COE: MEd: Elementary Education | Early Childhood
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Specialize in Early Learning

What professional questions might be worth exploring with other inquiry oriented educators from all over the world? An ONLINE Masters degree in Elementary Education (M.Ed. in ELED) with an emphasis in Early Childhood at the University of Missouri -St. Louis is a journey into cultural intelligence, reflective practice-in-action, and child advocacy as Early Childhood leaders. Five core curricular courses plus six courses in early childhood provide essential knowledge and experiences drawn from current research and practice in the field of early childhood education. This 33 hour M.Ed. program prepares graduates with the tools to think more complexly about early learning processes and systems. Focus areas include the following:

  • Meeting the needs of diverse learners
  • Social justice and community contexts
  • Creative technology integration for learning
  • Exploring a global world to broaden teaching horizons
  • Action Research cycle to improve professional practice

The Masters degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood is an online degree program. Candidates are able to gain access to the University of Missouri St. Louis’ high quality education program in an online format to meet your need for convenience and flexibility. Completion of this program allows candidates to continue or pursue careers as educators, directors, program planners, curriculum developers in various early childhood settings, small business owners, researchers, and consultants. We seek to foster individuals who care deeply about children and families and seek to nurture the greatest human potential in each learner.

Master of Education (MEd)

Contact Advisors:

Marty Woytus & Susan Johnson

116 South Campus Classroom Building (SCCB)
p: (314) 516-5930

Deadlines to Apply:
Fall - July 1
Spring - December 1
Summer - May 1
The requirements below detail multiple emphases in this program. Keywords have been highlighted to draw your attention to this particular emphasis.

Master of Education: Elementary Education

  • Early Childhood emphasis
  • General emphasis
  • Reading emphasis

The Masters in Elementary Education is appropriate for early childhood and elementary teachers, specialists, department chairpersons, and those who work in informal or international educational settings. Candidates choose two 9 hour concentration areas that will support their personal growth and development as an educational leader. It is important that both students and advisors plan ahead to insure courses in concentration areas are taken when they are offered in the 3 year rotation schedule. Programs must be planned with the academic advisor and meet the approval of the faculty advisor, adhering to the College of Education and UMSL Graduate School policies.

Concentration area choices will appear at the end of the M.Ed. transcript. 

General Emphasis Program for ELE ED

The M.Ed. in Elementary Education consists of 15 required hours (5 courses) plus student choice of two 9 hour concentrations from the list below. The General emphasis requirements are met by (a) completing three required foundational courses (9 hrs.) toward the beginning of the M.Ed. program, (b) completing the coursework for two choice concentration areas (2*9 hrs each), and (c) completing the two exit capstone research classes (6 hrs.) for a total of 33 hours.

Concentration areas indicate zero to three REQUIRED courses; some then offer a list of course CHOICE selections as a menu to choose your remaining hours for that concentration. ALL Concentration choices total nine hours of graduate credit.

An Elective Concentration allows students, with advisor sign-off, to construct an individualized set of target courses for 1 of their 2 concentration areas. Transfer graduate credit from another institution could also fit into this concentration choice. Finally, those who want to take 9 graduate hours in an academic content area may use the Discipline Content Area Concentration to integrate this advanced work into their M.Ed. program.

Reading and Early Childhood emphasis Areas for ELE ED

Students who applied to the reading or Early Childhood emphasis areas and wish to focus intensively (e.g. 18 hrs) in one area of expertise  are required to sign up for two sequential 9 hour concentrations.  Those in reading should select the Literacy I and II concentrations.   Those in early childhood should select the Early Childhood I and II concentrations.  Additional coursework may be required for licensure.

1) Required Core (9 hours)
Students are required to complete the following courses within the first 15 hours of study.
TCH ED 6010Examining History, Community and Social Justice in Education3
TCH ED 6020Teacher Action, Advocacy and Leadership3
ED PSY 6030Instruction, Learning and Assessment3
2) Required Research Course (6 hours)
These two research courses should be taken in sequence (not together) at the end of your program since the first course prepares you with the knowledge and skills to successfully complete an Action Research project in the capstone exit course. You will design and execute a piece of original practitioner research and present your findings in a public forum.
TCH ED 6909Teacher Action Research I3
TCH ED 6910Teacher Action Research Capstone 13

3) 9 hour Concentration Choices (CHOOSE 2 or both Concentrations I & II under an emphasis option as indicated)

a) Early Childhood Concentrations I and II (Option A or B)
b) Curriculum and Instruction Concentration
c) Literacy Concentrations I and II (Certificates in Reading and Writing available)
d) Special Education Concentration
e) Social Justice Issues Concentration (Social Justice in Education Certificate available)
f) Leadership in Education Concentration
g) STEM Concentration
h) Discipline Content Area Concentration
i) Elective Concentration
j) Supporting Language Learners: TESOL Concentration I (DESE TESOL endorsement available under SEC ED)
k) Middle School Education Concentration

Early Childhood Education Concentration I and II (Options A & B): 9 hours each

Designed to enable candidates to further their competencies as teachers or program administrators in public and private early childhood program, early childhood education also prepares people for positions in community agencies that support families and young children. Job opportunities working with young children continue to expand. New research tools have altered our understanding of learning processes in young children with the plasticity of the brain and children’s gift for inquiry in systematic ways. Language acquisition and numeracy are acquired in social communities of practice. Explore this exciting field. Concentration I is designed for those who want to increase knowledge and skills in working with young children in school, after school, and home settings. Concentration II is geared for professionals in field.

Early Childhood Concentration I: *Courses offered online*

Required Courses:
ECH ED 6412Foundations of Early Childhood Education3
ECH ED 6413Educational Role of Play3
ED PSY 6215Psychology of Early Childhood Development3

Early Childhood Concentration II: Choice A: 9 hours *Courses offered online*

ECH ED 6321Parent and Community Resources in Early Childhood Education3
ECH ED 6415Organization and Development of Early Childhood Programs3
EDUC 6404Seminar1-10

Early Childhood Special Education Concentration II: Choice B: 9 hours *Courses are NOT offered on line*

SPEC ED 6372Screening and Diagnosis of Developmental Delays: Birth to 5 Years3
SPEC ED 6462Introduction to Early Childhood Special Education3
SPEC ED 6463Curriculum, Methods, and Materials for Early Childhood Special Ed3

Curriculum and Instruction Concentration: 9 hours

In order for all students to optimally achieve, teachers must develop integrated, standards-based, innovative curriculum delivered as engaging instruction that equips students to develop the knowledge and skills for a global society. This concentration explores common issues in curriculum design and implementation. Educators will create curriculum and design instruction for their own educational settings.

ELE ED 6411Curriculum Leadership Elementary Programs3
ELE ED 6422Curriculum Design of Elementary Programs3
ELE ED 6423Learning Through Inquiry3

Literacy Concentrations I: 9 hours

Concentration I is designed for educators who want a deeper understanding of reading and writing processes across the lifespan. This area emphasizes the preparation of leaders in a wide range of school and community settings, including literacy coaches or grade-level leaders. Concentration I emphasizes cutting-edge theory, research and instructional practices in literacy education. Concentration II, for those wanting a Literacy endorsement, applies these understandings through a variety of readings, writings and experiences, both in Clinical and online settings. There are two choices for Concentration II: Writing and Reading. Students who complete Concentrations I and II in Literacy can apply these courses to a K-12 DESE reading certificate or the UMSL Graduate Certificate in the Teaching of Writing, but additional coursework may be required.

ELE ED 6387Literacy Acquisition and Learning for Diverse Students3
ELE ED 6684Instructional Strategies for Teaching Reading3
ELE ED 6686Analysis and Correction of Reading Disabilities3

Literacy Concentration II: 9 hours Choice A:

Courses to complete the Reading Emphasis Certification

The M.Ed. program with emphasis in reading (literacy) is designed to enable candidates to further their competencies as teachers of reading, writing, and the other communication arts. The program also prepares them for positions as literacy coaches, reading specialists, curriculum specialists in communication arts and reading areas, consultants in areas of communication arts, and/or for further graduate study. Concentration II enables a student to earn a master’s degree in education with credit towards an emphasis in reading as per requirements laid out by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for special reading certification in Missouri. Students must complete the required 15 hours of M.Ed. courses, an educational psychology course, plus 18 hours of literacy courses.

ELE ED 6493Reading Specialist Practicum I3
ELE ED 6494Reading Specialist Practicum II3
TCH ED 4391Literacy for Adolescent Learners in Content Areas3

Concentration II: 9 hours Choice B:

Courses to complete the Graduate Certificate in the Teaching of Writing

Applicants who wish to earn a Graduate Certificate in the Teaching of Writing must apply for admission to the certificate program. Applicants must have a 2.75 GPA in undergraduate coursework to be admitted. A background in K-12 or adult education is desirable.

TCH ED 6880Gateway Writing Project6
TCH ED 6890Seminar in Professional Writing for Teachers3

Special Education Concentration: 9 hours

For educators who are not receiving a degree in Special Education, but would like to expand their understanding of Special Education law and the needs of students with cross-categorical disabilities and those with Autism Spectrum Disorders, this concentration offers coursework on the characteristics and effective strategies for teaching students with varied abilities in educational settings. Those interested in the M.Ed. in Special Education or the Graduate Certificate in Autism and Developmental Disabilities should choose concentrations in those designated programs under the Masters in Special Education or Autism Certificate links in Bulletin.

Choose three of the following:9
SPEC ED 6325Advanced Studies in Classroom & Behavior Management3
SPEC ED 6345Characteristics and Education of Students with High-Incidence Disabilities3
SPEC ED 6415The Law and Special Education3
SPEC ED 6437Applied Behavior Analysis: Functional Assessment and Interventions3

Social Justice Issues Concentration: 9 hours

Educators need to challenge themselves to understand the variety of assets diverse students and their families bring to educational contexts. An interdisciplinary group of courses is offered for this concentration that invite personal growth and academic knowledge in the area of social justice. An emphasis on engagement and action permeates the course activities.  (With completion of TCH ED 6010,TCH ED 6020 and TCH ED 6910 and 9 hours from the list below, students will meet requirements for the Social Justice in Education Certificate. (Applicants who wish to earn a Graduate Certificate in Social Justice in Education must apply for admission to the certificate program.)

Choose three of the following:
CNS ED 6820Counseling Women Toward Empowerment3
CNS ED 6850Social Class and Poverty Issues In Counseling3
ED FND 6203Political Contexts of Education3
GS 5053Advanced Studies In African-American History3
TCH ED 6230Cross-Cultural Communication in the Classroom3

Leadership in Education Concentration: 9 hours

Organizations need leaders who understand the complexities of systems and working with diverse staff and families within situated communities in a dynamic and changing educational environment. Leadership skills can be taught and nurtured. This Leadership in Education concentration allows educators in various roles and career levels to apply principles of leadership to creating effective communities of practice.

Reuired Courses:
ED ADM 6503Organizational Change in Education3
Choose two of the following:
ED FND 6200Demographic Contexts of Education3
ED FND 6203Political Contexts of Education3
ED ADM 6205Legal Contexts of Education3
ED ADM 6401School Staff Development and Supervision3

STEM Concentration: 9 hours

Many challenges remain in the attraction and preparation of youth for the careers in fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Those who teach in these areas need to continually work toward developing and implementing relevant curricula and develop new instructional strategies as well as revise and upgrade current methodology. The STEM Concentration focuses on professional development with respect to instructional research and best practices for all involved in enhancing STEM literacy.

Choose three of the following:
ELE ED 6431STEM Instruction in Elementary Education3
or SEC ED 6431 STEM Instruction in Secondary Education
ED TECH 5340Selection and Utilization of Educational Multimedia3
ED TECH 6436Computer-Mediated Communication in Education3
ED TECH 6448Technology-Supported Inquiry Learning3
Graduate Level Science or Math course3

Discipline Content Area Concentration: 9 hours

Educators recognize the importance of staying current in their field of teaching. This Discipline Content Concentration allows for 9 hours of graduate level credit in a content area related to one’s field of practice. This includes graduate credit in areas such as history, English, math, science, foreign language, health and PE, and art and music. Courses for this concentration need to be approved by advisors before they are included on the M-1 program form.

Elective Concentration: 9 hours

To insure maximum flexibility in course selection to meet the individual needs of professional educator’s development, this concentration represents an opportunity to select three unique courses from the various concentration areas in an eclectic and personalized way. Choices to include in this concentration need to be approved by advisors and signed off on by the program director.

Supporting Language Learners: TESOL Concentration I: 9 hours

This concentration is designed for those who want to better understand Second Language Acquisition (SLA) and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) processes. Courses emphasize the theoretical foundations of Second Language Acquisition and TESOL and their practical application to practice. Concentration I is open to all Masters in Education students. A TESOL endorsement from DESE is available under the SEC ED M.Ed. options.

TCH ED 6210Foundations of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages3
TCH ED 6220Principles of Second/Foreign Language Acquisition3
TCH ED 6230Cross-Cultural Communication in the Classroom3

 Middle School Education Concentration: 9 hours

The concentration in middle level education is designed for graduate students who would like to further their competencies as a middle level educator.

Choose three of the following:
TCH ED 5312Teaching Reading in the Content Areas3
ED PSY 6222Advanced Studies in Child and Adolescent Development3
ED ADM 6401School Staff Development and Supervision3
SEC ED 6416Curriculum Design for Educational Programs3
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Lynn Navin, Ph.D.
Director of the University Child Development Center

Lynn Navin earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Bowling Green State University in 1984. She earned a Master of Arts in Child Development from Michigan State University in 1991. Infant Mental Health was an area of emphasis.  She recently finished a PhD in Teaching and Learning Processes. Her dissertation topic was on using sel...