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Post-Master’s Certificate in
Early Childhood Education

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Take the first step in your National University journey

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240K+ Alumni Worldwide


Want to have a foundational influence on young children and their love of learning? Giving them the best possible launch on their educational journey can be one of the greatest rewards in teaching. This certificate builds on your existing knowledge and skills in early childhood education and supports your development into an advanced practitioner in the field. The focus includes curriculum, assessment, and program administration that aligns with current research on the growth and development of young children. You’ll also investigate early childhood literacy and literature along with the roles of families, caregivers, schools, and communities as partners in early childhood education.

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Admission Requirements 

A conferred master’s level or higher degree from a regionally or nationally accredited academic institution.


For the Post-Master’s Certificate in Early Childhood Education, you must complete 6 courses (18 credit hours). The estimated time needed to complete this certificate is 13 months.

Course Details

Course Listings

This course presents an overview of early childhood education, which includes children from Pre-K through 3rd grade. You’ll explore the basic tenets, theories, and standards relevant to the field, particularly developmentally appropriate practices and principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The important roles of parents, caregivers, and communities are also discussed. This course should be the first in the course sequence if you’re pursuing a specialization or post-master’s certificate in early childhood education.

In this doctoral level course ,you’ll explore theory and research related to the education of young children. Societal changes and their influence on early childhood programs, growth and typical and atypical development of young children, and methods of studying child behavior will all be examined. Emphasis will be placed on the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development of infants, toddlers, and young children, and the impact of these factors on early childhood education instructional programs.

Here, you’ll examine program models, relevant theories, state expectations, educator competencies, and the role of leadership in developing and implementing early childhood programs. You’ll pay particular attention to diversity, equity, and inclusion in program administration, and you’ll demonstrate your ability to formulate administrative plans that synthesize your learning.

Here, you’ll take a closer look at instructional strategies with particular attention on supporting theories and practical applications in K-12 learning environments. You’ll assess learning theories that frame instructional strategies, including those for remote learning. Ultimately, you’ll recommend instructional strategies, justify approaches to inclusive instruction, and design inclusive learning experiences for K-12 education.

In this course, you’ll explore the theory, research, and trends related to the curriculum and assessment of young children enrolled in early childhood education programs. Developmentally appropriate early childhood lesson plans and activities will be explored and analyzed, and standardized and classroom assessments will be researched and evaluated.

This course examines literacy development in early childhood education. Balanced literacy instruction and comprehensive strategies designed to meet individual needs will be discussed. Methods for creating developmentally appropriate reading and writing skills will also be investigated. Since knowledge of children’s literature is essential for any early childhood educator, you’ll determine ways to select appropriate and motivating materials to enhance early childhood literacy programs. Course emphasis will be placed on writing, spelling, and literacy development; motivating reading and writing; language and vocabulary development; the importance of family literacy partnerships; and analyzing, selecting, and responding to children’s literature.

This course focuses on developing partnerships between early childhood educators and the other social environments children live in. Encouraging involvement and communicating with families and communities in early childhood education programs will be researched and analyzed. Topics include child abuse, child advocacy, formulating effective strategies for working with families of special needs children, and societal trends and issues specific to diversity.

Learning Outcomes

If you’ve earned your Master of Arts in Education degree, then our post-master’s certificate may move you to the head of the class. NU’s Post-Master’s Certificate in Early Childhood Education is designed to help you focus and develop your skill sets and knowledge in a particular area of education beyond the master’s level, without the need for a doctoral commitment or dissertation. You’ll not only enhance your understanding of major theories and practices in your specialty, but you’ll be challenged to think critically about the topics covered with the goal of applying what you learn to your professional objectives—all while gaining a wealth of experience from your mentoring professors.

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Program Disclosure

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