This program provides experienced educators, PreK-12, with the opportunity to advance the knowledge and skills needed to be practitioner-leaders within the profession. Structured for part-time graduate students who are practitioners in PreK-12, this program recognizes the value of experience and the central role of the teacher in the educational change process.
The program is designed to inform teaching practice with readings and assignments directly related to their work in schools. Because every student in the program is a certified professional with at least one year of teaching practice, class discussions are informed by the ideas and perspectives from knowledgeable, experienced colleagues. Our goal is for graduates to leave more excited about and more capable of improving their own practice and helping other educators do the same.
The Department of Early and Middle Grades Education at West Chester University offers a flexible program focusing on the most important and current issues in the field of education. The M.Ed. in Applied Studies in Teaching and Learning prepares teachers to serve the needs of diverse student populations — early and middle grades, as well as high school — through the development of active, constructive, and collaborative approaches to teaching and learning. The goal is to provide a comprehensive program in which academic study is enriched by, and integrated with, practical teaching.
Students wishing to take courses for professional enrichment, but who are not pursuing a graduate degree or certification, may apply through the Office of Graduate Studies under the professional growth category. Courses may also be taken to achieve permanent Pennsylvania elementary certification or for Act 48 credits.
Candidates should submit the following materials to the Office of Graduate Studies:
The M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education is an advanced program of study designed to prepare individuals for leadership positions in the field as teachers or administrators. The accomplished teachers track is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of in-service, certified teachers. The program administrator track is focused on developing the leadership skills of child-care administrators and primary-level principals. Students in either track will take the same eight core courses and then two additional courses based on their track. All candidates will take the capstone course to complete the program. The M.Ed. in Early Childhood does not lead to Level I Certification. For certification program information, please refer to Level I Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification Programs.
The course work in the program provides students with the breadth and depth of knowledge needed to become an effective early childhood leader. Students will develop a strong foundation in child development and understand the multiple factors that influence it. Students will combine the knowledge of child development, cultural and family background, appropriate academic content, technology, and assessment in order to design, implement, and evaluate learning experiences for all children. This Degree will prepare students to:
Additionally, high standards of scholarship, effective communication skills, knowledge of current trends in early childhood, and understanding technology are essential.
Graduates with certification are employed in public schools and early education programs with young children birth through third grade. Many graduates are in supervisory roles in childcare centers and social service agencies working with young children and their families. Graduates with a special interest assisting young children with disabilities find positions in early intervention. Some graduates work as parent education coordinators while others are curriculum specialists for training programs or state agencies. Opportunities also exist for graduates in child advocacy/family policy positions. Additionally, others teach at community colleges and as adjunct faculty in four-year institutions.