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MA Early Childhood Education

The M.A. in Early Childhood Education program prepares graduates for leadership roles in public schools, child care programs, state agencies, and non-profits serving children and families.

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30 units required for completion

2 years full-time or 4 years part-time

Available online

M.A. Early Childhood Education

This Master’s in Early Childhood Education degree program is grounded in theories that support high-quality educational experiences for children. Students will gain a significant amount of real-world experience as they are immersed in diverse environments working with children and families, fostering staff development, and collaborating with educational administrators and leaders.

Graduates of the M.A. Early Childhood Education program will be able to apply the following to a number of educational settings:

  • Evaluate national trends, theory, and research-based educational and administrative practices in early childhood education
  • Conduct observations for typically and atypically developing children in an early childhood setting
  • Utilize and evaluate various assessment tools and inquiry strategies to assess potential cultural bias and stereotypes
  • Generate, implement, and evaluate educational curricula for the cognitive, social, and emotional needs of students in an early childhood environment


Sample MA Early Childhood Education Courses

The Impact of Privilege and Oppression in Early Childhood Educational Settings

Exploring the cultural contexts of communities from a lens of privilege and oppression opens doors to understanding and considerations for inclusion, equity, advocacy, and support in early childhood educational settings. This course explores early childhood educational experiences relevant to such variables as race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, (dis)ability, and body size. Through self-reflection and critical review of related research and other scholarship, students will examine the historical and current role of privilege and oppression in the delivery of early childhood educational services. Strategies and resources for designing and implementing programs that are intentionally inclusive and welcoming to all will also be addressed.

Public Policy and Its Impact on Children and Families

This ECE course explores the role and impact of public policy as it relates to early childhood education. 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 needs unique to particular communities. This course 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.


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 a regionally accredited college/university.