Early Childhood Development and Education MS
Together, the Graduate Student Handbook and your graduate program handbook should serve as your main guide throughout your graduate career. The Graduate Student Handbook includes university information, policies, requirements and guidance for all graduate students. Your program handbook describes the details about graduate study and requirements in your specific program. While both of these handbooks are wonderful resources, know that you are always welcome to talk with faculty and staff in your program and in the Graduate College.
The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. As a graduate student and member of the university community, you are expected to display the highest standards of academic and personal integrity.
Here are some resources to help you better understand your responsibilities:
- Plan of Study Form completed during first semester enrolled in the MS Early Childhood Development and Education program
- Two research core courses (6 credit hours)
- Advanced Early Childhood professional courses (18 credit hours)
- Additional courses from any approved electives (6 credit hours)
- One of the following:
- Thesis (6 credit hours) or
- Practicum AND Comprehensive Exam (6 credit hours) or
- Two additional approved electives AND Comprehensive Exam (6 credit hours)
- Achieve a minimum overall 3.0 GPA
- Complete a LiveText Professional Portfolio according to program guidelines
For program requirement details, please review the Graduate Catalog: www.graduatecatalog.ucf.edu.
Students should initially and periodically meet with an academic adviser to plan their program of electives in relation to their desired career goals, develop a program of study and timeline for their course work completion, and plan for the capstone culminating experience.
The MS does not lead to initial teacher preparation through the state-approved program route. Students interested in certification may contact the Florida Bureau of Teacher Certification Florida Department of Education directly at www.fldoe.org/edcert/.
Required Courses—24 Credit Hours
Core—6 Credit Hours
- EDF 6481 Fundamentals of Graduate Research in Education (3 credit hours; prerequisite for EDF 6401)
- EDF 6401 Statistics for Educational Data (3 credit hours)
Specialization—18 Credit Hours
- EEC 5205 Programs and Trends in Early Childhood Education (3 credit hours)
- EEC 6269 Play Development, Intervention, and Assessment (3 credit hours)
- EEC 6405 Home-School-Community Interaction in Early Childhood Education (3 credit hours)
- EEC 6406 Guiding and Facilitating Social Competence (3 credit hours)
- EEC 6606 Global Issues in Early Childhood (3 credit hours)
- EEX 6222 Observation and Assessment of Young Children (3 credit hours)
Elective Courses—6 Credit Hours
- EEC 6216 Communicative Arts in Early Childhood Education (3 credit hours)
- EEX 6017 Typical and Atypical Applied Child Development (3 credit hours) (Required if no undergraduate course in child development)
- EEX 5702 Planning Curriculum for Pre-Kindergarten Children with Disabilities (3 credit hours)
- EEX 5750 Communication with Parents and Agencies (3 credit hours)
- MHS 6403 Techniques of Play Therapy and Expressive Arts (3 credit hours)
- MHS 6421 Foundations of Play Therapy and Play Process (3 credit hours)
- SOW 6726 Social Work Practice with Children from Birth to Age Five and Their Families (3 credit hours)
- SPS 6125 Infant Development Assessment (3 credit hours)
- SPS 6700 Advanced Educational Psychology (3 credit hours)
- Other courses of interest with consent of faculty
Thesis Option—6 Credit Hours
- EEC 6971 Thesis (6 credit hours)
Nonthesis Option—6 Credit Hours
- EEC 6947 Practicum (6 credit hours) OR 6 credit hours of approved electives with a written comprehensive examination
The Plan of Study Form includes a course outline and schedule for the MS in Early Childhood Development and Education requirements. Plan of Study forms must be completed during the first semester
- EEC 5205 Programs and Trends in Early Childhood Education (3)
- EDF 6481 Fundamentals of Graduate Research in Education (3)
- EEC 6269 Play Development, Intervention, and Assessment (3)
- EEC 6405 Home-School-Community Intervention in Early Childhood Education (3)
- EEC 6606 Global Issues in Early Childhood (3)
- EEX 6222 Observation and Assessment of Young Children (3)
|Semester Total: 9 credit hours
||Semester Total: 9 credit hours
||Semester Total: 9 credit hours
|Semester Total: 9 credit hours
If you are choosing the non-thesis option for the Capstone Experience, you are required to take the comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination is offered every Fall, Spring and Summer. In preparation for the comprehensive examination, students will receive five questions written by faculty of the Early Childhood Development and Education program before the examination. Students will be able to prepare in the weeks preceding the examination, and the examination will consist of three of the five questions given to the students. The examination is graded on a pass/fail basis.
The thesis is the culminating experience for those who conduct an original research study as part of a thesis-option program. The thesis consists of a common theme with an introduction and literature review, details of the study, and results and conclusions. Since the work is original, it is very important that care is taken in properly citing ideas and quotations of others. Academic dishonesty in thesis, research report and dissertation work may result in termination from the degree program.
An oral defense of the thesis is required. The approved thesis must be written and prepared in accordance with program, college, and university requirements. The UCF Thesis and Dissertation Manual
describes formatting requirements for theses and outlines the steps that graduate students must follow in order to submit their theses electronically to the UCF College of Graduate Studies.
Additionally, the Thesis and Dissertation Office offers online and face-to-face workshops to inform graduate students about procedures, deadlines, and requirements associated with preparing a thesis.
Thesis students are required to submit their thesis electronically. Electronic thesis/dissertation (ETD) submissions are archived by the UCF library in digital format that is widely accessible. The electronic thesis may include video and audio clips as well as other formats that are appropriate for the field of study.
All theses that use research involving human subjects, including surveys, must obtain approval from an independent board, the Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to starting the research. Graduate students and the faculty that supervise them are required to attend training on IRB policies, so this needs to start well in advance of the research start date. It is imperative that proper procedures are followed when using human subjects in research projects. Information about this process can be obtained from the Office of Research and Commercialization
. Click on "Compliance" and the IRB Policy and Procedures Manual
is available. In addition, should the nature of the research or the faculty supervision change since the IRB approval was obtained, then new IRB approval must be sought. Failure to obtain this prior approval could jeopardize receipt of the student's degree.
Students who wish to complete their degree requirements in a given semester must take their oral defense and submit their final electronic copy to the UCF College of Graduate Studies by the dates shown in the Academic Calendar
UCF has three fundamental responsibilities with regard to graduate student research. They are to (1) support an academic environment that stimulates the spirit of inquiry, (2) develop the intellectual property stemming from research, and (3) disseminate the intellectual property to the general public. Students are responsible for being informed of rules, regulations and policies pertaining to research. Below are some general policies and resources.
Research Policies and Ethics Information: UCF's Office of Research & Commercialization ensures the UCF community complies with local, state and federal regulations that relate to research. For polices including required Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval when conducting research involving human subjects (e.g. surveys), animal research, conflict of interest and general responsible conduct of research, please see their website: www.research.ucf.edu > Compliance.
UCF’s Patent and Invention Policy: In most cases, UCF owns the intellectual property developed using university resources. The graduate student as inventor will according to this policy share in the proceeds of the invention. Please see the current UCF Graduate Catalog for details: www.graduatecatalog.ucf.edu > Policies > General Graduate Policies.
Early Childhood Development Education Research Opportunities
Graduate students interested in pursuing research have a variety of options available.
For more information about research opportunities for graduate students, please contact the faculty listed above.
Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see Funding for Graduate School, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource: www.graduatecatalog.ucf.edu/content/FinancialInfo.aspx.
If you are interested in financial assistance, you are strongly encouraged to apply for admission early. A complete application for admission, including all supporting documents, must be received by the priority date listed for your program under "Admissions."
You must be admitted to a graduate program before the university can consider awarding financial assistance to you.
If you want to be considered for loans and other need-based financial assistance, review the UCF Student Financial Assistance website at http://finaid.ucf.edu and complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form, which is available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Apply early and allow up to six weeks for the FAFSA form to be processed.
UCF Graduate Studies awards university graduate fellowships, with most decisions based on nominations from the colleges and programs. To be eligible for a fellowship, students must be accepted as a graduate student in a degree program and be enrolled full-time. University graduate fellowships are awarded based on academic merit and therefore are not affected by FAFSA determination of need.
Please note that select fellowships do require students to fill out a fellowship application (either a university fellowship application, an external fellowship application, or a college or school fellowship application). For university fellowship applications, see Fellowships.
There are a variety of scholarships available for graduate students. For more information, visit the Office of Student Financial Assistance http://finaid.ucf.edu/scholarships/index.htm.
Instructor Training and Development
The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL) promotes excellence in all levels of teaching at the University of Central Florida. They offer several programs for the professional development of Graduate Teaching Assistants at UCF.
GTA Training (mandatory for employment as a GTA)
This training provides information and resources for students who will be instructors in a two-day workshop. The seminars cover a variety of topics, including course development, learning theories, lecturing, and academic freedom. Those interested in additional training can also attend an optional training session that normally follows the mandatory training.
Preparing Tomorrow's Faculty Program
This certificate program (12-weeks) consists of group and individualized instruction by Faculty Center staff and experienced UCF professors. Textbooks and materials are provided.
For more information: www.fctl.ucf.edu > Events > GTA Programs or call 407-823-3544.
Graduate Research Forum
The Graduate Research Forum will feature poster displays representing UCF’s diverse colleges and disciplines. It is an opportunity for students to showcase their research and creative projects and to receive valuable feedback from faculty judges. Awards for best poster presentation in each category will be given and all participants will receive recognition.
The College of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Student Association invite all UCF students, community, and employers to attend the Graduate Research Forum. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graduate Excellence Awards
Each year, the College of Graduate Studies offers graduate students who strive for academic and professional excellence the opportunity to be recognized for their work. The award categories include the following:
Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant – This award is for students who provide teaching support and assistance under the direction of a lead teacher. This award focuses on the extent and quality of the assistance provided by the student to the lead instructor and the students in the class. (Not intended for students who are instructor of record)
Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching – This award is for students who serve as instructors of record and have independent classroom responsibilities. The focus of this award is on the quality of the student’s teaching and the academic contributions of those activities.
Award for the Outstanding Master’s Thesis – It recognizes graduate students for excellence in the master's thesis. The focus of this award is on the quality and contribution of the student's thesis research. Excellence of the master's thesis may be demonstrated by evidence such as, but not limited to: publications in refereed journals, awards and recognitions from professional organizations, and praise from faculty members and other colleagues in the field. The university award will be forwarded to a national-level competition sponsored by the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) when the thesis discipline corresponds to the annual submission request.
Innovative Thesis or Dissertation Award - The Award recognizes cutting-edge use of technology in theses and dissertations. The focus of this award is on the technical innovation of the student's thesis or dissertation through the application of renderings, photos, data sets, software code and other multimedia objects.
For the nomination process and eligibility criteria, see the College of Graduate Studies website www.graduate.ucf.edu/GradAwards.
Students should take opportunities to present a poster or a topic of research at a conference. To obtain financial support to present at a conference (other than through your program) or to engage in comparable creative activity at a professional meeting, visit the Graduate Travel Fellowship section at www.graduate.ucf.edu.
For information about the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) thesis and dissertation awards, see their website: > Awards.
For grant-proposal writing resources: http://uwc.ucf.edu/gradwriting.php.
UCF’s Career Services department offers a wide range of programs and services designed to assist graduate students. These services include evaluation and exploration of career goals, preparation for the job search and job search resources. To learn more, visit their website at www.career.ucf.edu.
For specific services or resources provided by the academic program, please contact the graduate program director or academic advisor.
- College of Graduate Studies Forms
A listing of forms and files for the College of Graduate Studies.
- Graduate Petition Form
When unusual situations arise, petitions for exceptions to policy may be requested by the student. Depending on the type of appeal, the student should contact his/her program adviser to begin the petition process.
- Transfer Request Form
In order for transfer courses to be requested for use in a UCF degree, the official transcripts from the institution where the courses were taken must be sent to UCF’s College of Graduate Studies.
- Traveling Scholar Form
Required form of graduate students who would like to take advantage of resources available on another campus, but not available at UCF; for example, special course offerings, research opportunities, unique laboratories and library collections.