Graduate Studies in Early Childhood Education

Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education

We are now accepting applications for Spring 2023.

Apply Now! 

Why should I get a Master of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education?

The fully online program leading to an M.A. in Early Childhood Education (ECE) will help you to expand your understanding of the characteristics of learning and development of children ages 0 to 8 and hone your expertise in teaching young children and working with their families.  With a growing emphasis at federal and state levels on the importance of high-quality education during the preschool and primary years, leaders in early childhood education are sought by schools and agencies throughout California.

The M.A. in Early Childhood Education qualifies teachers for the California Child Development Permit at the director level. For those candidates who hold a clear teaching credential, graduate credits may count as professional development units for salary advancement in your school district and for credential renewal. 

What is special about studying Early Childhood Education at Sonoma State University?

The Master of Arts program in Early Childhood Education at Sonoma State University emphasizes the importance of understanding the links between child development, learning, and culture and the practice of teaching in and administering programs for young children from infancy through grade three.  This developmental perspective is explored through a variety of cultural and theoretical lenses as candidates ground their ideas from readings and discussion in their day-to-day work with young children and the programs that serve them.  The importance of continuity of experience from home to school and across levels of education is emphasized in coursework and individualized research projects.  Coursework and special projects support teachers in their roles as agents of change.

Our courses cover a wide range of topics including:

  • Advocacy, policy, and leadership for families and children
  • The development of language and literacy in multilingual children
  • The role of play in learning and development
  • The social and emotional nature of learning at home and at school
  • Communication between early childhood educators and families
  • Environments that support optimal learning for young children
  • Techniques for organizing and implementing staff development and parent and family education
  • Current and practice-based knowledge about supervision and management of early care and education settings

ECE M.A. Program Coursework: 30-36 units

The Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education degree is a six-semester program that is completed in two years, including summers. The total number of units in the program is 36 units (12 courses). Students are only admitted in the spring semester and complete two courses per semester. Although the program is completely online, students should expect to meet synchronously online on Tuesdays between 4:00-7:00 pm and on Wednesdays between 7:00-10:00 pm.

Courses are offered as follows:

Spring Odd Years
EDEC 541 Dual Language and Literacy Development and Learning, 3 units
EDEC 532 Social and Emotional Development and Learning, 3 units

Summer Odd Years
EDEC 538 Development of Children’s Thinking and STEM Learning, 3 units
EDEC 571 Research Paradigms in Early Childhood Education, 3 units

Fall Odd Years
EDEC 540 Infant and Toddler Development and Learning, 3 units
EDEC 542 Advanced Field Experience, 3 units (taken in the first year only)
EDEC 572 Capstone Project, 3 units (taken in the second year only)

Spring Even Years
EDEC 539 Families, Culture, and Inclusivity, 3 units
EDEC 535 The Visionary Leader in Early Childhood Programs, 3 units

Summer Even Years
EDEC 531 Play and its Role in Development and Learning, 3 units
EDEC 537 Administration and Supervision in Early Childhood Education, 3 units

Fall Even Years
EDEC 536 Policy and Advocacy for Early Childhood Professionals, 3 units
EDEC 542 Advanced Field Experience, 3 units (taken in the first year only)
EDEC 572 Capstone Project, 3 units (taken in the second year only)

Frequently Asked Questions about the ECE MA program

Contact:

Dr. Chiara Bacigalupa
chiara.bacigalupa@sonoma.edu