1. What is the Early Childhood Educational Leadership Master’s Degree Program?

The Early Childhood Educational Leadership Program is a graduate level program leading to a Master’s degree. The Master of Education program includes a specialization in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Advocacy specifically in the area of early childhood. This specialization is an interdisciplinary program designed for people who work or wish to work as a leader in the field of early childhood education. Information in this degree supports the development of leadership skills to serve in positions within community, state, and national agencies, in both the public and private sector that focus on supporting the healthy development, growth, and education of families and children. This specialization provides grounding in social, historical, philosophical, developmental, educational, and international perspectives of leadership and early childhood education. 

Program Goal

The M.Ed. with specialization in educational leadership, policy, and advocacy, with an early childhood focus, prepares professionals with an interest in the early childhood field to take leadership roles in organizations that focus on improving the lives of families and children through the collaboration of public policy, community action, and educational support.


2. Why might someone wish to participate in the program? Participation will be in a program in which:

a. Students, as a cohort, study, grow, and become close and supporting colleagues over the two-year period of the program and thereafter. In addition to interacting with UNF faculty and with each other, cohort members will have the opportunity to interact with and learn from leaders in the field.

b. Students and instructors approach learning about the craft of school leadership in both a serious and engaging manner. Respect from the instructors to the students, students to the students, and students to the instructors is expected and practiced.

c. The program represents more than just a series of courses. It is a cohesively structured approach to help students to grow professionally and personally in a significant manner. Moreover, because the work is explicitly embedded in the systems, structures, and culture of Early Childhood Educational Leadership. Students will learn and practice the craft of leadership in a context they know and one in which they might expect to lead.

d. Class sessions are conducted online as well as face-to-face.

e. Engaging, work-related approaches to instruction, learning, and assessment are studied and practiced. Students will leave the program with a rich understanding of these matters—and, importantly, an understanding of the way these matters manifest in Early Childhood Educational Leadership.

f. Instructors are knowledgeable about both practice and theory. In other words, instructors will help students to learn both the practices of early childhood, school leadership, and the conceptual/theoretical basis of the practices. As a result, students completing the program will not only know and be able to apply best practices, but will be able to make adjustments to the practices based upon the nature of specific circumstances.

g. Students completing this program tend to perform exceedingly well on the Florida Educational Leadership Examination (FELE), which is required for certification.

3. When can a student begin studies?

a. The first Early Childhood Educational Leadership cohort is scheduled to begin in August 2017.

4. Admission Requirements:

a. To be admitted, an applicant must hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or its equivalent from a foreign institution, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all work attempted in the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate study.

b. Applicants not meeting the 3.0 minimum requirement may contact the Educational Leadership Program Director for additional admission options. For additional tools to determine GPA, please visit Calculating Your GPA.

5. Application directions:

a. This site contains the directions for the application: http://www.unf.edu/graduateschool/academics/programs/Educational_Leaders hip.aspx

b. The online application process should be initiated here:

c. When you submit an application on-line, a credit card number or electronic check (U.S. bank only) is needed in order to pay the $30 application fee.

d. Transcripts:

One official (hardcopy) transcript from each university that you have attended should be sent directly to UNF Graduate School.

Former UNF students do not need to request transcripts unless they have attended an institution since leaving UNF.

e. Recommendations:

Three recommendations are needed. They should reflect your fitness to participate in the program and/or your potential to lead. A recommendation from your supervisor (for example, a principle or program director) is expected.

Recommendations are to be submitted electronically using the UNF online system (applicants will the submit names and email addresses of their references as part of the application process).

f. Other materials (to be uploaded as part of the application process):

A current resume or curriculum vitae.

g. Manner in which applications are considered: Applications typically are considered only when all of the elements described above have been received.

6. Course Work: The course schedule for the cohort beginning in August 2017 is:

Total credits = 42
Core Requirements (6 credits)


  • EDF 6607 Education in America
  • EDF 6687 Multi & Urban Foundation in Education
  • EDF 6480 Foundations in Education Research
  • EDG 6911 Action Research in Education

Major Requirements (36 credits)
Educational Leadership Courses (18 credits)

  • EDA 6061 Introduction to Educational Leadership (3 credits)
  • EDA 6215 Developing School and Community Resources (3 credits)
  • EDS 6130 Human Resource Development (3 credits)
  • EDA 6196 Leadership and Learning Organizations (3 credits)
  • EDA 6242 Finance (3 credits)
  • EDA 6232 Law and Ethics in Educational Leadership (3 credits)

Early Childhood Courses (18 credits)

  • EEC 6756 (or approved substitute) Social- Emotional Development (3 credits)
  • EEC 6611 Early Childhood Education (3 credits)
  • EEC 6205 Curriculum and Instruction in Early Childhood (3 credits)
  • RED 6000 (or approved substitute) 
  • Language and Cognition Foundations for Reading (3 credits)
  • EEC 6944/EDA 6945 Practicum (3 credits)
  • EEC 6261 Infants and Toddlers (3 credits)

7. Is financial aid available?

Yes. Students are eligible for financial assistance in the form of student loans.

The application can be obtained at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/

It is usually best to apply for aid after receiving notification of admission to the program.

8. Where can additional information be obtained?

Dr. Christian Winterbottom at c.winterbottom@unf.edu
Dr. Anne K. Swanson at anne.swanson@unf.edu
Dr. Katrina Hall at khall@unf.edu


Major: Educational Leadership

Concentration: Early Childhood Ed Leadership
Degree: Master of Education
Core Requirements (6 credits)
SELECT 1 from the Following:
EDF6607 Education in America (3 credits)
EDF6687 Multi & Urban Foundation in Education (3 credits)
SELECT_ 1 from the following:
EDF6480 Foundations in Education Research (3 credits)
EDG6911 Action Research in Education (3 credits)
Major Requirements (36 credits)
LEADERSHIP courses (18 Credits)
EDA6061 Introduction to Educational Leadership (3 credits)
EDA6215 Developing School and Community Resources (3 credits)
EDS6130 Human Resource Development (3 credits)
EDA6196 Leadership and Learning Organizations (3 credits)
EDA6242 School Finance (3 credits)
EDA6232 Law and Ethics in Educatoinal Leadership (3 credits)
EARLY Childhood Courses
EEC6756 Social-Emotional Development (3 credtis)
EEC6611 Early Childhood Education (3 credits)
EEC6205 Curriculum and Instruction in Early Childhood (3 credits)
RED6000 Language and Conginition Foundations for Reading (3 credits)
EEC6261 Infants and Toddlers (3 credits)
Select 1: EEC6944 or EDA 6945 Practicum (3 credits)
**Substitutions may be approved for some requirements with prior approval from the program director and academic advisor.