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M.S. in Early Childhood Education (Birth to Grade 2)

Teacher and Students in ClassroomThe Master of Science degree in Early Childhood Education at LIU Post prepares professional teachers and leaders to work with infants, toddlers, preschoolers and younger children in their formative years (Birth to Grade 2). You will be trained to work in a variety of educational settings, including public and private schools, Head Start programs, child development and child care centers and other programs related to the education of children, from ages zero to 8.

The program is designed for individuals who have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and college and who wish to begin a new career as a certified school teacher. Upon graduation, you will be eligible for Initial Teaching Certification from New York State. In addition, current teachers who have bachelor’s degrees in education and Initial Teaching Certification may use this program to expand their expertise to the first through sixth grade levels. This program meets the New York State master’s degree requirements for Professional Teaching Certification.

The M.S. degree curriculum comprises 11 education courses (33 credits) plus field experience, supervised student teaching (6 credits), and a culminating experience. In the required courses you will study the physical, intellectual, emotional and social development of small children, including culturally diverse populations. You will gain an understanding of the theory and practice of teaching language arts -- reading, writing, listening, and speaking -- in the early childhood classroom. The curriculum includes courses in “The Psychological Foundations of Education,” “Creative Expression for Early Childhood,” “Child Development,” and “Beginning Reading and Writing: Emergent Literacy.” After completing 12 education credits, all students take a seminar in Health and Substance Abuse.

The number of credits required for the program ranges 39 to 42 credits, depending on your culminating experience. You can choose one of three culminating experiences:

  • Option 1: Student Teaching Portfolio (39 credits), which consists of artifacts from your student-teaching experiences (i.e., lesson plans, journal of experiences, research, reports and projects).
  • Option 2: Comprehensive Exam (39 credits), which is a written essay exam that assesses your knowledge of teaching and the teaching process that was acquired throughout the program’s coursework. There is no thesis/research paper required for this option. This option is for students whose student-teaching requirements are waived.
  • Option 3: Education Thesis (42 credits), which consists of an original research paper. This option requires three additional credits. Students can pursue the thesis in lieu of the Comprehensive Exam or Student Teaching Portfolio. This is an option sought by students who plan deeper research at the post-master’s level.

After you complete all degree requirements and successfully pass New York State certification tests (LAST, ATS-W and CSTs), you will be awarded Initial Teaching Certification by the New York State Department of Education for Birth to Grade 2. If you are a certified teacher with three years of teaching experience, you will be eligible to apply for Professional Teaching Certification upon completion of the program. Please see the Teaching Certification Requirements home page for details.

TEAC Accreditation

The teacher-education programs in LIU Post’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction are nationally accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), ensuring you receive the highest quality instruction.