Jul 14, 2024  
2024-2025, 2nd ed. General Catalog 
2024-2025, 2nd ed. General Catalog

Early Childhood Education, MA

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The Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education is designed to prepare leaders for programs serving all children between infancy and eight years of age. The purpose of this 36-credit online program is to provide candidates with a conceptual framework and the skills, knowledge, and attitudes that will enable them to be visionary and reflective leaders and agents of change for the field.  They work effectively in their roles as program leaders, administrators, and advocates focused on advancing social justice, educational equity and access for all. 

While the focus is on the development of leadership skills, the program also includes coursework in advanced child development and learning, curriculum and pedagogy, and culturally responsive practices with young children and their families. The culminating activity is a research-based project or product of practical use in their own settings.

Students collaborate with faculty and colleagues to examine and influence current educational practice through research, project development, and advocacy. Students need not possess a teaching credential or child development permit; they may prepare for leadership and advocacy positions in a variety of settings.

Students must maintain a 3.00 grade point average or better in all coursework while in the approved MA program as well as in all coursework taken subsequent to admission in conditionally classified standing. The total number of units required for the program is 36, not including a prerequisite three-credit course in child development (ages birth-to-eight or birth-to-twelve).

For more information about the MA in Early Childhood Education, contact the Early Childhood Education Program Advisor, Sheri Schonleberschonleb@sonoma.edu.

Admission Requirements

The general requirements for admission to graduate and post-baccalaureate studies at a California State University campus are in accordance with university regulations as well as the California Code of Regulations.  Specifically, a student shall:

  • have completed a four-year college course of study and hold an acceptable baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association, or shall have completed equivalent academic preparation as determined by appropriate campus authorities;
  • be in good academic standing at the last college or university attended;
  • have attained a grade point average of ≥ 2.50 (A=4.00) in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted; and
  • satisfactorily meet the professional, personal, scholastic, and other standards for graduate study, including qualifying examinations, as appropriate campus authorities may prescribe.

In unusual circumstances, exceptions may be made to these criteria.

Applicants who completed undergraduate degree requirements and graduated the preceding term are also required to complete and submit an application and a $55 nonrefundable application fee. Further, to be considered for admissions, students must have completed and been awarded their undergraduate degree by the end of the spring term for fall applicants and by the end of the fall term for spring applicants.

Applicants must also meet program-specific requirements.  Criteria include:

  • BA or BS, preferably in early childhood or related field;
  • One official transcript from each college or university attended;
  • GPA of ≥ 3.0 cumulative upper division/graduate coursework;
  • One 3-unit college-level course in child development (Birth-to-age 8 or age 12)
  • At least 45 verifiable hours of teaching/volunteering in an early childhood setting
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation (not more than a year old)
  • A completed MA-ECE Application Form;
  • A narrative statement of approximately 750 words, in which you answer the questions listed in the application;
  • Documentation of Admission or Application to Sonoma State University;

After the application has been received, an in-person or video conference interview may be required before the admission decision is made.

Please note that applicants to the MA-ECE program is dependent on acceptance to Sonoma State University. Please complete the graduate application for admission to Sonoma State University at CALSTATE APPLY

Application Period. Applications are for the Fall Semester only and are accepted Oct 1st – Jan 31st, unless otherwise noted. For more information and the Early Childhood Education Masters application, visit the Early Childhood Studies How to Apply page.

Program Learning Outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes describe what graduates should be able to do after completing the program. These measures highlight the knowledge, skills, and dispositions all students are expected to have upon graduating from a specific program.

PLO 1: Child Development and Learning. Graduates use knowledge of development and learning as a foundation by which to effectively meet the needs of children, families, children, programs, and communities. (Blooms Cognitive “Applying” domain)

PLO 2: Families, Culture and Inclusivity. Graduates create partnerships designed to foster high quality, culturally responsive, inclusive, and just programs for young children and their families.  (Blooms Cognitive “Creating” domain)

PLO 3: Curriculum and Pedagogy. Curriculum and Pedagogy. Graduates evaluate program and practitioner use of developmentally and culturally appropriate practices to ensure that curriculum, pedagogical practices, and program policies reflect current family and community change over time, and positively influence the development and learning of each and every child. (Blooms Cognitive “Evaluating” domain). (Blooms Cognitive “Evaluating” domain)

PLO 4: Visionary Leadership for Social Justice. Graduates demonstrate through their work and actions their commitment to ethical and professional practices and socially just policies and programs for young children and their families.  Blooms Affective “Internalizing Values” Domain)

PLO 5: Program Administration and Supervision. Graduates identify as critically reflective and caring early childhood program administrators and supervisors who advance social justice and educational equity and access.  (Blooms Affective “Organization” Domain) 

PLO 6: Policy and Advocacy.  Graduates design and implement advocacy strategies and policies for young children, their families and communities. (Blooms Cognitive “Creating” Domain)

PLO 7: Research Paradigms.  Graduates summarize current research to inform and guide practices and projects designed to meet community need. (Blooms Cognitive “Analyzing” domain)

Advising Plan for Students Entering in Odd Years

Advising Plan for Students Entering in Even Years

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