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School of Teacher Education

Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education


Master of Arts in Teaching - Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education, Birth through Age 5, Initial Certification

Program #0460

Program Description

The program is designed to prepare early childhood educators to work with children with and without special needs, ages birth through kindergarten and their families. IECE program graduates are qualified to work with children from birth to entry into the primary program.  This includes teaching children in kindergarten or other programs for five-year-olds if those programs are operated separately from the primary program. Graduates are prepared for positions in public schools, First Steps, Head Start programs, child care centers, and other public and private agencies serving young children and families.

The MAT program in IECE, Birth to Primary, Initial Certification is for individuals who are not certified in any area of education or whose certification is not in IECE.  The performance-based program of study requires 34 semester hours of course work and various field experiences.  The program is not an alternate certification program. Courses in the program carry critical performance indicators (CPI’s) that must be completed before the final course grade will be recorded. The culminating experience of the program is an internship. Upon completion of the program and achieving a passing score on the required PRAXIS II exam, students are eligible to be recommended for the Statement of Eligibility to teach children ages birth through kindergarten.

Admission Requirements

Download Departmental Application: Microsoft Word | PDF

To be considered for admission, applicants must:

  1. Document completion of a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.
  2.  Have completed SPED 330 or SPED 516 or an equivalent introductory special education course prior to entering the MAT program or complete SPED 516 as a program deficiency.
  3. Present a letter of application including a professional goals statement.
  4. Provide three letters of reference.  At least one reference letter must be from a university faculty member who can speak to the applicant’s ability to be successful in a graduate program.
  5. Document a cumulative overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 or above (counting all coursework, undergraduate or graduate) OR a GPA of 3.0 in the last 30 hours of coursework (counting all coursework, undergraduate and graduate).
  6. Submit documentation to satisfy all criteria for admission to professional education.

Application Deadlines

For priority consideration: Applicants should submit application materials to graduate studies by the following dates:


Students submitting application materials after the above deadline dates cannot be guaranteed that applications will be reviewed in time for admission for the upcoming term nor that course space will be available.

Degree Requirements

Courses Hours
FACS 577 Seminar in Child Development Research, or advisor-approved elective 3
CD 486GLanguage Disorders or advisor approved elective 3
IECE 520 Organizing Programs for IECE 3
PSY 645Consultation in Educational & Mental Health Settings:  Theory & Practice 3
IECE 521 Assessment in Early Childhood Special Education 3
SPED 523 Curriculum/Methods in Early Childhood Special Education  3
Research Foundations – EDFN 500 Research Methods (3 hours) orTCHL 520 Principles of Action Research for Teacher Leaders 3
IECE 522 Family-Centered Services 3
IECE 523 Planning Curriculum and Instruction in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education   3
CD 481G Speech & Language Development, or advisor-approved elective 3
IECE 526 Practicum in IECE 1
IECE 524 Internship 3


Program Completion Requirements

Candidates must successfully complete IECE 524 Internship in IECE (course grade of C or higher), the capstone experience for the program and develop and present an acceptable culminating portfolio as a course and program requirement.


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 Last Modified 9/24/14