2020-21 Top Picks: Best Early Childhood Education ITP Master’s Degree Programs

Study after study after study has shown that investing in quality early childhood education delivers massive benefits to not only the children that get a chance to learn and grow in preschool programs, but to society as a whole. A 2018 Harvard meta-study examined 22 peer reviewed investigations conducted between 1960 and 2016 and found that children who attended high-quality ECE programs were more likely to graduate high school, less likely to need special education assistance, and less likely to be held back a grade at any point in their education.

Multiple studies, including one performed by the Georgetown University Center for Research on Children in the United States, point to benefits in cognitive development for kids that go through pre-K programs, while other studies actually go so far as to identify links between preschool and a lower likelihood for criminal activity later in life.

The evidence is clear, and the writing is on the wall – the investments we make in early childhood education now will pay dividends for a lifetime. State education departments, local school districts and even the federal government are all joining the movement to ensure every kid in America has access to quality pre-K programs. That’s leading to a surge in hiring for early childhood educators and early childhood special education teachers, with more jobs becoming available in both categories than ever before.

More and more of those educators are entering the field by earning a master’s degree, often after working in another area of teaching, or in an entirely different profession altogether.

Colleges designated as Educator Preparation Providers and offering Initial Teacher Preparation (ITP) programs that bring together the right combination of student teaching and coursework required for licensure are more and more often providing it at the master’s level. These master’s level ITP programs are becoming increasingly popular since they cater to the growing demographic of bachelor’s-educated professionals looking to earn an advanced teaching degree for a career in ECE.

If this sounds like it describes you, then it’s well worth putting a lot of careful consideration into where you’re going to earn that master’s. A thorough review of the options on this list is a great place to start.

The Best ECE Master’s Programs for Initial Licensure Set the Bar High

A top ITP master’s program distinguishes itself by achieving excellence in not just one, but many different elements. We combed through ITP programs across the United States to select only those that fulfilled our select criteria.

Accreditation As a Baseline for Quality Education

Our first bar is full accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) or one of its progenitor organizations.

NCATE (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education) and TEAC (Teacher Education Accreditation Council) merged in 2016 to form CAEP, the sole authority in teacher education degree program accreditation recognized by CHEA (Committee for Higher Education Accreditation) in the United States today.

The recency of this merger means that many programs are still showing their original accreditation – either TEAC or NCATE – since they are still within the pre-existing accreditation review period. Within a few years, all these former accreditations will drop off and all programs will then show up as being CAEP-accredited. In the meantime, TEAC, NCATE and CAEP accreditation is considered equivalent.

All three organizations evaluate ITP programs according to stringent academic and administrative criteria that cover goals and strategies for continuous improvement programs, instructor hiring and retention standards, relevant and up-to-date curriculum, and high standards for student teaching and practicum placements.

All three organizations evaluate programs using some variation of these criteria, and then follow up with on-site visits and ongoing checkups to ensure schools are maintaining those standards and implementing strategies for improvement.

This forms the basis for our selection process. Starting with this elite pool of accredited programs, we began the real work of reviewing and selecting the very best based on our own criteria for what makes an ECE master’s program excellent.

Research and Investigations Into Essential Areas of Educational Development

Understanding developing minds and employing the latest scientific techniques is key to early childhood education, so we looked for schools that put you at the forefront of research into ECE pedagogy. Programs housed in schools with active and well-funded research centers give grad students an opportunity to work on original research projects under the guidance of experienced professors. Through observation and experimentation, you could even make discoveries that will help you develop your own theories, allowing you to shape and contribute to the field yourself .

Real World Experience and Student Teaching Opportunities

All states require some student teaching experience as part of the initial teacher preparation process, putting you in a real-world classroom with real students to take on all the real challenges that come along with that. But the best schools go beyond the bare minimum and connect students with superlative teaching opportunities that offer a range of classroom experiences in diverse settings, as well as other volunteer and practicum opportunities that add even more depth and diversity to a grad student’s experiential learning. This could mean teaching students from other communities, in high needs schools, and even opportunities for international travel.

The best programs make the most of experiential learning by connecting you with experienced mentors who provide guidance and supervision while allowing you the room to learn and grow through the process so you can develop your own leadership skills.

Superb Licensure and Exam Preparation

Although state licensing standards are a lower bar than we are looking to clear with these recommendations, they’re still something you are going to have to deal with on your path to becoming a kindergarten or pre-K teacher in most states. So, at a minimum, we make sure that the programs featured here have rock solid exam preparation for the tests you will have to take to achieve licensure, as well as offering the required coursework each individual state mandates for new teachers.

In-Depth Specialization Options

Although early childhood education is often considered its own track at colleges of education that also offer initial licensure programs for middle grades and secondary teachers, there are still plenty of ways to specialize as a preschool teacher. That means there are plenty of reasons to look for programs that offer a variety of well-organized, well-staffed specializations through their ECE initial teacher preparation master’s programs.

For starters, special education options are becoming a big deal at all grade levels. And for ECE, special education takes on critical importance, since early intervention has such an impact on a preschooler’s academic future.

But beyond that, your learning experience is impacted by other students and instructors around you, and a broad base of specializations at any program will add diversity and richness to your experience and help you become a more well-rounded educator.

The Support You Need to Achieve Your Goals

Whether it is superb research libraries, mock classrooms with the latest technology, or IT support services that can talk you through any glitch or setup for coursework that might be delivered online, we looked for schools that will have your back, offering the resources and support you need to help you succeed in your goals.

That also extends to post-graduation goals, since the right career services department can not only put you on the right path from the beginning, but also help you adjust your trajectory when needed throughout your career.

Distinguished Alumni

The accomplishments of the people who passed through the halls of your school before you can say a lot about what you can achieve yourself. Though your success is in your own hands, by looking to the distinguished alumni that came before you can get a sense of what is possible. In addition to being a source of inspiration, attending a school with a deep and diverse alumni network and graduates who have individually gone on to do great things with their careers is a clear reflection of the quality of the education they received.

That’s why we give extra consideration to schools of education with graduates who have gone on to greatness, whether that means being recognized with awards, or by simply giving back to the field through research, literature or other important contributions.

Instructors Who Go the Extra Mile

None of these criteria mean very much without the right kind of instructors backing them up. A curriculum is only as good as the people who are teaching it to you—something you are intensely aware of as a future teacher in training! So we look for programs that take mentorship seriously, and hire professors who have both the research and the real-world experience to make the curriculum come alive in a way that leaves you both well-prepared and totally inspired.

Top Picks for the Best ECE Master’s Programs for Initial Licensure for 2020-21

Every program on this list has the characteristics that anybody with the dedication it takes to go back to school for a master’s in ECE would appreciate.  With a world class master’s-level education from one of these schools, you’ll have no trouble landing the perfect job and bringing the same kind of inspiration to the students you work with every day.



This list features programs that our editorial staff hand selected to present as top recommendations. We believe the many aspects of a program that come together to create an exceptional student experience can’t be reduced to numbers alone, so no formula was used to attempt to score or rank these programs. Instead, they represent our top picks based on a thoughtful review of the things we know mean the most to students. Each one of these programs offers something unique, and all come equally highly recommended. We stand behind the principal of editorial integrity and make these recommendations independently and without compensation.

Alabama

 

University of Alabama at Birmingham (PU)
School of Education
Birmingham, AL
Website

MAEd, Alternative Masters in Early Childhood Education P-3 (on-campus)

Also Offers:  MAEd (on-campus)

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Special Education with Early Childhood Special Education Concentration

 

Estimated cost per credit: $450 (in-state), $1,066 (out-of-state), $534 (online)

Entrance Exam Requirements: PRAXIS CASE/CORE

Accreditation Status: NCATE (ITP, ADV) May 2014-June 2022

  • More than 120,000 active alumni worldwide
  • Six of the last nine Alabama Teacher of the Year awards went to AUB alum
  • 2018 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching wen to AUB alumnus
  • School of Education maintains close community ties through GEARUP Alabama (GUA) and The Community Counseling Clinic

Housed within the famed AUB School of Education, which has been nationally and internationally recognized for both its transformative curricula and its contributions to research and scholarship, the ECE alternative master’s program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham is everything you’d expect – and more. The program is ideally designed to build upon your undergraduate education, while faculty of the program, who are also scholars, researchers, and clinicians, serve as your personal mentors. The ECE master’s program here is just one example of why UAB enjoys a reputation for being a powerhouse in academic, clinical, and research innovation.

 

University of Alabama (PU)
College of Education
Tuscaloosa, AL
Website

MA Elementary Education K-6, PreK-3 (on-campus)

Also Offers:  MA in Elementary and Early Childhood Education K-6, PreK-3 (on-campus)

 

Entrance Exam Requirements: GRE/MAT/GMAT

Estimated cost per credit: $449 (in-state), $1,260 (out-of-state)

Accreditation Status: NCATE (ITP, ADV) October 2016-October 2023

  • UA is state’s flagship university and was the state’s first public college
  • UA’s graduate programs are ranked among the top public programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report

The University of Alabama, the state’s flagship university and its first public college, is home to the perfect program for aspiring early education teachers like you looking to build upon a bachelor’s education. Since 1831, UA has been dedicated to teaching, research, and service, and its efforts have paid off ten-fold. In fact, UA’s graduate programs are now ranked among the top public programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, thanks to the College of Education’s contemporary, forward-thinking curricula, leading research initiatives, and state-of-the-art labs.

Connecticut

 

University of Saint Joseph (PR)
Department of Education
West Hartford, CT
Website

MAT in Early Childhood Education/Special Education (on-campus)

Entrance Exam Requirements: none

Estimated cost per credit: $714

Accreditation Status: CAEP, Full Accreditation (ITP) October 2018-December 2024

  • University ranked among the Top Tier Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News & World Report
  • Exciting, hands-on learning experiences available through the university’s two laboratory preschools

Earning your initial teaching certification and master’s in early childhood education through the University of Saint Joseph comes with its share of perks. Small classes, one-on-one advising, a student-to-faculty ratio of just 8:1, and a highly qualified faculty that includes no less than six Fulbright scholars all come together to ensure a highly interactive and engaging master’s program designed to prepare you for success. Your skills in the classroom will translate seamlessly into practice, thanks to plenty of hands-on learning in the university’s two laboratory schools – the Gengras Center, a private special education school located on campus, and the School for Young Children, a model lab preschool located just one block from campus.

District of Columbia

 

American University (PR)
School of Education
Washington, D.C.
Website

MAT in Early Childhood Education (on-campus)

Entrance Exam Requirements: PRAXIS CASE/CORE

Estimated cost per credit: $1,759

Accreditation Status: NCATE (ITP) October 2015-December 2022

  • Streamlined program can be completed in just five semesters (20 months)
  • Outstanding placement rate of 100% among graduates

We love American University’s MAT program in early childhood education because its streamlined design takes you from student to graduate in just five short semesters without ever compromising on the quality of student teaching experiences. The School of Education’s strong network of partnership schools in the DC-Maryland-Virginia area ensures the ideal placement when it comes time to translate theory into practice. And you can’t beat the success rate here: graduates of the program enjoy a 100% placement rate!

 

George Washington University (PR)
Graduate School of Education and Human Development
Washington D.C.
Website

MAEd in Early Childhood Special Education (on-campus)

Entrance Exam Requirements: none

Estimated cost per credit: $1,765

Accreditation Status: NCATE (ITP, ADV) October 2015-December 2021

  • Outstanding D.C. location provides exciting opportunities for hands-on learning at a variety of private, public, and charter schools
  • Exceptional career planning and support services available

A nationally recognized faculty of researchers and practitioners and a prime location near D.C.’s abundant network of public, private, and charter schools are just two of the reasons why earning your master’s and initial teaching license in early childhood education through George Washington University is a sure bet. You’ll also love the school’s outstanding Office of Career Services, which is there to provide you with the career planning and support you need to go from graduate to skilled educator.

 

Catholic University of America (PR)
Department of Education
Washington, D.C.
Website

MA in Early Childhood Special Education (on-campus)

Also Offers:  MA in Learning and Instruction (on-campus)

 

Entrance Exam Requirements: GRE

Estimated cost per credit: $2,000

Accreditation Status: NCATE (ITP, ADV) April 2015-June 2022

  • Location in the heart of our nation’s capital ensures exciting practical learning experiences
  • University enjoys the unique distinction of being the only national university of the Catholic Church

Opportunities for unparalleled practical learning experiences through the extensive network of partner schools in the Washington D.C. area are just the beginning of what the Catholic University of America has to offer with its master’s degree leading to initial teaching certification in early childhood special education. Located in the heart of our nation’s capital, Catholic University of America serves as a Christian presence in academia and sits at the center of the rich academic community that has grown up around it since being founded in 1887. The Department of Education was established a generation later, and since then has provided aspiring educators like you with the finest education built upon the ideals and values of the Roman Catholic Church.

Illinois

 

Chicago State University (PU)
College of Education
Chicago, IL
Website

MAT in Early Childhood Education (on-campus)

Also Offers:  MAT in Early Childhood Education, Subsequent FOCUS Early Childhood Endorsement for Licensed Teachers (on-campus)

 

Entrance Exam Requirements: Illinois Basic Skills test or the Test of Academic Proficiency

Estimated cost per credit: $325 (in-state), $630 (out-of-state)

Accreditation Status: NCATE (ITP, ADV) October 2012-June 2020

  • Outstanding record of student success: 100% IL teacher licensure pass rate in 2019
  • Learning centers within the College of Education serve as valuable hubs for research, student outreach, and faculty collaboration

If you’re looking for a master’s program in early childhood education for your initial teaching license that comes with a proven history of student success, look no further than Chicago State University. In fact, in 2019 100% of all CSU MAT-ECE graduates at CSU passed licensing exams and went on to earn Illinois teacher licensure. In addition to a robust curriculum that supports 21st century educators, the university’s College of Education houses several learning centers that serve as hubs for research and outreach for students. Teacher development here is paramount, and the College of Education’s learning centers foster collaboration between faculty, students, and the education community as a whole.

Indiana

 

University of Saint Francis (PR)
Fort Wayne, IN
Website

MSEd in Education, Mild Intervention/Intense Intervention (online)

  • Early Childhood P-3
  • P-12

Also Offers:  MSEd in Mild Intervention or Intense Intervention (online), non-licensure

 

Entrance Exam Requirements: PRAXIS CASE/CORE

Estimated cost per credit: $525 (on-campus and online)

Accreditation Status: CAEP (ITP) October 2017-December 2024

  • Outstanding employment rate of 95% among grads
  • Online program includes exceptional support, guidance, and mentoring

The University of Saint Francis is focused on convenience and accessibility for grad students, which is why its MSEd program in early childhood education is offered fully online. And while this degree allows you to earn your master’s degree from anywhere in the world, university support and guidance are just as comprehensive and complete as you’d expect from an on-campus program. Just some of the perks of earning your online master’s here include access to a dedicated and experienced success coach, online tutoring that’s available 24/7, and full use of the USF Mentoring Program – your chance to receive one-on-one mentoring from a successful USF alumnus. The success of this program is clear –graduates here enjoy a 95% employment rate.

Kansas

 

University of Kansas (PU)
School of Education
Overland Park, KS
Website

MSE in Early Childhood Unified B-K (on-campus)

Entrance Exam Requirements: none

Estimated cost per credit: $415 (in-state), $998 (out-of-state), $615 (online)

Accreditation Status: NCATE (ITP, ADV) April 2015-December 2021

  • School of Education is ranked ninth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report
  • Expertly designed program features both blended and evening on-campus courses to accommodate adult learners

The University of Kansas’ MSE in Early Childhood Unified program is designed with the working professional in mind. This means means your busy schedule won’t get in the way of earning your degree, thanks to the blended courses (online and on-campus) and once-weekly evening courses, offered at both the Lawrence and Edward campuses. This flexible and convenient curriculum is just one of the reasons why the university’s School of Education is ranked ninth in the nation among public schools by U.S. News & World Report.

Kentucky

 

University of Louisville (PU)
College of Education and Human Development
Louisville, KY
Website

MAT (on-campus)

  • Early Childhood Education B-K
  • Early Elementary Education P-5

Entrance Exam Requirements: GRE or PRAXIS CASE/CORE

Estimated cost per credit: $723 (in-state), $1,507 (out-of-state)

Accreditation Status: CAEP (ITP) April 2017-June 2024

  • Exciting opportunities for research and hands-on learning through the College of Education and Human Development’s many centers and initiatives
  • Superb international learning experiences available

The University of Louisville’s MAT programs in early childhood education are built upon the university’s history of academic excellence and commitment to research and service. In addition to the progressive curriculum designed to build upon your previous undergraduate degree, the MAT programs pave the way toward state licensure by providing outstanding, hands-on learning experiences through the many centers and initiatives that are part of the College of Education and Human Development. Among them are the Early Childhood Research Center and the Kentucky Autism Training Center. And if your plans include a global learning experience, the College of EHD is home to outstanding learning trips to Belize, Gibraltar, and more.

Maryland

 

University of Maryland Baltimore County (PU)
Department of Education
Baltimore, MD
Website

MAT in Early Childhood Education (on-campus)

Entrance Exam Requirements: PRAXIS CASE/CORE or GRE

Estimated cost per credit: $640 (in-state), $1,099 (out-of-state)

Accreditation Status: NCATE (ITP, ADV) April 2012-June 2020

  • UMBC listed among the Most Innovative Schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report
  • Superb interaction with program faculty

The University of Maryland Baltimore County MAT program is just what aspiring educators like you need to make your dreams a reality. Building upon your bachelor’s education, this program’s contemporary curriculum will prepare you for the challenges of the 21st century early childhood learning environment. And thanks to the university’s commitment to fostering relationships between faculty and students, your graduate experience will be rich in communication, collaboration, and mentorship. With exciting programs like this, it’s no wonder UMBC has been listed among the Most Innovative Schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Massachusetts

 

Boston College (PR)
Lynch School of Education and Human Development
Chestnut Hill, MA
Website

MEd in Early Childhood Education (on-campus)

Entrance Exam Requirements: GRE (current or past Boston College students do not need to submit the GRE)

Estimated cost per credit: $1,538

Accreditation Status: CAEP (ITP) October 2018-June 2024

  • College is the top-ranked Catholic school of education in the country by U.S. News & World Report
  • Exciting practical experiences through the Lynch School’s 100+ educational partnerships in the Greater Boston area

As the top-ranked Catholic school of education in the country according to U.S. News & World Report, Boston College has a reputation that certainly precedes it. It’s long been considered the birthplace of American public education and is certainly home to some of the best schools in the country, including the Lynch School of Education, which is ranked among the best graduate schools in the nation. You’ll love earning your master’s in early childhood education here because of the college’s supportive community of faculty and administration…the program’s proven, highly relevant curriculum…and the Lynch School’s knack for producing educators who make a difference. In fact, the Lynch School has over 100 partnerships in the Greater Boston area, so you can be sure you’ll always find the right fit for exciting practical experiences.

Minnesota

 

Minnesota State University Mankato (PU)
College of Education
Mankato, MN
Website

MS in Early Childhood Special Education B-6 (online)

Entrance Exam Requirements: GRE for applicants with an undergraduate degree below 3.0

Estimated cost per credit: $427 (in-state), $427 (out-of-state)

Accreditation Status: CAEP (ITP) April 2019-June 2026

  • All courses available online for the best in convenience and flexibility
  • Minnesota State Mankato is one of the largest providers of graduate education in the state

Minnesota State University Mankato earns one of our top spots for convenience and flexibility, thanks to its fully online master’s in early childhood special education. And thanks to Minnesota State Mankato’s status as one of the largest providers of graduate education in the state and its nationally recognized academic programs, you can feel confident that you’re receiving a top-notch education that will prepare you for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century early childhood education classroom.

 

University of St. Thomas (PR)
School of Education
St. Paul, MN
Website

MA in Special Education, Early Childhood Special Education (on-campus)

Entrance Exam Requirements: MTLE Basic Skills

Estimated cost per credit: $600

Accreditation Status: NCATE

  • Outstanding record of student success: 93% of graduates are employed within eight months
  • Community partnerships with school districts throughout the state ensure diversity in the program that translates to diversity in the workforce
  • The Saint Paul Public Schools Urban Teacher Residency program supports an accelerated path to earning a master’s and teaching license

The exceptional graduate outcomes associated with the University of Saint Thomas School of Education are well known – 93% of graduates are employed within eight months of completing the program. As a student at St. Thomas, you can earn your MA in Early Childhood Special Education and work toward your initial teaching license with the confidence that comes with knowing you’re pursuing a degree through a program with a long history of producing successful graduates. Saint Thomas also provides you with plenty of opportunities to translate theory into practice through valuable partnerships with organizations like the Center for Academics and Sports, the FAIR School, and the Collaborative Urban Educators program.

Missouri

 

Missouri Baptist University (PR)
School of Education
Saint Louis, MO
Website

MAT (on-campus)

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education
  • Early Childhood Education/Elementary Education
  • Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education/Elementary Education
  • Early Childhood Special Education

Also Offers: MAT (online) – non-licensure

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education
  • Early Childhood Education/Elementary Education
  • Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education/Elementary Education
  • Early Childhood Special Education

 

Entrance Exam Requirements: Missouri Content Assessments (MoCA)

Estimated cost per credit: $570 (on-campus), $618 (online)

Accreditation Status: CAEP (ITP) October 2018-October 2025

  • Flexible and convenient MAT courses can be completed at the main campus or at one of the university’s off-campus instructional sites
  • Intimate learning environment and small class sizes ensure the best in personal attention

It’s all about convenience at Missouri Baptist University, which is why its MAT program for bachelor’s prepared students seeking their initial teaching license earned a top spot on our list of the best of the best. Your busy schedule is no match for Missouri Baptist’s super flexible MAT program, which features courses that can be completed at the school’s main campus or at one of its convenient instructional sites located in Moscow Hills, Hillsboro, Arnold, Union, or Farmington. Regardless of where you choose to complete your degree, you’ll enjoy the university’s intimate learning environment that features small class sizes and a dedicated faculty that’s committed to your success.

 

Lindenwood University (PR)
School of Education
St. Charles, MO
Website

MAT (on-campus)

  • Early Childhood Education B-3
  • Early Childhood Special Education B-3

Entrance Exam Requirements: Missouri Content Assessments (MoCA)

Estimated cost per credit: $495

Accreditation Status: TEAC October 2015-December 2022

  • Outstanding community and school partnerships for the best in practical learning
  • Convenient evening courses, with the MAT cluster program offering once-weekly classes

A highly credentialed faculty…impressive school and community partnerships…and small class sizes that support a personalized learning experience are just a few of the perks of earning your master’s in early childhood education through Lindenwood University. And if convenience is what you’re looking for, you won’t need to look any further than Lindenwood, which offers evening classes to accommodate your busy working schedule. Choose the MAT cluster program and you’ll attend classes just one night per week!

Nebraska

 

Concordia University Nebraska (PR)
Education Department
Seward, NE
Website

MEd in Early Childhood Education (online)

Also Offers: MEd, Birth-3 Inclusive Education (online)

 

Entrance Exam Requirements: none

Estimated cost per credit: $425

Accreditation Status: NCATE (ITP, ADV) October 2013-December 2020

  • University ranked among the Best Regional Universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report
  • Convenient, online format ensures the best in flexibility for working adults

With a spot among the U.S. News & World Report Best Regional Universities in the Midwest, Concordia University Nebraska was quick to capture our attention. But that’s not the only reason this nationally acclaimed university landed on our ‘best of’ list. We were also impressed with its title as a Christian College of Distinction (the only Christian school in Nebraska to earn this honor), and its affordable tuition, which landed it a spot among MONEY magazine’s ’50 Most Affordable Private Colleges’. Best of all, its MEd in Early Childhood Education program, designed specifically for bachelor’s prepared students like you seeking your initial teaching license, is offered in a convenient, online format, so earning your master’s is easier than ever, regardless of your personal and professional obligations.

New Jersey

 

The College of New Jersey (PU)
School of Education
Ewing, NJ
Website

MAT in Early Childhood Education (on-campus)

Entrance Exam Requirements: PRAXIS CASE/CORE

Estimated cost per credit: $809 (in-state), $1,248 (out-of-state)

Accreditation Status: NCATE (ITP, ADV) May 2016-May 2023

  • Outstanding history of student success as the first teacher training college in New Jersey
  • Outstanding resources available through the new, state-of-the-art School of Education building

The College of New Jersey MAT program in early childhood education is part and parcel of the college’s long legacy of excellence and innovation in education. With a history dating back to 1855 and its status as the first teacher-training school in New Jersey, the College of New Jersey knows a thing or two about what it takes to produce effective and successful educators. It’s also home to a new, 72,000-square-foot Education building that was designed to model the collaborative, technology-rich environment found in many of today’s schools. Just some of the features include smart classrooms, observation classrooms, and model classrooms for early childhood education.

 

Rider University (PR)
College of Education and Human Services
Lawrenceville, NJ
Website

MAT in Early Childhood Education, P-3 (on-campus)

Entrance Exam Requirements: PRAXIS CASE/CORE

Estimated cost per credit: $850

Accreditation Status: NCATE (ITP, ADV) October 2012-December 2019

  • Program options include a streamlined, accelerated residency program or a part-time evening program
  • Immediate classroom immersions eliminate the gap between theory and practice

If you’re looking for a fully immersive, streamlined program designed for bachelor’s prepared students seeking initial teaching licensure, then look no further than Rider University, which offers one of the most unique MAT programs in early childhood education we’ve seen. This full-time residency program is both accelerated and streamlined, allowing you to earn your degree in just nine months while eliminating the gap between theory and practice. Rider accomplishes this by immediately immersing students in classroom experiences (which take place at a local elementary school). Overseen by Rider’s outstanding faculty, the MAT program is rich in collaboration, communication, and mentorships. Need more flexibility? Rider also offers a part-time evening program designed for working adults.

 

College of Saint Elizabeth (PR)
College of Education
Morristown, NJ
Website

MAEd in Education with Early Childhood Endorsement (on-campus)

Entrance Exam Requirements: PRAXIS CASE/CORE

Estimated cost per credit: $1,001

Accreditation Status: TEAC October 2015-December 2022

  • University listed among the U.S. News & World Report Best Reginal Universities in the North and the Washington Monthly Best Master’s Universities
  • Low, student-to-faculty ratio of just 11: 1 ensures a personalized learning experience

For more than a century, the College of Saint Elizabeth has been at the forefront of innovation in teacher education. So, it’s no wonder this college has earned a spot on some of the most reputable ‘best of’ lists published by U.S. News & World Report, MONEY magazine, and the Washington Monthly. Take your career in the direction you always wanted it to go and prepare to be an inspirational teacher through the comprehensive MAED program, which comes out on top among teacher prep ECE master’s programs with a low student-to-faculty ratio of just 11:1.

 

Farleigh Dickinson University (PR)
Peter Sammartino School of Education
Teaneck, NJ
Website

MAT in Preschool – Grade 3 (on-campus)

Also Offers:  MACT (for Certified Teachers), Preschool-Grade 3 Specialist program (on-campus)

 

Entrance Exam Requirements: PRAXIS CASE/CORE

Estimated cost per credit: $1,285

Accreditation Status: TEAC March 2013-June 2020

  • Option to take classes at the university’s Florham or Teaneck campus
  • Exciting international study opportunities available through FDU’s England campus, Wroxton College

The Farleigh Dickinson University MAT in Preschool for grad students pursuing initial teaching licensure in New Jersey represents the perfect combination of educational excellence and convenience. In addition to this program’s rigorous and contemporary curriculum, which has helped it earn a spot on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Regional Universities in the North list, MAT students enjoy a unique level of flexibility with the option to take classes at either the Florham or Teaneck campus. And students with a global mindset can take classes as far away as Wroxton College, the Farleigh Dickinson University campus in England.

New York

 

Canisius College (PR)
School of Education & Human Services
Buffalo, NY
Website

MSEd in Childhood Education/Special Education 1-6 with an optional Early Childhood Extension

Entrance Exam Requirements: SAT, ACT, GRE, or MAT

Estimated cost per credit: $820

Accreditation Status: CAEP (ITP) April 2017-June 2024

  • College ranked among the nation’s best universities in the North by U.S. News & World Report
  • Immediate immersion in practical learning experiences eliminates the gap between theory and practice

The School of Education & Human Services MSEd in Childhood Education is part of an institution that’s been consistently recognized for its educational excellence. Canisius College has long been considered the premier private university in Western New York and is just one of a few Jesuit colleges in the nation. You’ll be glad you earned your the MSEd here because not only is it backed by a school with a stellar reputation, it prepares you for dual certification in childhood/special education in just 24 months. Plus, this program emphasizes practical experience, so you’ll be immersed almost immediately in field experiences at diverse partner schools in the community.

 

Manhattanville College (PR)
School of Education
Purchase, NY
Website

MAT (on-campus)

  • Childhood 1-6/Early Childhood Education B-2
  • Early Childhood Education B-2

MPS

  • Early Childhood Special Education B-2
  • Early Childhood/Childhood Special Education B-6
  • Early Childhood B-2/Early Childhood Special Education, Literacy B-2

Entrance Exam Requirements: GRE or MAT

Estimated cost per credit: $805

Accreditation Status: CAEP (ITP) October 2018-December 2025

  • College ranked among the U.S. News & World Report Best Regional Universities in the North
  • Weekend, evening, and summer courses offer the best in flexibility and convenience 

The Manhattanville College MAT options for bachelor’s prepared students like you seeking initial licensure provide exactly what you need for success as an early childhood educator. It’s all thanks to contemporary coursework that addresses the latest theoretical and practical concepts…personalized guidance to ensure a streamlined course of study…weekend, evening, and summer courses to accommodate your busy schedule…and outstanding career development that includes free lifetime career services. It’s no wonder Manhattanville College has earned a spot among the nation’s top lists, including U.S. News & World Report’s Best Regional Universities in the North. Interested in an accelerated path to a master’s degree and state licensure? Manhattanville has you covered there, too, thanks to its Jump Start program, which is designed to take you from student to educator in just one year.

 

Mercy College (PR)
School of Education
Dobbs Ferry, NY
Website

MS in Early Childhood Education B-2 (on-campus or online)

Also offers: An option to add Childhood Education 1-6 and/or Teaching Students with Disabilities

 

Entrance Exam Requirements: GRE or PRAXIS CASE/CORE

Estimated cost per credit: $897

Accreditation Status: CAEP (ITP) May 2014-June 2021

  • Options for dual and triple certification
  • Flexible programming allows students to complete courses online or at the Dobbs Ferry, Bronx, Manhattan, or Yorktown Heights campuses

The Mercy College MS in Early Childhood Education is all about options, making it an obvious choice for our Top Picks list. This program not only offers the best in flexibility with online options and three campus locations, but it also positions you for multiple certificates, including:

  • Early Childhood B-2
  • Early Childhood, B-2 and Childhood Education (dual certification)
  • Early Childhood B-2 and Childhood Education 1-6 with Students with Disabilities (triple certification)

You’ll also love Mercy’s Personalized Achievement Contract (PACT) program, a nationally recognized mentoring program designed to ensure your success during your graduate studies and beyond.

 

Queens College – CUNY (PU)
Division of Education
Queens, NY
Website

MAT in Early Childhood Education B-2 (on-campus)

Also Offers:  MSEd in Early Childhood Education B-2 (on-campus)

 

Entrance Exam Requirements: GRE

Estimated cost per credit: $462 (in-state), $855 (out-of-state)

Accreditation Status: CAEP (ITP) April 2013-June 2020

  • College named among America’s Top Colleges by Forbes
  • Classes offered both in the day and evening for maximum flexibility

When you have a master’s program in early childhood education through a college that’s been named on the Forbes’ list of America’s Top Colleges, it gets a lot of attention. The MAT in Early Childhood Education is an excellent example of why Queens College has long enjoyed a reputation for high-quality academic programs and outstanding student achievement. Add to that its affordable price tag and it’s easy to see why this program is a sure bet for aspiring preschool teachers like you.

 

College of Saint Rose (PR)
Thelma P. Lally School of Education
Albany, NY
Website

MSEd in Early Childhood B-2 and Childhood Education 1-6 (on-campus)

Entrance Exam Requirements: GRE or MAT

Estimated cost per credit: $799

Accreditation Status: NCATE (ITP, ADV) October 2018-December 2023

  • Convenient, evening courses for the best in flexibility for working professionals
  • Excellent history of graduate outcomes with a pass rate of 94% on the NYS teacher certification exams

The MSEd program through the College of Saint Rose is built on a history of excellence, earning it national praise and a spot on our list of Top Picks for the Best ITP ECE Master’s Programs of 2020-21. This program, designed specifically for bachelor’s prepared students seeking an initial teacher certification, has a strong track record for outstanding graduate outcomes with a 94% pass rate on the NYS teacher certification examinations and an internationally recognized faculty that includes highly experienced educators and a former NYC deputy superintendent. If you’re in the Albany area and ready to get your career in ECE started, the MSEd through the Thelma P. Lally School of Education at the College of Saint Rose should be on the short list of programs you’re seriously considering.

 

Relay Graduate School of Education (PR)
New York, NY
Website

MAT in Early Childhood Education (hybrid)

MAT in Early Childhood Education/Special Education (hybrid)

Entrance Exam Requirements: state-specific

Estimated cost per credit: $488

Accreditation Status: NCATE (ITP) October 2013-June 2021

  • The MAT program is available through Relay campuses throughout the country
  • MAT may be completed as the Relay Teaching Residency, a unique program that allows you to teach as you learn
  • The Relay MAT program is available at the following Relay campuses throughout the country:
    • San Antonio
    • Chicago
    • Denver
    • Delaware
    • Nashville
    • Memphis
    • New Orleans
    • Newark
    • New York
    • Dallas-Fort Worth
    • Houston
    • Baton Rouge
    • Washington D.C.

The MAT in Early Childhood Education through the Relay Graduate School of Education is a unique program that includes all the support you need to succeed. This comprehensive program may be completed through the school’s Relay Teaching Residency, a supportive master’s program that allows you to begin teaching while you learn. You’ll begin the program in the summer, where you’ll complete classroom study (much of it online) under an esteemed faculty of experienced teachers. As you progress throughout the program, you’ll begin working as a full-time teacher-in-residence during which you’ll support a lead classroom teacher. After the first year, you’ll receive support finding a position as a fully licensed teacher. The Relay MAT program is available at 13 campuses throughout the country.

 

New York Institute of Technology (PR)
Teacher Education Department
New York, NY
Website

MS in Early Childhood Education B-2 (online or hybrid)

Also Offers:  MS in Early Childhood Education B-2, Bilingual Extension Option (online, hybrid)

 

Entrance Exam Requirements: GRE or MAT

Estimated cost per credit: $570 (discounted rate for online graduate students)

Accreditation Status: CAEP (ITP, ADV) April 2019-April 2026

  • NYIT ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News & World Report
  • Outstanding record of graduate success includes a 96% employment rate

The New York Institute of Technology MS in Early Childhood Education earns a spot on our list of top recommendations thanks to its exciting delivery options and outstanding record of student achievement. Coursework delivery options include a fully online format; on-campus day, evening, and weekend courses at the school’s New York City or Long Island campuses; and on-campus/online courses at the UFT Teacher Center in Manhattan. Want even more options? NYIT’s Global Exchange program allows you to take courses in Abu Dhabi, China, and Vancouver!

 

University of Rochester (PR)
Warner School of Education
Rochester, NY
Website

MS/NYS Certification – Teacher Education K-12 (on-campus)

  • Early Childhood Education B-2
  • Early Childhood Education/Teaching Students with Disabilities in Early Childhood B-2

Also offers the MS in Early Childhood Education for initially certified teachers seeking NYS Professional Certification.

Elementary Programs Offered:

The MS in Childhood Education / NYS Certification in Teaching in Childhood Education (elementary grades 1-6) is designed for preservice teachers seeking initial certification. This program offers the option to add initial and professional certification in Teaching Students with Disabilities (grades 1-6), Teaching in Early Childhood Education (birth to grade 2) and TESOL (K-12), as well as the option to add an advanced certificate in Urban Teaching and Leadership or Digitally-Rich Teaching in K-12 Schools.

Existing elementary teachers who already have their initial certification in childhood education and who are interested in NYS Professional Teaching Certification can take electives and additional courses leading to professional certification only, or earn advanced certificates in Digitally-Rich Teaching or Urban Teaching and Leadership while earning professional certification. They also have the option of earning additional certification in Early Childhood Education, Teaching Students with Disabilities or Teaching Literacy.

Entrance Exam Requirements: GRE or MAT

Estimated cost per credit: $1,492

Accreditation Status: NCATE (ITP, ADV) October 2016-October 2023

  • Streamlined program can be completed in just 15 months
  • Comprehensive course of study includes courses on diversity, students with disabilities, and English language learners

The University of Rochester MS/NYS Certification program is specifically designed to prepare bachelor’s-prepared students like you to qualify for your initial teacher certification while your earn a master’s degree. This streamlined course of study, which can be completed in just 15 months, features a comprehensive curriculum that’s designed to prepare you for the 21st century early childhood classroom. In fact, this forward-thinking program is complemented with courses on diversity, students with disabilities, and English language learners, and at least one course addresses learning in digital spaces.

North Carolina

 

University of North Carolina Charlotte (PU)
Cato College of Education
Charlotte, NC
Website

MAT in Early Childhood Education B-K (hybrid)

Entrance Exam Requirements: GRE/MAT may be required for some students

Estimated cost per credit: $318 (in-state), $877 (out-of-state)

Accreditation Status: NCATE (ITP, ADV) May 2014-June 2021

  • Hybrid curriculum features online courses supplemented with face-to-face focus practice lab sessions
  • Outstanding research and practice opportunities available through the Center for Educational Measurement and Evaluation and the Multicultural Play Therapy Center

The MAT in Early Childhood Education through the University of North Carolina Charlotte is the model of what convenience and flexibility in a graduate program should look like. Nearly 85% of the curriculum here can be completed online, in as little as 16 months. You’ll take online courses and then meet each semester with your peers to engage in face-to-face focus practice lab sessions designed to build upon your teaching skills. You’ll then round out this program by completing a 15-week student teaching experience. Access to resources and support is all part of the student experience here and include mentorship and guidance through the Office of Teacher Education Advising and Licensure (TEAL) and the University Career Center. Research and hands-on learning are also built into the program, with the Center for Educational Measurement and Evaluation and the Multicultural Play Therapy Center providing outstanding opportunities to learn while you contribute.

 

Shaw University (PR)
Department of Education
Raleigh, NC
Website

MS in Early Childhood Education (hybrid) – Concentration II

Also Offers:  MS in Early Childhood Education (hybrid), Concentration I (non-licensure)

 

Entrance Exam Requirements: GRE

Estimated cost per credit: $578

Accreditation Status: NCATE (ITP, ADV) May 2014-June 2021

  • Program features online and hybrid courses for the best in flexibility and convenience
  • Outstanding on-campus learning opportunities available through the Shaw University Center for Early Childhood Education, Development and Research

The perfect combination of online and hybrid courses make Shaw University’s MS in Early Childhood Education the convenient course of study busy, working graduate students like you are looking for. Even with all that convenience and flexibility built into the program, things like service learning and face-to-face discussions and projects with professors and peers are never compromised. Practical learning is a major component of the program, with plenty of exciting learning opportunities available through the Shaw University Center for Early Childhood Education, Development and Research, a five-star center and auspice within the University’s Division of Education and Social Work.

Ohio

 

John Carroll University (PR)
Department of Education & School Psychology
University Heights, OH
Website

MEd, School-Based or Professional Teacher in Early Childhood PreK-3 (on-campus)

Entrance Exam Requirements: GRE

Estimated cost per credit: $755

Accreditation Status: CAEP (ITP) April 2019-June 2026

  • Two program options to accommodate your educational goals
  • Exceptional history of outstanding student outcomes with a 95% employment rate among graduates

The John Carroll University MEd in early childhood education has a proven track record for outstanding graduate outcomes as evidenced by the 95% employment rate– proof positive that this program produces graduates who go on to become effective and successful teachers. Much of the credit for that goes to the exceptional faculty of experienced educators and researchers, small class sizes that allow for individualized attention, and part- and full-time options to accommodate any schedule. Choose the School-Based MEd if you’re looking for a full-time intensive program that includes an immersion in a local partnership school, or the Professional Teacher MEd if you’d like a program with a more relaxed schedule that can be completed on a full- or part-time basis.

 

Ohio State University (PU)
Department of Teaching and Learning
Columbus, OH
Website

MEd in Early Childhood PK-3 (on-campus)

Also Offers:  MA/EdS in Rethinking Early Childhood and Elementary Education (on-campus)

 

Entrance Exam Requirements: GRE for applicants with an undergraduate GPA of less than 3.0

Estimated cost per credit: $482 (in-state), $983 (out-of-state)

Accreditation Status: CAEP (ITP) April 2019-June 2026

  • OSU ranked 17th among all public institutions in the country by U.S. News & World Report
  • One-year accelerated program offers a streamlined course of study

The Ohio State University MEd in early childhood education is designed to take you from student to practicing teacher in just one year! This one-year accelerated program comes complete with the essential knowledge and skills you need to make a difference in the lives of preschoolers. Plus, the university’s on-campus centers like the Center on Education and Training for Employment and the Schoenbaum Family Center and Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy supplement your learning experiences by providing a variety of innovative learning and research opportunities. Choose OSU for your path to a master’s degree and initial teacher licensure and you’ll be part of an institution that’s ranked 17th among all public institutions in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

 

University of Dayton (PR)
School of Education and Health Sciences
Dayton, OH
Website

Transdisciplinary MSEd in Early Childhood Education B-3, with EC Intervention Specialist (on-campus)

Also Offers:  MSEd in Early Childhood Leadership and Advocacy (online)

 

Entrance Exam Requirements: GRE or MAT for students with an undergraduate GPA below 2.75

Estimated cost per credit: $665

Accreditation Status: CAEP (ITP) April 2017-June 2024

  • Outstanding practical learning experiences through the university’s Bombeck Family Learning Center, a five-star rated early childhood learning facility
  • State-of-the-art facilities ensure a smooth transition to 21st century early childhood classrooms

Complete your master’s degree in early childhood education through the University of Dayton and you’ll be part of a contemporary, rigorous program where you’ll have opportunities to work in state-of-the-art learning environments that prepare you to be right at home using classroom technology in any early childhood educational setting. Much of your practical, experiential learning will take place at the esteemed Bombeck Family Learning Center, a five-star rated early learning facility located just minutes from campus. Second-year grad students at the University actively participate in the Center’s classrooms during their year-long field practicum, working under the guidance and instruction of top-rated, expert faculty.

 

Ursuline College (PR)
Pepper Pike, OH
Website

Master Apprenticeship Program (MAP) Early Childhood (on-campus)

Entrance Exam Requirements: GRE

Estimated cost per credit: $ 1,174

Accreditation Status: CAEP (ITP) October 2013-December 2020

  • One-year intensive program emphasizes teacher-student mentorship
  • Exciting urban teaching opportunities available through the Cleveland Urban Teacher Residency Placement

Intensive, immersive, and comprehensive, the MAP through Ursuline College is a one-year program that’s designed to provide you with the theory and practice you need to become an effective and inspiring teacher in the early childhood classroom. The unique educational experience here emphasizes the mentor relationship between the student-apprentice and the master-teacher. And if you’re specifically interested in a career within an urban school system, the Cleveland Urban Teacher Residency Placement offers a unique apprenticeship program designed to match you with high-performing urban public charter schools.

 

Xavier University (PR)
School of Education
Cincinnati, OH
Website

MEd in Montessori Education, Ohio PreK licensure (on-campus)

Entrance Exam Requirements: GRE or MAT

Estimated cost per credit: $570

Accreditation Status: TEAC April 2015-June 2022

  • 99% of all students pass their state licensing exams
  • Exciting opportunity to earn the American Montessori Teacher Credential alongside your PreK Ohio license

Xavier University’s MEd takes your career in early childhood education to the next level by offering a comprehensive master’s program with the option to earn both the esteemed American Montessori Teacher Credential and the OH PreK license. Choose this innovative program and you’ll complete a practicum in an accredited American Montessori School…you’ll gain experience in the on-campus lab through student-teaching and observation…and you’ll have the opportunity to complete coursework through the university’s partner schools in South Korea and China. It’s no surprise that 99% of all students of this program pass their state licensing exams and 100% of graduates are employed within a few months of completing a program here.

Oregon

 

Pacific University Oregon (PR)
College of Education
Forest Grove, OR
Website

MAT in General Education, Early Childhood (on-campus, hybrid)

Entrance Exam Requirements: none

Estimated cost per credit: $1,889

Accreditation Status: NCATE (ITP, ADV) October 2014-December 2021

  • Named among the top National Universities for 2020 by U.S. News & World Report
  • Program can be completed at either the Eugene or Forest Grove campus, and online courses are available

The Pacific University Oregon MAT offers everything you’d want in a streamlined, comprehensive graduate program designed to prepare you for initial licensure in ECE. The MAT here is a perfect model of convenience and flexibility in a graduate program, offering a one-year course of study that can be completed at either the Forest Grove or Eugene campus. But nothing is compromised for that convenience. There is a decided focus here on guidance and collaborative work with master teachers to ensure you learn the intricacies behind effective and inspiring early childhood education. Working professionals may also choose the hybrid model MAT, which features both online courses and on-campus courses at the Forest Grove or Eugene campuses. This program involves visiting campus about once a month and service learning through practicums at schools close to home.

Pennsylvania

 

Shippensburg University (PU)
Department of Teacher Education
Shippensburg, PA
Website

MEd and State Early Childhood Teaching Certification

Also offers:

MEd in Early Childhood Education (non-certification)

MEd in Early Childhood Education with certification in ESL

 

Entrance Exam Requirements: none

Estimated cost per credit: $516 (in-state), $774 (out-of-state)

Accreditation Status: NCATE (ITP, ADV) October 2017-December 2022

  • Options for customizing your degree and initial teaching license in early childhood education with a focus on one area within the birth–age 8 range (Infants and Toddlers, Preschool and Kindergarten, and/or Primary School (1-3))
  • Shippensburg graduates have one of the highest Praxis exam pass rates in the Pennsylvania state university system
  • ECE program awarded national recognition from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

The Shippensburg University master’s degree in early childhood education provides you with plenty of options for customizing your curriculum to fit your career goals while you earn your PK-4 certification: you can specialize in working with infants and toddlers, preschool and kindergarten students or primary school students to grade 3. As a Shippensburg student, you’ll learn and grow through the Grace B. Luhrs University Elementary School, one of the most respected demonstration labs of its kind anywhere. The Shippensburg University Department of Teacher Education is more than a place to earn a degree in early childhood education, it has a real presence in the local ECE community with its own Head Start program located near campus to serve preschoolers in the neighborhood.

South Carolina

 

Converse College (PR)
College of Education
Spartanburg, SC
Website

MAT in Early Childhood Education (on-campus)

Entrance Exam Requirements: PRAXIS CASE/CORE

Estimated cost per credit: $416

Accreditation Status: NCATE (ITP, ADV) April 2013-June 2021

  • Program can be completed at the college’s main campus or at the satellite campus at the University Center of Greenville
  • College named among the top private colleges in the nation for “excelling in access and success” by the U.S. Department of Education

The MAT in Early Childhood Education is part of Converse College’s long history of academic excellence and student achievement and is part of the reason why this college has earned countless accolades over the years. Some of the impressive recognitions Converse has received include a spot among the top 5% of all master’s universities in the nation according to Washington Monthly, a top-ranking as a private Regional University by U.S. News & World Report, and a spot on the Forbes list of America’s Top Colleges. This institution has even been named among the top private colleges in the nation for “excelling in access and success” by the U.S. Department of Education. Choose the MAT here as your path to becoming a certified early childhood educator and you’ll be part of an esteemed university that’s committed to student achievement and an exceptional student experience.

Tennessee

 

Lee University (PR)
Helen Devos College of Education
Cleveland, TN
Website

MAT in Special Education, Early Childhood Education PreK-3 (on-campus)

Also Offers:  MEd in Special Education, Early Childhood Education (on-campus)

 

Entrance Exam Requirements: GRE or MAT

Estimated cost per credit: $755

Accreditation Status: CAEP (ITP) April 2018-June 2025

  • University ranked as a Top Tier university and among the Best Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report
  • Exciting opportunities to take your clinical learning global through cross-cultural educational experiences

With a status as a Top Tier university and among the Best Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report, you probably already know that Lee University is committed to excellence in education. The university’s MAT program builds on this legacy of excellence, allowing you to take what you’ve already learned in your previous bachelor’s program and apply it toward a master’s and initial teaching certification in early childhood education. Choose Lee and you’ll be part of the esteemed College of Education, which is home to technology-rich learning environments, personalized classroom instruction, outstanding clinical experiences, and even opportunities to take your clinical learning global through cross-cultural educational experiences.

 

Vanderbilt University (PR)
Peabody College
Nashville, TN
Website

MEd in Special Education, Early Childhood Education (on-campus)

Also Offers:  MEd in Special Education, Early Childhood Education (on-campus) – non-licensure

 

Entrance Exam Requirements: GRE

Estimated cost per credit: $2,026

Accreditation Status: CAEP (ITP) October 2017-December 2024

  • Outstanding record of graduate success: 97% of Vanderbilt University grads are employed within four months of graduation
  • Outstanding learning environment emphasizes close contact and mentorship with the university’s world-class faculty

The latest stats show that 97% of Vanderbilt University grads are employed within four months of graduation. Vanderbilt’s legacy of student success didn’t happen by chance; it’s the result of an unwavering commitment to academic excellence achieved through a hands-on learning approach. The MEd builds on this commitment, providing students with enriching opportunities for close collaboration and mentorship with the esteemed faculty. The world class instructors at the Peabody College include no less than 13 American Educational Research Association fellows and 3 National Academy of Education fellows. Earning your degree at Vanderbilt will place you in the highest tier of ECE teachers in Tennessee.

 

Belmont University (PR)
Department of Education
Nashville, TN
Website

MAT in Early Childhood Education PreK-3 (on-campus)

Entrance Exam Requirements: GRE or MAT

Estimated cost per credit: $1,260

Accreditation Status: NCATE (ITP) October 2014-December 2021

  • Exceptional graduate outcomes with a 100% employment rate among graduates since 2014
  • University listed among U.S. News & World Report’s “Most Innovative Schools” for 12 consecutive years

You’ll love Belmont University’s MAT in Early Childhood Education PreK-3 program because its streamlined design eliminates the gap between theory and practice, allowing you to begin fieldwork on the first day. We’re very impressed with Belmont’s long track record of outstanding graduate outcomes, which includes a 100% employment rate since 2014 – one of the longest running 100% employment rates we’ve seen among all the accredited universities we reviewed. A Christian environment, small class sizes, exceptional faculty support and guidance are also part of what makes this program an obvious choice for our list of top programs. As a Belmont student you’ll even have an opportunity to complete the Metro Nashville Urban Teacher Residency, which offers a direct path to a career with the Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Virginia

 

James Madison University (PU)
College of Education
Harrisonburg, VA
Website

MAT in Early Childhood Education PreK-3, option to add Early Childhood Special Education (on-campus)

MAT in Early Childhood Special Education 0-5 (on-campus)

Entrance Exam Requirements: PRAXIS CASE/CORE and VCLA

Estimated cost per credit: $452 (in-state), $1,184 (out-of-state)

Accreditation Status: NCATE (ITP, ADV) October 2012-December 2019

  • MAT programs designed in a cohort fashion, with courses offered in the late afternoon, evening, and summer
  • #1 most recommended university in the nation by the Wall Street Journal

With roots in the Shenandoah Valley dating back to 1908, James Madison University is one of the most respected schools in the nation when it comes to producing the next generation of educational leaders and changemakers. Its MAT programs in early childhood education build on this legacy, providing an exceptional graduate-level option for bachelor’s prepared professionals looking for an advanced degree leading to certification in early childhood education at the PreK to third grade level. And James Madison University makes earning your degree and credentials a convenient process, offering late afternoon, evening, and summer courses in a close-knit cohort program that can be completed in just a year and a half.

 

Old Dominion University (PU)
Darden College of Education & Professional Studies
Norfolk, VA
Website

MSEd in Early Childhood Special Education PreK-3 (on-campus, online)

Also Offers:  MSEd in Early Childhood Education, Research concentration, non-licensure (on-campus)

 

Entrance Exam Requirements: PRAXIS CASE/CORE

Estimated cost per credit: $547 (in-state), $1,383 (out-of-state)

Accreditation Status: NCATE (ITP, ADV) October 2012-June 2020

  • University is ranked among the best colleges and universities in the nation for distance-learning education by U.S. News & World Report
  • 94% of graduates are employed within six months of graduation 

Whether you need the convenience of an online program of you’re looking for the kind of collaborative experience you can only get on-campus, Old Dominion University’s MSEd in Early Childhood Special Education PreK-3 has you covered. And you can feel good knowing that whichever route you choose, when you graduate you’ll be part of the many proud Old Dominion alumni that have gone on to be influential and inspiring preschool teachers. Old Dominion has a proven track record for exceptional graduate outcomes, with 94% of graduates from the Darden College of Education & Professional Studies employed in the field within six months of graduation.