Are you a BK teacher looking to move up in your chosen field? Are you interested in obtaining a master's degree via distance education?

As a student in the master of arts in education (MAEd) in birth through kindergarten, you will be furthering your education to move up in your chosen career. The MAEd in BK at East Carolina University allows you to explore your career further in order to obtain jobs in leadership, consulting, and administration within the BK career field. Therefore, the program only accepts those who have already received a BS in birth through kindergarten teacher education or have added BK to their current license. At East Carolina, the MAEd program for birth through kindergarten is offered completely online, making it convenient for working professionals. Students must meet a number of requirements before they will be considered for admission. Once admitted to the graduate program, you will be expected to take a mix of core classes, professional area courses, and some courses from a specialty strand. Upon completion of the required courses, you will be better equipped to move up in your career as a birth through kindergarten educator.

ECU Advantage

The MAEd in BK program at East Carolina University is committed to helping early childhood educators expand their knowledge and further their careers in a way that will prepare you for success in your field of work.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Archana Hegde (131 Rivers West Building; 252-328-5712; hegdea@ecu.edu)

The MAEd in birth through kindergarten is designed to prepare individuals for leadership roles as master teachers, consultants, program coordinators, supervisors, and staff development trainers in early childhood education. The program is based on the philosophy, rationale, and competencies established for the initial birth through kindergarten (BK) license. Thus, it is open to persons who are eligible for or hold a license in BK. Individuals who hold a teaching license in another area and wish to obtain advanced licensure in BK must first complete requirements for the BK add-on license prior to applying for admission to the Graduate School for the MAEd in birth through kindergarten program. Information about add-on licensure can be found on the Office of Alternative Licensure Web site at http://www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/alternative_licensure/AddOnLicensure.cfm.

Individuals lacking licensure who hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited institution must meet requirements for licensure-only in BK before applying to the Graduate School for the MAEd in birth through kindergarten program. Information about licensure-only can be found on the Office of Alternative Licensure Web site at www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/alternative_licensure/Index.cfm. After obtaining initial licensure in BK, individuals can apply to the Graduate School for admission to the MAEd in birth through kindergarten program. Upon acceptance into the BK birth through kindergarten program, the student is assigned an advisor.

Prior to enrolling in action research courses (HDFS 6990 and HDFS 6991) or thesis (HDFS 7000), MAEd in birth through kindergarten students must have been admitted to candidacy and have completed the following courses with an overall GPA of 3.0: HDFS 6402, HDFS 6501HDFS 6503 and FACS 6990.

Admission to candidacy will have been met when the following have been completed:

The program requires 39 s.h. consisting of 12 s.h. of core courses, 18 s.h. of professional area courses, and 9 s.h. from a specialty area strand as follows:

1. Required core courses - 12 s.h.
    Research, Trends, and Issues Competency Area - 3 s.h.
    • EDUC 6482 - Trends and Issues in Educational Research for Practitioners or
    • SCIE 6500 - Understanding and Engaging in Educational Research
    Diverse Learner Competency Area - 6 s.h.
    • EDUC 6001 - Introduction to Differences in Human Learning in Schools
    • SPED 6002 - Addressing Differences in Human Learning in Schools
    Effective Communication and Leadership Competency Area - 3 s.h.
    • ADED 6550 - Leadership and Communication Skills in Education or
    • ELEM 6550 - Leadership and Communication Skills in Education or
    • LEED 6000 - Leadership and Communication
2. Professional Area: Birth through Kindergarten Education - 18 s.h.
  • HDFS 6402 - Theories of Child Development
  • HDFS 6501 - Trends and Issues in Birth Through Kindergarten Teacher Education
  • HDFS 6503 - Advanced Methods and Materials in Birth through Kindergarten Teacher Education
  • HDFS 6990 - Action Research I in Educational Settings
  • HDFS 6991 - Action Research II in Educational Settings
  • FACS 6990 - Review of Research Literature in Educational Settings
  • Final product requirement: a research project with an oral presentation or a thesis with an oral thesis defense
    • HDFS 6991 - Action Research II in Educational Settings or
    • HDFS 7000 - Thesis
3. Specialty Area - 9 s.h.

(Select one strand)

    Assistive technology strand
    • SPED 6701 - Assistive Technology Devices and Services
    • SPED 6702 - Assessment, Planning, and Implementation of Assistive Technology
    • SPED 6703 - Collaborative Resource Management of Assistive Technology
    Autism and autism spectrum disorder strand:

    Choose 9 s.h. from

    • SPED 6800 - Introduction to Students with Autism
    • SPED 6801 - Methods and Materials for Teaching Students with Autism
    • SPED 6802 - Families and Students with Autism
    • SPED 6803 - Language and Communication for Students with Autism
    Community college instruction strand:
    • ADED 6240 - Effective College Teaching
    • ADED 6450 - Community, Junior, and Technical College
    • ADED 6453 - The Adult Learner
    Deaf-blindness strand:
    • SPED 6810 - Characteristics, Issues, and Trends in Education for Students with Deaf-Blindness
    • SPED 6811 - Essentials of Communication Development for Students with Deaf-Blindness
    • SPED 6812 - Assessment and Educational Program Design for Students with Deaf-Blindness
    Teaching English as a second language strand:
    • TESL 6100 - Planning, Implementing and Managing ESL Instruction
    • TESL 6200 - Culture and Language in ESL Instruction
    • TESL 6300 - Assessment in ESL Instruction
    Individualized strand:
    For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

    Careers With This Degree

    Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

    • Kindergarten/Preschool Education and Teaching
    • Preschool and Kindergarten Teachers
    • Kindergarten/Preschool Education and Teaching

    Career Opportunities

    ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

    NC Tower

    This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

    • Self-employed;
    • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
    • Work outside of North Carolina.

    US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

    This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

    Degree-specific internships

    For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.