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Online Master’s Degree Program in Early Childhood Education

Location: San Jose

Pacific Oaks’ M.A. Early Childhood Education online degree program prepares graduates to integrate a transformative approach into leadership roles in public schools, childcare programs, and state agencies.

30 credits required for completion
2 years full-time or 4 years part-time
Offered completely online

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Master’s Degree Early Childhood Education Online

While earning the M.A. in Early Childhood Education (ECE), students in this online graduate program learn how to create and support educational experiences for children that center around inclusion and anti-bias. Immersed in real-world and diverse working environments, Early Childhood Education master’s degree students will develop a hands-on understanding of staff development and administration collaboration and learn how to work with families and children as a whole.

Through a pedagogy focused on self-reflection and life experience, the online M.A. in Early Childhood Education degree program prepares graduates in various educational settings to:

  • Identify concerns evident in the classroom and formulate solutions to address these concerns
  • Design and implement outcome-based learning experiences using action research for the teaching and learning of students in an early childhood classroom
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and creative processes through ethical and professional decision-making working
  • Effectively work with children, families, communities, and educational leadership in the early childhood field

This online Master’s in Early Childhood Education program does not qualify a student for a California K-12 teaching or service credential.

Online Master’s in Early Childhood Education Specializations

Early Childhood Education Online Courses

Designed to be flexible and accessible from anywhere, our online ECE Master’s degree programs have been designed to meet the needs of students with a wide range of scheduling needs and learning styles. Students do not have to put their life on hold while working to achieve their personal and professional goals and earning their early childhood education degree online. For more information on the course environment of Pacific Oaks’ online programs, please visit our Online Learning page to learn more about technology requirements, preview an online course, and explore our other online programs.

Sample Early Childhood Education Online Courses

Public Policy and Its Impact on Children and Families

This course explores the role and impact of public policy as it relates to early childhood education (ECE). Through an examination of current and historical public educational policy, the course examines the multiple factors that influence the education of young children including:

  • Emerging scientific research
  • Diverse pedagogical perspectives
  • Historical influences and data
  • Community activism and support systems addressing family well-being.

The course also focuses on policies related to the academic qualifications of teachers and administrators in early childhood education and the allocation of resources to ensure quality delivery systems. Students will also critically examine existing policies with regard to the delivery of culturally competent care for children and families and articulate strategies for advocating for public policy change where indicated.

Creating Responsive Communities for All Families

Maximizing the potential of every young child requires effective leadership committed to building culturally responsive and inclusive early childhood educational communities for all families. This course emphasizes the importance of understanding what creates community and how it is best nurtured to be responsive to common community needs (e.g., parent education that enhances child growth and development) as well as those unique to particular communities. This course in the Online Early Childhood Education addresses the importance of developing effective communication skills and culturally responsive programs and policies that welcome and celebrate all members of the early childhood educational community. Existing programs and communication strategies will be examined, particularly with regard to the diverse needs of families.

Special Topics in Leadership in Early Childhood Education (ECE)

Special Topics courses are two-credit elective seminars that deeply address complex issues related to leadership in Early Childhood Education (see sample list below). Seminars will incorporate lecture, self- reflection, panel discussions relaying personal experiences, and concrete resource development. Students will complete reflective writing assignments and develop a comprehensive resource file which will include research articles regarding the topic, related government policies, list of community-based resource agencies, and agenda for staff development.

Online M.A. in Early Childhood Education Sample Special Topics:

  • The impact of immigration policies on families
  • Incarceration
  • Substance abuse
  • Family and community violence
  • Effect of media on young children
  • ESL and family integration
  • Impact of deployment on families and children
  • LGBT families in EC settings
  • Gender expansive children
  • Foster care and adoption

Admission Requirements

  • Completed application for admission
  • Application fee
  • Resume
  • Personal Statement
  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Demonstrated commitment to the mission and values of Pacific Oaks College
  • Successful completion of a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution in Early Childhood Education or Child Development

*Students who do not have a B.A. in either Early Childhood Education or Child Development are admitted based on completion of approved courses from an accredited college or university.

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