Master of Education in Early Education

Master of Education in Early Education

"Its opened my eyes to a lot of new things I haven't thought about before.”
-Ashlee, M.Ed. Early Education Alumna
TCSJ’s Master of Education in Early Education Program is designed for you if you are an early childhood educator specializing in the learning and developmental needs of children aged birth through 8 years and desire to...
  • Develop curriculum for your early learners
  • Refine your instructional strategies to support your students
  • Explore innovative teaching and leadership practices
  • Lead change within your school community/place of practice!


The Master of Education degree in Early Education is designed for early childhood educators and leaders. The program is comprised of 16 units of early education coursework and 16 units from the TCSJ M.Ed. core coursework. The early education courses focus on the social, emotional, cognitive, and language development of young learners aged birth through 8 years. Students in the program will learn strategies to gather observational evidence to help them identify potential learning disabilities, understand learning trajectories, as well as development of curriculum and instructional strategies. The TCSJ M.Ed. core coursework also supports students as they learn about and engage in the development of innovative learning environments for early learners.

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • If you received a bachelor’s degree or higher from outside of the United States, we would need to see a foreign transcript evaluation stating that you have an equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in the United States.

Apply online at

Rolling Admissions (no deadline)

M.Ed. Early Education Coursework (32 units):

  • CURR301 Foundations (1 unit) – As a result of this foundational course, students understand how the elements of the masters program will contribute to their development as a transformational leader. Students will gain the preliminary skills needed to successfully navigate all courses and be prepared for scholarly research and writing.
  • CURR302 Big Picture: Preparing Students for College, Career, and Community (3 units) -Exploration of equitable learning environments are researched, observed, and discussed. Students examine reforms and innovations in PK-12 education, especially focusing on college and career readiness initiatives and its implications to teaching and learning. Students utilize the Design Thinking model to reimagine solutions to complex educational issues and invent innovative models of schools and classrooms. What would a truly innovative, reform-oriented classroom look like? What changes are needed in the school system? How does an educational leader change the system? What are the implications to teachers who need to prepare students to be engaged in their community through civics and global awareness? These issues are among the topics and questions considered in this course.
  • CURR303 Innovative Curriculum Development and Assessment (3 units) -Students extend their understanding of how to transition from conventional teaching practices to identifying strategies necessary to design innovative research-based learning environments that will best prepare students for their future. Students will create a Project Based learning unit that incorporates authentic assessments, universal design for learning, real-life applications, and opportunities for reflection. Over the duration of the course, students are challenged to critically reflect on current assessment practices and establish equitable and accurate progress monitoring methods.
  • CURR304 Applied Research Methodology (5 units) -Students enrolled in this course will deepen their understanding of research design techniques including, but not limited to, empirical research constructs, review of evaluation research and policy analysis, how to read quantitative and qualitative research reports, descriptive and inferential statistics, and basic understandings of the scientific method (problem, hypothesis, data collection, and data analysis). Students will develop, implement, and analyze a teacher action research project that includes the essential elements of effective research methodologies. The focus of the action research project will be defined by the student and will follow guidelines related to the teaching and learning process, be within an appropriate scope of influence, and with a purpose of initiating action to understand or solve a problem.
  • CURR305 Writing a Literature Review (2 units) -Analysis and synthesis of relevant scholarly research will be employed by the student regarding their topics for the development of the literature review. Specific attention will be paid to topic development, adequate sources, writing style, creation of an outline, and correct citing of research in accordance with the American Psychological Association (APA) Manual for the completion of a final literature review.
  • ECED344 Lesson Study (2) -This course focuses on the sequence of stages teachers attend to in an instructional cycle, or learning cycle for children aged birth through 8 years. Students develop a full understanding of a lesson concept and collaborate with their peers to develop and teach a lesson. As they reflect deeply on evidence of children’s learning within the lesson, they are given opportunities to redesign critical components and shift their beliefs around effective lesson design.
  • ECED390 Early Foundations in Social, Emotional and Cognitive Development (3) – This course addresses the social, emotional, and cognitive development of young children and the implications for designing effective early childhood education. Students will examine issues of poverty, trauma, culture, and language as they relate to learning and identification of potential learning challenges. Current research will be examined to inform M.Ed. students’ design of 21st century practices that promote enthusiasm, engagement, and healthy social cognitive development for the early learner.
  • ECED392b Early Language and Literacy (3)
    This course is designed for early childhood educators and leaders who will be responsible for developing programs and instruction to advance the language and literacy of young learners from birth to 8 years. The course will include a critical examination of current research, theories, and philosophies regarding the four domains of language development, as well as emergent literacy and biliteracy. Strategies for teaching reading/writing to all young children, including English language learners, is a major focus. Teaching literacy will also be framed by a number of issues including differentiation of instruction, children’s literature, and parental engagement.
  • ECED398b Authentic Observation and Assessment (3)
    This course is designed to develop expertise in students’ current practices in gathering authentic observational evidence to assess the developmental stages of early learners aged birth through 8 years. Examination of observed behaviors will be used to demonstrate how to identify the appropriate placements within learning trajectories, plan curriculum, and select appropriate instructional strategies for children. The course includes exploration of a variety of formal and informal assessments that can be used to develop a description of children’s skills, abilities, interest, and needs.
  • ECED399 Curriculum Development for the Early Learner (3)
    This course provides guidance for the development of curriculum, and opportunities to rehearse and improve pedagogies appropriate for early learners. The coursework will promote an understanding of how specific materials and activities are designed to engage early learners in active, healthy play, artistic expression, and exploration of visual art, music, drama, and dance. Design of mathematics and science curriculum that integrates social skills and builds learning communities will be included, along with examination of the learning trajectories for early learners.
  • ECED385a Masters Project in Early Education – 1st Semester (1) – This is the capstone course for the Master’s degree. As such, candidates will work with their advisor to design and execute a project that demonstrates inquiry, incorporates content from coursework, contributes to the body of knowledge for their focus topic, and makes a real world difference to school, kids, and/or community. The project must be suitable for publication and presentation. *Candidates are allotted two semesters to complete the project. ECED385a indicates completion of 1 unit of the project.
  • ECED385b Masters Project in Early Education – 2nd Semester (3) – This is the capstone course for the Master’s degree. As such, candidates will work with their advisor to design and execute a project that demonstrates inquiry, incorporates content from coursework, contributes to the body of knowledge for their focus topic, and makes a real world difference to school, kids, and/or community. The project must be suitable for publication and presentation. *Candidates are allotted two semesters to complete the project. ECED385b indicates completion of 3 units of the project.

TCSJ’s Master of Education program offers students the flexibility to create their own schedule and learn at their own pace. Click on one of the buttons below to view upcoming M.Ed. courses.

Current IMPACT Candidates

Coursework completed by students currently enrolled in the IMPACT Program are directly transferable to TCSJ for identical required coursework in the M.Ed. program. Courses have been aligned and carry the same course codes.

IMPACT Graduates

Students who have graduated from the IMPACT Program within the last five years will be awarded transfer credit as described for current candidates above. IMPACT students who graduated more than five years prior to enrollment in the graduate school must submit transcripts for evaluation. Equivalencies will be granted for coursework as appropriate to current standards.

Students Transferring from other Teacher/Administrator Preparation Programs

Coursework completed from a regionally accredited college or university is eligible to be evaluated for transfer credit work with the following restrictions:

  • Only 8 units or less can be transferred.
  • Only courses completed within the last 7 years will be considered.
  • Only courses that qualify for graduate credit by an accredited institution can be transferred. *Exception: Integrated credential coursework completed as an undergraduate may be considered pending review of transcripts and course descriptions.
  • Only courses in which a grade of C or better can be transferred.

Enrolled candidates must receive pre-approval prior to taking a course at another regionally accredited institution in order to have credits be considered as transferrable.

Candidates may submit transcripts and other requested documentation to the program director for review. Transfer credit will be granted on an individual basis and the program director will assign equivalencies (“E” grade, no units) for approved coursework only.

If needed, the program director shall consult with the President of TCSJ or an academic designee regarding granting equivalencies. The President has the authority to overrule policy.

Note: No transfer credit/equivalencies will be granted for any course in the Masters Core. All students must complete a minimum of 17 units at TCSJ to be eligible for a Masters in Education.

Students earning an M.Ed. in Early Education are required to complete a Masters Project as their capstone assignment for the program.

Are You Ready?

Start your next chapter today!