Master of Education for Experienced Teachers, M.Ed.
Early Childhood Intervention and Family Support
The M.Ed. for Experienced Teachers specializing in Early Childhood Intervention and Family Support (ECIFS) prepares the experienced early childhood professional with leadership skills in developing and implementing inclusive programs for infants/toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners with and without developmental delays. The program is based on several philosophical assumptions about recommended practice with young children and families.
The first of these assumptions is that early childhood intervention must be viewed from an ecological perspective. The child is an individual developing within a broad ecology including families, professionals, and communities. This view means that early childhood professionals will need to work with children in the context of this ecology, and will need skills related to working with professionals and agencies from disciplines other than education.
The second assumption underlying the program is that early childhood intervention should be family centered. Thus, the early childhood professional’s role is to strengthen and support the family as they facilitate and nurture their young children’s development.
The third assumption is that early childhood services should be inclusive. In other words, all children from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds with and without developmental disabilities should be placed in community settings that are as natural as possible based on family choice. Thus, the early childhood professional needs skills to facilitate the successful inclusion of young children with developmental disabilities in developmentally and culturally appropriate early childhood settings. The early childhood professional must promote developmentally, individually, and culturally appropriate assessment and instructional practices for all young children in their natural learning environments.
Finally, early childhood intervention is an interdisciplinary endeavor. Training programs ought to prepare professionals to work collaboratively on teams with parents and professionals from a variety of disciplines and agencies. All course work, research, and field experiences incorporate the above dimensions.
The ECIFS specialization is an interdisciplinary program of study in which students enroll in courses with graduate students from other disciplines. The program assumes that all early childhood programs should work toward the attainment of five broad goals in improving young children’s and their families’ quality of life. Those goals are:
- Support families in facilitating their young children’s development;
- Promote child initiated learning opportunities in their natural environments;
- Build and support children’s social competence and early literacy;
- Promote developmentally, individually, and culturally appropriate practices; and
- Prevent the emergence of future learning problems or disabilities. These goals shape the course content and field based experiences provided to students.
The program is designed to accommodate practicing professionals’ schedules by offering courses in the late afternoon, evenings and during the summer months. Selected internship experiences can be completed in practicing professionals’ work settings. Students complete the program in two and one-half years.
Prospective applicants should have a teaching license in Early Childhood or a related area or be eligible for a teaching license and have experience in working with young children and families.
- Option One is designed for currently licensed teachers. Students completing the required program courses will earn a M.Ed. degree and N.C. master’s level licensure for Birth-Kindergarten (B-K).
- Option Two is designed for individuals with a bachelor’s degree in child development, early childhood, or a closely related field from a regionally accredited higher education institution and 2 - 3 years of successful lead teaching experience in an early childhood setting but who do not have a teaching license. Students will complete the required courses in the program plus several required prerequisites and a supervised internship in their early childhood work setting. Students who successfully complete all program requirements will receive a M.Ed. degree and be eligible for N.C. master’s level B-K licensure upon graduation.
- How to Apply & Deadlines