Program: Early Childhood Educational Psychology, M.A.

Program Description

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Early Childhood Educational Psychology prepares individuals to demonstrate mastery of national and state professional standards and competencies, leadership, and teaching roles in programs serving children ranging in age from birth through 8 years and their families, depending on the school system and/or state regulations. Students are prepared to teach across all relevant subject matter with an emphasis on valuing diversity, leadership, advocacy, equity, inclusion, and social justice. Students must take prerequisite courses before formal admittance to a master’s program.

Program Objectives

The specific objectives of the Master of Arts in Early Childhood Educational Psychology are:

  1. To prepare students to assume leadership positions in early childhood care and education in a variety of educational, health and mental health-settings institutions concerned with children from the prenatal stage through age 8. Academic career choices of students selecting this emphasis typically include:
    1. Instructor of child development courses in community colleges.
    2. Parent educator in public adult education or in a variety of private settings.
    3. Specialist working in programs serving families with high-risk infants and young children.
    4. Coordinator of community program services for young children and their families.
    5. Lead teacher, supervisor, or director of programs.
    6. Child advocate working in various social policy agencies.
    7. Consultant or coach in early childhood settings.
    8. Provider of professional development and training.
  2. To prepare students to enter doctoral programs in early childhood education with a view to teaching at the university level, conducting research in child development, planning, and administering programs, or developing public policy.
  3. To provide students with knowledge of child development, adult-child interaction, cultural and language diversity, and biological and environmental factors influencing families and their young children and community staff-family collaborations.
  4. To meet national and state professional standards and competencies for the early childhood education profession.

Program Requirements

A. Requirements for Admission to the Program

  1. Complete the University application and requirements.
    1. Have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
    2. Have been in good standing at the last institution attended.
    3. Have at least a 2.5 GPA in the last 60 semester/90 quarter units attempted.
  2. Complete Department application for admission to graduate programs.
    1. Submit two recommendations, either as letters or on the departmental form.
    2. Participate in the admission’s interview process.
    3. Be accepted by Early Childhood Educational Psychology Program Coordinators.
  3. Complete all required prerequisite courses (6 units) with a grade of “B-” or better within the past 7 years. (Equivalent courses may be substituted for prerequisites.)
    1. EPC 430 Development and Learning in Early Childhood Education (3)
    2. EPC 600 Educational Statistics for Research and Measurement (3)

B. Requirements for Conditionally Classified and Classified Status

Maintain a “B” average in completed coursework to make satisfactory progress in the program. Students earning less than a grade of “B” will be required to meet with their faculty advisor to determine if they may continue in the program. All programs must be approved by the program coordinator in advance of course enrollment.

C. Degree Requirements

1. Required Courses (36 units)

EPC 602 Research Principles (3)
EPC 632 Issues, Theories and Current Practices in Early Childhood (3)
EPC 634 Language and Concept Development in the Early School Years (3)
EPC 635 Foundations of Developmental Curriculum for Early Childhood (3)
EPC 636 Systems, Policies, and Professionalism in Early Childhood Education (3)
EPC 639C Fieldwork in Early Childhood (3)
EPC 642 Assessment and Evaluation in Early Childhood Education (3)
EPC 668 Partnerships for Excellence in Early Childhood Education (3)
EPC 683 Collaboration with Families in Educational Settings (3)
EPC 695WC Seminar in Professional Writing (3)
EPC 696 Directed Graduate Research (3-3)*

*Students take this course twice with advisement from their culminating experience chair.

2. Culminating Experience (3 units)

Students complete a culminating experience in consultation with their chair. Students can select from one of the following courses as per the CSUN University Graduate Policy, University Catalog in effect the semester the student enters the program.

EPC 697 Directed Comprehensive Studies (3)
or EPC 698C Thesis/Graduate Project (3)

Total Units Required for the M.A. Degree: 39


Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling
Chair: Shyrea Minton
Education (ED) 1218
(818) 677-2599

Graduate Coordinator: Alberto Restori
(818) 677-2599

Staff: Esther Choi
(818) 677-2549

Program Learning Outcomes

Students receiving a Master of Arts in Early Childhood Educational Psychology will be able to:

  1. Analyze and synthesize theories and research related to the development and learning of children birth to age 8 years and articulate how children’s social, cultural, and linguistic contexts, structural inequities, and trauma shape children’s development and learning across developmental domains.
  2. Apply theory and research on how to engage diverse families in strengths-based, reciprocal, and respectful partnerships, how to build culturally and linguistically responsive two-way communication, and how to involve families in their child’s development and learning at home and at school.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge and expertise of a wide range of types and purposes of assessments and know how to use these to screen and assess children that is ethically, developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate.
  4. Apply theory and research-based pedagogy and technology that uses a broad repertoire of individually, developmentally, culturally, and linguistically relevant evidence-based teaching strategies and curriculum across developmental domains that reflects principles of anti-bias, equity, and universal design for learning.
  5. Analyze collective and collaborative leadership models, examine roles and responsibilities of early childhood education leaders to uphold ethical and professional standards, and to engage in advocacy on behalf of children, families, and the early childhood education profession. Engage in reflective practice and continuous personal and professional growth and development.
  6. Use professional oral and written communication skills, including technology-mediated strategies to effectively support young children’s learning and development and to work with families, colleagues, and communities.