early childhood educators to advance into educational leadership positions. Earning your master’s in Early Childhood Education degree online will enable you to achieve your academic and career goals while you’re working. At the same time, you’ll learn from the same experienced faculty members who teach on campus.

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MO Early Childhood Director credential

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Earn your master’s in less than 2 years

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Coursework aligned to NAEYC standards

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Convenient, 100% online degree option

What you will study

The graduate courses you’ll take as part of the master’s in Early Childhood Education - Leadership program address real-world issues related to managing early childhood education programs. These include fiscal management and budgeting, the impact of laws and policies on children and families and the role of technology in the classroom. 
You’ll also take courses on how to provide developmentally appropriate instruction and facilitate positive and healthy learning environments. Choose from courses such as:
An Ecological Perspective of Family Engagement in Early Childhood Education
Early Childhood Business and Legal Issues

 

National Rankings

  • Longest continuously CAEP-accredited public institution in Missouri, UCM has a tradition of excellence in education. We were originally founded as a training school for teachers and continue to be known for our high-quality teaching programs, including the Early Childhood Education MSE in Leadership.
  • A Best Value College for Elementary Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 15%: Most Focused Colleges for Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • A Most Popular College for Teacher Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 10%: Most Popular Master’s Degree Colleges for Teacher Education Grade Specific (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 6%: Most Popular Colleges for Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • A Most Popular Master’s Degree College for Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 10%: Best Colleges for Education for Non-Traditional Students (College Factual, 2021)
  • A Best Online Masters in Online Teaching Degree Programs (Intelligent, 2021)
  • Top 50: Masters in Elementary Education Degree Programs (Most Flexible Admissions) (Intelligent, 2021)
  • Among the Best Online Masters in Elementary Education Degree Programs by (Intelligent, 2021)

 

Unique learning opportunities in leadership for early childhood education

Our graduate students stand out from other job candidates because of the hands-on, practical experience they gain. You’ll have a variety of ways to learn and lead while preparing for advanced career opportunities:

  • Customize your degree to reach your goals: Work with an advisor to develop a specialized plan with relevant classes and experiential learning opportunities that will fulfill both your teacher certification and graduate degree requirements.
  • Earn two professional certifications in education: The Leadership program coursework is also already designed to meet requirements for the Missouri Early Childhood Director credential. This demonstrates to employers the competencies you’ve mastered in education, experience and service. It also qualifies you to lead and manage center-based and group home programs serving young children.
  • Become a leader in your own school: If you already have these credentials or are otherwise not focused on pursuing certification, the Early Childhood Education master’s in Leadership still offers valuable insights, strategies and experience you can apply to teaching practice, policy and research in your own classroom or school.

 

What can you do with a master’s in Early Childhood Education focused on Leadership from UCM?

As the early childhood education field continues to sharpen its focus on curriculum, policy and best management practices, the demand for early childhood educators who can help guide this important work is growing. Whether you earn your Early Childhood Education degree online or on campus, you’ll build upon your prior teaching expertise and prepare for diverse management jobs in early childhood education.

The Leadership option in UCM’s master’s degree in Early Childhood Education specifically prepares you to lead other early childhood educators in inclusive childcare settings such as:

  • Elementary schools
  • Preschools
  • Childcare centers
  • Children’s group homes

Leadership jobs you can get with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from UCM

Earning a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education, with a focus on Leadership, can help further your career and increase your salary potential. Explore leadership opportunities for early childhood educators using the interactive tool below.

 

 
 


 

Financial assistance options for your Early Childhood Education master’s in Leadership

A UCM degree is a valuable investment in your future, particularly if you’re looking to advance into leadership jobs in early childhood education. Recognized as a top-ranked university for low student debt by LendEDU, UCM offers a variety of resources to help you finance your graduate degree in Early Childhood Education.

At UCM, several scholarships are available to graduate students, including those enrolled in UCM’s master’s in Early Childhood Education - Leadership degree program. You may also qualify for scholarships from the College of Education.

Use the UCM Scholarship Finder to help you identify and apply for scholarships.

 

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Make yourself more marketable.
 

Gain additional knowledge and skills by adding a graduate certificate to your master’s degree in Early Childhood Education, with a focus on Leadership, from UCM:

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Explore programs related to early childhood education.
 

Consider these other graduate programs at UCM that can also help you build your career in education:

 

Student Learning Outcomes

With a Master of Science in Education degree in Early Childhood Education (ECE), you will use the knowledge and skills obtained in the program to achieve the following professional skills:

  • Demonstrate and apply understandings of early childhood development, including theoretical perspectives on how children learn through play collaborating with a diverse population of peers to create meaning in today’s society.
  • Acquire fundamental knowledge of a play-based curriculum for support and advocacy in implementation in the early childhood setting.
  • Develop a strong sense of ethical conduct within early childhood teaching, learning, and business.
  • Identify significant issues specific to early childhood education in research and address through practice.
  • Better understand the impact of pedagogy and exposure to diversity for teaching in an increasingly complex and diverse society.

 

Admission Requirements

To be accepted into the Master of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education (ECE) degree program, in the School of Teaching & Learning, you must: (a) have a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.75; (b) submit proof of teacher certification or professional endorsement from any of the 50 states or territories and have graduated from a CAEP or regionally accredited university; (c) submit a copy of your last summative teaching evaluation, or a letter from a school superintendent, principal, director, or professor attesting to teaching skills and/or graduate studies potential. International applicants should meet these requirements in comparable ways.

 

Required Core Courses

The following courses are required by all three options within the Master of Science in Education degree in Early Childhood Education (ECE):

  • ECEL 5710 Early Childhood Education: A Constructivist Approach (3 credit hours)
  • ECEL 5740 Play in Early Childhood Education (3 credit hours)
  • ECEL 5920 Childhood Research and Development (3 credit hours)
  • CFD 5500 Research Methods (3 credit hours)
  • CFD 4580 Resilience (3 credit hours)
  • ECEL 5750 Curriculum and Pedagogy in Multicultural Education (3 credit hours)
  • ECEL 5790 Collaborative Practice in Early Childhood Education (capstone) (3 credit hours).

Leadership Option Courses

The Early Childhood Education Leadership option is concentrated on preparing early childhood educators for teaching in inclusive childcare settings, or in early childhood special education specifically. In addition to the core courses, you will select three of these courses for this option:

  • ECEL 5715 Parental Involvement in Education (3 credit hours)
  • CFD 6410 Equity and Cultural Diversity in Early Childhood Education (3 credit hours)
  • CFD 4850 Supporting Children and Families (3 credit hours)
  • INST 4100 Technology and Computer Literacy in Early Childhood Education (3 credit hours)
  • ECEL 5725 Early Childhood Business and Legal Issues (3 credit hours)

 

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