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Early Childhood Education

We offer courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels that provide in-depth, research-based knowledge in key areas for early childhood professionals working with children from birth though age 8. Our network of  Professional Development Schools offers our students an opportunity to work in a variety of settings, including public, private and public charter schools. In some cases, we can coordinate partnerships for students who wish to complete their field work at their places of employment or specific settings such as non-profits or out-of-school programs. Take a look at our course offerings below and see which program best suits your needs and career goals. 

Undergraduate Programs 

Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education

The Prekindergarten Primary Licensure concentration leads to State of Florida certification in Prekindergarten Primary (age 3 to grade 3) with a TESOL endorsement. The concentration includes field work and a final semester-long internship in a school setting. Students are required to pass the state certification exams prior to the completion of their final internships. Graduates of this concentration are well-equipped for teaching in public or private schools. This program is accredited by the Florida Department of Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

 

The Early Childhood Development concentration is an online non-licensure program of study that leads to a bachelor's degree. Graduates are prepared for careers in early childhood in a variety of professions including preschools, Early Head Start and Head Start, as child life specialists, preschool directors, learning coaches and child advocates. The program is also suitable for students who plan to work toward advanced degrees in careers working with young children, such as speech pathology, psychology or leadership positions. The final practicum can be done in a variety of settings. Students currently working in an early childhood or educational setting may be able to complete their practicum at their work site. Graduates of this program may opt to complete coursework to meet the alternative teacher certification requirements for Florida's Prekindergarten Primary teaching credential.  

Minor

Early Childhood Minor  

The Early Childhood Education Undergraduate Minor includes coursework useful for students in fields including psychology, sociology, criminal justice, pre-law, music, art, ASL, interpreting, as well as elementary, deaf education and exceptional student education.  

   

For information about our undergraduate programs or scholarships, please contact Dr. Christian Winterbottom c.winterbottom@unf.edu or Dr. Katrina W. Hall khall@unf.edu

 

Graduate Programs

Master of Education in Educational Leadership

UNF’s Master of Education in Educational Leadership: Early Childhood Education was ranked in the top 100 for Best Online Graduate Education programs in 2021 by U.S. News and World Report. 

 

The Educational Leadership Master's Degree includes a specialization in Early Childhood. The interdisciplinary program is designed for individuals who work or wish to work as leaders in early learning or early childhood professions. The program of study focuses on leadership, policy, and advocacy for children and families with coursework in the social, historical, philosophical and international perspectives of leadership and early childhood education. Graduates of this interdisciplinary program will be well-positioned to serve in positions in both the public and private sector, to support the healthy development, growth, and education of families and children. 

 

Many of our graduates have gone on to work as administrators, directors, early learning coaches, consultants, and parent and family advocates. Others have continued their studies in our educational leadership and curriculum and instruction doctoral programs.  

Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction

The Educational Curriculum and Instruction Master's Degree includes a specialization in Early Childhood and Early Childhood Education Leadership. The interdisciplinary program is designed for individuals who work or wish to work as leaders in early learning or early childhood professions. The program of study focuses on curriculum, instruction, leadership, policy, and advocacy for children and families with coursework in the social, historical, philosophical and international perspectives of early childhood education. Graduates of this interdisciplinary program will be well-positioned to serve in positions in both the public and private sector, to support the healthy development, growth, and education of families and children.

Graduate Certificates 

Early Childhood Certificate

The 18 credit distant learning program in Early Childhood Education emphasizes the professional preparation of students at the graduate level for a range of careers in early childhood education (children ages 0-8) within diverse community contexts. The coursework provides preparation for working with young children, their families, and communities. This program prepares individuals for a highly specialized role and offers a dynamic combination of theory, research and practical field-based application. This certificate will prepare students who are interested in teaching in higher education. While this program is stand alone, students may work with an advisor and the graduate school to include this coursework as part of a master's or doctoral program.

Whole Child Certificate

The 15 credit program focuses on research, theory, and best practices related to teaching in developmentally and culturally responsive ways. The program covers child-centered educational models including Montessori, Waldorf, Public Waldorf, and Reggio. The play-based pedagogy supports individuals interested in literacy, science, technology, art and mathematics (STEAM) and service learning. The blended model may include face to face, hybrid, and online coursework. Periodic opportunities to travel to Perugia, Italy and England to study whole child learning models are also offered. While this program is stand alone, students may work with an advisor and the graduate school to include this coursework as part of a  master's or doctoral program.

 

For the Master's in Early Childhood Educational Leadership, please contact Dr. Winterbottom at c.winterbottom@unf.edu  or Dr. Hope Wilson at hope.e.wilson@unf.edu