M.Ed. Early Childhood + Endorsement

credits 40  |  completion just over 2 years (6 to 7 semesters)  |  next start March 13

Top online early childhood masters programs Earn your M.Ed. in Early Childhood and endorsement together online. The  Birth Through Grade Three Inclusive Setting endorsement is created to be easily completed during the 2 years you’re earning your M.Ed. The credential enables you to teach in early-grade classrooms that include students with IEPs. Northwestern is the only college in Iowa to offer an online path to this endorsement (formally Endorsement 100); students can complete the student teaching requirement in their own classrooms.

(Ranked #6 in Top 30 Online Early Childhood Education Master's Programs in the nation)

Our Early Childhood M.Ed. + Birth Through Grade Three Inclusive Setting endorsement program is aligned with the outcomes and competencies required by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners. As required by the BOEE, you will participate in field experiences and student teaching, some of which may take place in your own classroom.
It's more than a lane change.

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 means you can log into class each week to 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 just over 2 years and be eligible for financial aid. 

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Scholarship

Educators pursuing a Birth Through Grade Three Inclusive Setting endorsement may be eligible for a T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Scholarship. For information or to apply, visit the T.E.A.C.H. website.

Program Requirements


Core (18 credits):
EDU 555 - Trends and Issues in 21st Century Education (3 credits)
(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 (3 credits)
3 credits) 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.
EDU 570 - Teaching and Learning with Technology (3 credits)
(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)
(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)
(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.
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.

Early Childhood Emphasis + Endorsement (22 credits):

EDU 505 - Collaboration and Advocacy in the Early Childhood Community (3 credits)
(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)
(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)
(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)
(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 546 - Behavioral and Social Interaction of Early Learners (3 credits)
Students will understand applied behavior analysis and the importance itplays in early childhood education for both typically developing childrenand those with special needs. The student will acquire tools that they needto positively impact the lives of young children especially focusing onimplementing effective techniques for changing behavior, strategies forevery day challenges both in the classroom and at home and collaborate withparents and caretakers. (3credits)
EDU 575 - Science and Math in Early Childhood: A STEM Approach (3 credits)
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.
EDU 580 - Student Teaching ECIS (4 credits)
(4-8 credits) ECIS candidates will complete a supervised student teachingexperience in an integrated setting. This practicum endorses the studentteacher to become a teacher in an integrated setting for children frombirth to third grade by preparing the student to schedule, evaluate,collaborate, write IEPs and IFSPs, and to develop strategies to addressspecial needs of children. This is a four-week experience. Note: Graded on a pass/no pass basis. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.

Total Credits: 40 credit hours


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Passion for Education

Rebecca is a K-12 literacy coach who loves the challenge of instructional coaching and learning new literacy strategies that support her students and other teachers. Through her M.Ed. program, she has gained not only educational resources, but a deepened passion for education.

Rebecca's story

With an online M.Ed. + endorsement program, Brandie was able to earn the credential she needed along with a master’s degree. What she didn’t realize was just how impactful the program would be on her teaching and life.

Brandie's story

Levi Letsche, M.Ed. Educational Administration Northwestern College, Teacher of the Year Finalist

Top Teacher

As one of five finalists for Iowa's 2023 Teacher of the Year, Levi has been recognized for his teaching excellence. As an instructional coach, he is striving to help others learn how to live a life of excellence—and succeeding. His M.Ed. in Educational Administration has equipped him to use his influence in new leadership roles.

Levi's story