Early Childhood Unified (Birth-K)

Master's in Early Childhood Unified at KU

young children reading

The Master's in Early Childhood Unified* at the University of Kansas School of Education prepares early educators as leaders requiring that all candidates understand the complexities of today’s educational system and its diversity. The term “unified” refers to the unification of general early education and early childhood special education knowledge and skills with a single early childhood preparation/credential.

  • Prepares professionals to meet the learning and developmental needs of all infant, toddler, preschool and kindergarten-age children, including those at-risk for and with disabilities.
  • Addresses interdisciplinary approaches that integrate developmentally appropriate early education and early childhood special education strategies into holistic and functional activities for young children and their families in their natural environments.
  • Emphasizes collaborative and team-based processes that empower families and program staff to work together to support the development of all young children.

The program content knowledge and performance goals are aligned with the Kansas teacher licensure standards for the ECU birth through kindergarten (age 6) content area and the professional education standards.

Benefits of the program include:

Program Reputation - KU’s Master's in Early Childhood Unified is offered through the KU Department of Special Education, which was recently ranked #1 according to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Public Institutions. 

Nationally-accredited Program - The KU School of Education is accredited under the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Standards through the CAEP Accreditation System.

Designed to accommodate the busy schedules of our students, most courses are hybrid (that is, included both asynchronous on-line & face-to-face class sessions) and offered at both Lawrence and Edward’s campuses (Overland Park, KS).  When face-to-face each class meets one evening a week (i.e., 4:30pm to 7:00pm). Student teaching experiences can be completed any semester including summers and may be completed in the student’s current work setting if appropriate.

Completion of the 33 graduate credit hour sequence leads to a Masters of Science in Education with initial Kansas teaching license in ECU birth through kindergarten. To be considered for admission you need only have a bachelor’s degree in a related area.  You do not have to have an undergraduate education degree or an initial teaching license (e.g., elementary, middle, or secondary). Experience working with young children is preferred. 

The Department of Special Education may have federal grant dollars to support a limited number of students in the master's degree program with an ECU emphasis. To learn more about these grant funds and how to apply contact Dr. Horn at evahorn@ku.edu

View ECU Information Flyer for more information about the program, contact the program coordinator (Dr. Eva Horn – evahorn@ku.edu), access other sections of this webpage, and/or contact the Department of Special Education (specialeduadm@ku.edu - 785-864-4954).

Let us know you are interested.

*This program is a Master of Science in Education degree in special education with an emphasis in early childhood unified.

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