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2018-2019 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Master of Education in Instruction and Curriculum - Early Childhood Education Emphasis

For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the College of Education section in this catalog.


Mission - Teaching, leading, and learning in a democratic society.

Philosophy - Believing that schools function as social and political entities as well as for the growth of individuals, the College of Education prepares teachers and leaders a) to enhance the academic and personal potential of their students, and b) to evaluate the social and ethical implications of educational policies and practices.

Values - The College of Education values expertise to guide our practice, equity to guide our interactions, liberal education to guide our perspectives, and social responsibility to guide our commitment to democratic education. We value these ideals in our preparation of candidates, our development of faculty, and our relationships with the larger community we serve.

This program prepares teachers, supervisors, and directors in preschools, day care centers, child development centers, Head Start programs, and kindergartens, as well as researchers and program specialists in the field for general and high-risk students.


Nationally recognized by Specialty Program Association: National Association for the Education of Young Child (NAEYC) Michigan Department of Education Approved

Minimum Number of Hours in Program

The M.Ed. degree in instruction and curriculum with an emphasis in early childhood education requires a minimum of 33 credit hours.

Program Location

DeVos Center, Pew Grand Rapids Campus, located in downtown Grand Rapids, MI

Requirements for M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education:

Social foundations of education (choose one) (3 credits):

Research and evaluation (3 credits):

Emphasis area courses (21 credits):

Practicum/graduate field experience (choose one) (3 credits):

  • EDI 685- Early Childhood Education Practicum Credits: 3
  • EDS 685 - Early Childhood Developmental Delay Practicum Credits: 3

Students must apply in advance for each practicum course. Advisor approval is required. Application deadlines (practicum): February 15 for spring/summer, May 15 for fall, September 15 for winter semester.

Capstone - choose one (prerequisite: EDF 660) 3 or 6 credits:

Students should meet with their advisor midway through their program to decide on a capstone and discuss plans for completion. Subject to department approval, capstone courses may be taken in variable amounts from 1-3 credits (693) or 1-6 credits (695) and require continuous enrollment each semester until completed.

Application deadlines (thesis/project): February 15 for spring/summer, May 15 for fall, September 15 for winter semester.

Requirements for Endorsement in Early Childhood Education

Students desiring only the early childhood endorsement (ZS), must complete the following program requirements for a total of 27 credit hours:

Early Childhood Education Coursework (21 credits):

Practicum/Graduate Field Experience (6 credits):

Students must apply in advance for each practicum course. Advisor approval is required. Application deadlines (practicum): February 15 for spring/summer, May 15 for fall, September 15 for winter semester.

Notes: candidate adding new endorsement must pass the Michigan Subject Area Test, and maintain a 3.0 GPA.

Educational Setting Appropriate to ZS Endorsement

A teacher who has earned an early childhood Pre-kindergarten general and special education (ZS) endorsement is qualified to teach in any pre-kindergarten general or special education program. The ZS endorsed teacher will be able to teach in general education early childhood classrooms, inclusive early childhood classrooms, and in early childhood special education programs. The ZS endorsed teacher who also holds an elementary certificate is authorized to teach in all elementary designated settings per the elementary certificate. The ZS endorsed teacher who holds a secondary certification with a categorical special education endorsement is authorized to teach in special education settings authorized by the categorical special education endorsement, and not in any general education elementary setting outside the categorical special education endorsement.

The ZS endorsed teacher has specialized training in early childhood, which is defined as birth through age eight. However, the ZS endorsement is not considered an initial categorical special education endorsement because the standards stipulated in the Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education 340.1781 and 340.1782 are not met. Additionally, it does not qualify the ZS endorsed teacher to teach as the special education teacher of record beyond pre-kindergarten without a categorical K-12 special education endorsement.

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