M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education
Welcome to the Master of Education in Early Childhood Education Website at Rhode Island College. We appreciate your interest in our program. Please enjoy browsing though our website. We hope that it provides you with helpful information about our program. The M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education program is accredited and recognized by NCATE and the NAEYC SPA. We look forward to hearing from you and answering your further questions.
We accept applications throughout the year on a rolling admissions basis.
Mary Ellen McGuire-Schwartz
Horace Mann 207
The M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education prepares early childhood educators for leadership positions in the field. The program emphasizes an understanding and commitment to the importance of the early years from birth to age 8. Children's optimal development and learning is strongly advocated for, as well as, the role of research as critical to a strong knowledge of theory and practice. Cultural competence is intrinsic to the program. Each child/learner is considered and respected as a unique individual who is a member of a group from a unique family configuration that is embedded in a unique social/cultural context. The program embraces professional dispositions, values, and professional ethics that encompass reflective practitioners who value life-long learning, technological competency, collaboration, professionalism, and excellence through equity, diversity, and social advocacy in the field of early childhood education.
Within the M.Ed. program, teaching and learning includes the preparation of meaningful curriculum that connects with children and families. Meaningful curriculum uses developmentally effective approaches, understands content knowledge in early education, and promotes comprehensive developmental and learning outcomes for all children through reflective practice, pedagogy, knowledge, diversity, assessment, and professionalism. Families are valued as partners in the educational process. Collaborative community, school, and family relationships and interrelationships are highly valued and viewed as integral parts of the learning process. Ethical guidelines and professional standards provide a framework for practice. Advocacy for young children and their families, early care and education programs, educational policies and practices is a valued goal for all early childhood education professionals and leaders within the program.
The Rhode Island College Early Childhood Education Program is committed to preparing early childhood professionals and leaders who value knowledge, research, and learning with ethical principles and professionalism. A respect for diversity and collaboration with others are nurtured and supported. Democracy, social justice, and equity for all are valued. The program promotes excellence for all learners, students, and families with full access to learning and knowledge within a context of cultural and linguistic diversity, anti-bias education, and cultural competence. Constructivist pedagogy, reflective practice, and professionalism are highly valued. For early childhood education professionals and leaders, a deep understanding of how children grow, develop, and learn includes knowledge of learning as a developmental process within a constructivist framework of hands-on learning and respect for the diversity of every child's culture, learning styles, and language.
The M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education offers graduate courses using the latest technology of Blackboard 9. In order to meet the needs of graduate students, hybrid (50% online) and online (at least 80% online) courses are offered with the possibility of Distance Courses (entirely online) being offered in the future based upon the needs of students. For the convenience of graduate students, on campus course meetings are generally held between 4:00 and 7:00 PM.
Admission to the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development master's-level programs is determined by the quality of the total application. Applicants must submit the materials listed below to the associate dean of graduate studies as a measure of their potential for success in graduate-level studies. The teaching certification requirement may be waived under special circumstances and with special considerations.
- A completed application form accompanied by a fifty-dollar nonrefundable application fee. Graduate applications are available online at:
- Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate records.
- A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale in all undergraduate course work. Applicants with undergraduate GPAs less than 3.00 may be admitted to degree candidacy upon submission of other evidence of academic potential.
- A teaching certificate (for all school-related programs, except school psychology).
- An official report of scores on the Graduate Record Examination or the Miller Analogies Test, except C.G.S. candidates and C.A.G.S. in mental health counseling candidates.
- Three Candidate Reference Forms accompanied by three Letters of Recommendation.
- A Professional Goals Essay.
- A Performance-Based Evaluation.
- Teacher certification in elementary education, early childhood education, or an appropriate field.
- An interview may be required.
Click here for course details.
Requirements for Early Childhood Education Certificate
Approved Early Childhood Courses in the M.Ed. Program
- Child Growth and Development - ECED 505, Early Childhood Education and Development Issues
- Curriculum and Methods in Early Childhood Education - ECED 502, Curriculum, Developmental Play, and Programs
- Reading Readiness and Developmental Reading - ECED 509, Emergent Literacy - Infants through Grade Two
- Health and Nutrition for the Young Child - ECED 503 Infants and Toddlers in Early Care and Education Programs
- Child, Family, and Community Relationships - ECED 512 Working with Families: Building Home-School Partnerships
Applicants who have not completed an approved program can be certified by transcript analysis by presenting evidence of six (6) semester hours of student teaching (SEE NOTE TWO) in the early childhood grades and not less than twenty-four semester hours of course work to include work in each of the following areas; Child Growth and Development, Curriculum and Methods in Early Childhood Education, Reading Readiness and Developmental Reading, Health and Nutrition for the Young Child; Child, Family, and Community Relationships; and Identification of and Service to Special Needs Children.
NOTE TWO (2): The student teaching requirement may be waived for an applicant who has had two or more documented years of successful teaching experience in an approved early childhood setting. Certified teachers who have had two or more years of teaching experience and who seek early childhood certification may fulfill the student teaching requirement by completing a one-year supervised internship at the early childhood level. After completing the necessary course work for the early childhood certificate, and arranging through the local community for a one-year internship, the Superintendent of Schools may request the issuance of a one-year professional certificate. The Department of Education must approve the internship in advance and the supervisor must have at least 3 years of teaching experience. Upon successful completion of the internship, the individual will be issued a five (5) year professional certificate.
Early Childhood Certificate by Transcript Review effective January 2012 until December 31, 2014
Requirements for an Early Childhood Certificate retrieved on 1/5/11 from
For further information about the Early Childhood Certificate, please visit the RIDE website:
http://www.ride.ri.gov/EducatorQuality/DOCS/Certification/1 Year Transitional Certification Requirements/Early Childhood 2010.pdf
and the RIDE Office of Educator Quality and Certification at:
**Please Note: RIDE implemented new certification regulations on January 1, 2012. Please be informed of the new regulations and changes on the RIDE website. Certification by transcript review ended on January 1, 2015. It was replaced with the Credential Review Pathway. Further information can be found at the following websites:
Advanced Preparation and Learning
This program prepares early childhood educators for leadership positions in the field. With emphasis on birth to age 8, the program explores specializations in curriculum development, infant-toddler development, program administration, early literacy and early intervention. The M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education offers an accessible, affordable, and high quality advanced education program in Rhode Island.
The goal of promoting children's optimal development and learning is the foundation for the program. Graduate candidates gain a deep understanding of learning as a developmental process within a constructivist framework of hands-on learning.
The program embraces NAEYC professional dispositions, standards, values and ethics, and focuses on learning in cultural competence, research, and advocacy.
Possible career options with a M.Ed.in Early Childhood Education include leadership positions in early education care and education programs, college teaching and training, early childhood curriculum specialists and trainers, advocacy positions, early childhood/ early intervention positions, and early childhood teaching in public and private schools
For information about applications, please see the
Admission Requirements for the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development Graduate School.
For information about financial aid, please see the
RIC Financial Aid website.
Please contact me at (401)456-8250 or
MMcguire@ric.edu to set up an appointment to discuss the M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education at Rhode Island College. I look forward to hearing from you.
With best wishes,
Mary Ellen McGuire-Schwartz, Ed.D.
Graduate Coordinator of the M.Ed
Credential Review Pathway
Thank you for your interest in Rhode Island College’s Credential Review Pathway (CRP).
The Credential Review Pathway is an appropriate pathway for individuals seeking to re-issue their Expert Residency Preliminary Certificate, to add another certification, or renew a certificate that is more than five years expired.
If you can document the following pre-requisites, you are qualified for the RIC Credential Review Pathway:
- bachelor's degree.
- academic excellence - minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA in a degree program and 3.0 GPA in appropriate content area courses.
- extensive teaching experience in PK-12 academic settings in the certification area. Extensive teaching experience is a full semester of supervised student teaching in the certification area (recent graduate) or 270+ days of full-time professional teaching or 270+ days of full-time substitute teaching in the certification area. Work experience as a teacher assistant does not count. You need to be fully in charge of the class.
If CRP is a viable option for you, please
e-mail Dr. MacGregor Kniseley. Indicate the State of Rhode Island
certificate title/number and confirm that you can document the three pre-requisites. He will send you a URL to the online RIC CRP application and instructions for submitting the application with documentation.
We anticipate that the process to review application materials will take up to 14 weeks. We will accept application materials throughout the year; however, because assessing an application and developing a plan of study can take up to 14 weeks, application materials should be submitted no later than April 15 to allow enough time for reviewers to assess the materials prior to the end of the spring semester and the beginning of summer (mid-May through late August). Application materials submitted during the summer will be reviewed at the beginning of the fall semester (late August).