Union Institute and University

Early Childhood Studies

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General Education Courses

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With Optional Concentrations in Early Childhood Administrator or Teacher as Practitioner

Minimum Credit in the Major – 48 Credit Hours


The ECS major requires a foundation course in child growth and development. Students may transfer in a completed Foundations of Early Childhood or equivalent course, or may have attained an associate’s degree in Early Childhood, or have achieved the national Child Development Associate credential (CDA) or equivalent. For students who need the foundation course, Union Institute & University offers this course: ECS 230 Foundations of Child Growth & Development (Variable 3 or 4 cr.)

Major Core Courses

All core courses are 4 credits

ECS 310 Professional Ethics for Early Childhood Studies
ECS 320 Exceptional Children
ECS 406 Curriculum Development for Early Childhood Programs
ECS 409 Guiding & Counseling the Child
ECS 413 Observation, Assessment, and Evaluation of the Child

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Electives in the Major

All elective courses are 4 credits

ECS 280 Infant & Toddler Programming
ECS 308 Understanding Health and Safety Issues in Young Children
ECS 315 Multicultural Issues in Early Childhood Education
ECS 326 Guiding & Counseling the Child
ECS 330 Effective Mechanisms for working w/ Families, Communities & Organizations
ECS 410 Working with Interdisciplinary Teams in the Early Childhood Setting
ECS 414 Math, Science and Technology Integration in Pre-School Education

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Early Childhood Administrator Concentration

Prerequisite: All ECS core course requirements must be met prior to starting the Early Childhood Administrator concentration. This concentration may assist the graduates of the program with the requisite courses needed to apply for the director’s credential and/or to work as a director in an early learning program.

ECS 408 Administration & Supervision of Child Development Programs
ECS 415 Administrative Leadership in Early Childhood Programs
ECS 430 Multicultural Education and Administration

Teacher as Practitioner Concentration

All courses are variable 3 or 4 cr.
This degree program does not result in the granting of teacher certification or licensure. However, the degree potentially provides the graduate with many of the requisite courses needed to apply for teacher certification, should they choose that pathway. Note: Teacher certification may be known as licensure or credentialing in other states.

EDU 317 Psychological & Sociological Foundations of Education
EDU 331 Foundations & Practices in Teaching Reading
EDU 334 Educational Assessment
EDU 497 Contemporary Issues in Education

Optional Courses as electives Variable 3 or 4 cr.

EDU 308 Recognition & Diagnosis of Reading Problems
ECS 419 Reading in Early Childhood Classroom: Instruction and Materials
EDU/ECS 450 Practicum in an Early Childhood Setting Variable 1 to 4 cr.

Culminating Graduation Requirement

ECS 498 Capstone Portfolio in Early Childhood Education 4 cr.

This capstone course aligns university and early childhood studies major outcomes and competencies with national standards. It is based on the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standards (birth through age eight) designed to prepare teachers and other professionals to work in the field of early childhood education and care. In addition, students are introduced to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) core propositions that form the foundation for the entire teaching profession in promoting knowledge, skills, dispositions and beliefs that represent excellence in teacher preparation and practices. Further focus will be on the NBPTS Early Childhood Generalist Standards, (ages three through eight). A professional portfolio representing a theoretical understanding and a demonstration of practical application through evidence based documentation will be created.

Program Note: Additional elective learning may be accepted when appropriate to the major. Acceptable elective learning may include: prior learning that meets program criteria for acceptance, general education courses (beyond those required by the program), and courses offered through other majors, following published syllabi, and/or individually designed courses developed by the student in consultation with the area of expertise faculty member, and submitted using the Learning Agreement form. All additional electives must be endorsed by the program chair and the dean and documented in the approved degree plan prior to graduation.