M.Ed. Early Childhood

credits 33 | cost/credit $325 (Fall 2019 $335) | completion 2 years (5 to 6 semesters)

Best Online Masters in Early Childhood EducationEarn your M.Ed. in Early Childhood online. You're building bright futures for the youngest students.  You have classroom experience with water tables, DIBELS, math manipulatives and hamsters. Now you're ready for more. With Northwestern College's online Masters in Early Childhood Education (preK-3rd grade), build on what you already know to become an even better teacher. Prepare for career opportunities as an early childhood administrator, specialist or consultant.
(Ranked #4 Best Online Master's in Early Childhood Education by CollegeChoice.net and theBestColleges.org)

It's more than a lane change. And it's all online. 

100% online. 8-week courses. Go at your pace.

Earning a graduate degree doesn't have to cost you time away from your other responsibilities. Northwestern College's online Masters in Early Childhood Education allows you to log into classes and complete your coursework whenever it's most convenient for you.

Take one online 8-week class at a time, completing two classes each semester, and you'll finish your M.Ed. in 2 years or less and be eligible for financial aid. 


This master's program is approved for the TEACH Grant which can help you pay for your masters if you teach or plan to become a teacher in a high-need field in a low-income area. For more information visit the TEACH Grant website.

Program Requirements


Core (18 credits):
EDU 555 - Trends and Issues in 21st Century Education
(3 credits) Teachers and schools must continually examine currentpractices in PreK-12 education in search of better solutions to increasestudentachievement and to thoroughly prepare children for the world in whichthey will live and work. In this course students will study currentsocial, political and academic trends and issues affecting children,teachers and schools. Students will define their personal positionsbased on facts and experience, and will collaborate with others toadvocate for solutions that improve education for PreK-12 grade students. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.
EDU 560 - Curriculum and Assessment for Student Learning
Through a process of discussion, reflection, reading, discoveryand practice, this course will lead students to a more comprehensiveunderstanding of how curriculum and assessment are interrelated. Studentswill delve into timely issues associated with curriculum and assessmentaffecting schools. Upon completion, students will be prepared to developaligned curriculum and assessment that takes into consideration local,state and national standards, best practices and students' diverse needs. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education. (3 credits)
EDU 570 - Teaching and Learning with Technology
(3 credits) Technology integration in the K-12 setting can enhancelearning, improve motivation and engagement, increase accessibility,individualize instruction, differentiate assessment and improvecommunication with parents and stakeholders. In this course studentswill broaden their understanding of the technology available to them inthe PreK-12 classroom and improve their ability to leverage specifictechnology to improve teaching and learning. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.
EDU 610 - Educational Research Methods and Design
(3 credits) This course will provide an overview of research methodologyemployed for studies in the field of education. Topics include basicresearch methodology, interpretation of findings, and application ofresearch in educational settings. Students will develop their ability tocritically evaluate educational research and to judiciously applyfindings in their professional settings. By the conclusion of the coursestudents will be able to identify a potential topic for future researchand outline the basic methodology needed to conduct the study. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.
EDU 635 - Master’s in Education Capstone
(3 credits) In this course students will apply the cumulative knowledge andskills learned in their master's program through an action research project.Research focus may be related to student learning, teacher effectiveness,school quality, school policy or other area by approval. The project will beproposed, approved, designed, and implemented prior to thestudent's graduation with a master's degree in education from NorthwesternCollege. Students who do not have a finished capstone approved by theM.Ed. Director at the conclusion of EDU635 will repeat thecourse for credit. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.Note: Graded on a pass/no pass basis.
Choose one
EDU 540 - Teaching Young Children with Diverse Needs (3 credits)
(3 credits) Students will learn to design curriculum, instruction andassessmentspecific to the needs of diverse children ages 0 through 8. Create safeand nurturing classroom environments that are developmentally appropriateand respect diversity. Collaborate with stakeholders to meet the needsof young children. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.
EDU 565 - Instructional Strategies for Diverse Students and Settings (3 credits)
(3 credits) This course is intended for experienced teachers, and willfocus onbuilding off of prior knowledge and experience to improve studentlearning. Research-based instructional strategies will be studied, withparticular emphasis on adapting and employing strategies to fit students'cognitive abilities, motivation, interest, cultural background and otherunique characteristics in diverse settings. Students in this class willapply new instructional strategies in their practice to positively impactlearning in the PreK-12 classroom. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.

Requirements: Early Childhood Area of Emphasis (15 credits)

EDU 505 - Collaboration & Advocacy in the Early Childhood Community
(3 credits) Examine characteristics of the diverse cultures and structuresprevalentin American families, and how those factors influence children's growthand development. This course emphasizes strategies to improvecollaboration with families, schools and community partners to improvestudents' success outcomes. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.
EDU 525 - Advanced Child Development
(3 credits) Intensive study of typical and atypical development of childrenfrombirth through age eight. This course will immerse you in research thatwill improve your ability to facilitate the cognitive, emotional,physical and social development of young children with diverse abilitiesand needs. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.
EDU 530 - Leadership of Early Childhood Programs
(3 credits) Thorough examination of roles, responsibilities andcharacteristics ofeffective leaders of early childhood programs with a focus on personalgrowth in leadership and communication. Emphasis on identifying areas ofstrength and need in programs and staffing to create opportunities forimprovement. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.
EDU 535 - Strategies for Early Literacy Development
(3 credits) Examine widely accepted theories of language, reading andwritingdevelopment in young children. Use research and assessment data toidentify curricula and instructional strategies most suited to thediverse needs of young children. Examine research and develop strategiesto leverage play in providing successful literacy instructionalexperiences. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.
EDU 575 - Science and Math in Early Childhood: A STEM Approach
3 credits) Integrate science and math instruction throughout the earlygrades curriculum, with a focus on activating children's innatecuriosity, modeling habits of the mind, and fostering students' belief intheir ability to learn. Focus on curriculum, instruction and assessmentthat are developmentally appropriate for young children. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.

Total Credits: 33 credit hours

Early Childhood M.Ed. + Endorsement

credits 40 | cost/credit $325 | completion just over 2 years (6 to 7 semesters)

Add an extra semester of student teaching to earn your Birth Through Grade Three Inclusive Setting Endorsement (Formally Endorsement 100: Early Childhood Integrated Setting) while earning your M.Ed. Here's how.

Real life. Real stories

Amanda Winslow, Northwestern College M.Ed student

Amanda Winslow
Read Amanda's story

Caleb Van Otterloo, Northwestern College M.Ed graduate

Caleb Van Otterloo
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Melissa Boer
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Brittany Bush

Brittany Busch
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