Shaw University Department of Education

Chair: Dr. Paula Moten-Tolson

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Chairperson Dr. Paul Moten-Tolson

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Graduate Program

Center for Early Childhood Education

Title II, Section 207 of the Higher Education Act

Student Research Guidelines



Mission Statement | Program Learning Outcomes | Departmental Goals



The Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Early Childhood Education Program responds to the critical need to prepare individuals beyond the entry level for professional roles in birth through kindergarten settings to serve as master teachers, lead teachers, direct service providers, consultants, program coordinators, supervisors, and staff development trainers, and to provide research and evaluation expertise and community leadership in early childhood education and intervention. 

The Program is delineated and differentiated from the undergraduate curriculum in that it is grounded in, and responsive to, the need for advanced studies in the educational processes of birth through early childhood education.  The program is designed for in-service teachers in public and private educational settings who wish to specialize in early childhood education.  It provides an opportunity for graduate study in an environment that supports the enhancement of applied and basic research, instruction, community service, and other scholarly pursuits.

The Program requires the equivalent of 5 semesters of study. Students must complete 42 credit hours, including a thesis, or a minimum of 45 credit hours of study without a thesis. To meet the needs of students who may be working full-time or live far from campus, classes are offered online, or are hybrid, with face-to-face classes held on Saturdays on campus in Raleigh. This masterís-level program leads to advanced licensure in Birth through Kindergarten education, issued by NCDPI.


The breadth of the core courses (18 credit hours for the thesis track or 15 credit hours for the non-thesis track) includes content knowledge in the following courses.

  • ECI 640:  Historical, Philosophical, and Social Foundations of American Education (3 credit hours), or

  • ECI 643:  Social and Political Problems in Education (3 credit hours)

  • ECI 610:  Psychological Foundations of Education (3 credit hours) or

  • ECI 611:  Advanced Studies in Human Development and Learning  (3 credit hours) 

  • ECI 691:  Advanced Statistical Methods in Education (3 credit hours)

  • ECI 692:  The Design of Educational Research and Evaluation (3 credit hours)

  • ECI 599:  Instructional Leadership Practicum (3 credit hours)             

  • ECI 698:  Thesis Conference (0 credit hour)

  • ECI 700:  Thesis (3 credit hours)

  • ECI 701:  Continuous Thesis (3 credit hours) 

The specialty area concentration component is coherent with NCATE and NCDPI standards and indicators in that it provides advanced breadth in the content area and added opportunities for scholarly inquiry. The breadth of the specialty area concentration courses (18 credit hours) includes content knowledge in the following courses.

  • ECI 612:  Working with Young Children and Their Families (3 credit hours)

  • ECI 634:  Multicultural Education:  Planning and Implementing Instruction for Diverse Learners (3 credit hours)

  • ECI 625:  Advanced Study of Literacy and Numeracy for Young Children (3 credit hours)

  • ECI 630:  Assessment:  Measuring and Evaluating Learning in the Early Childhood Curriculum (3 credit hours)

  • ECI 690:  Interagency Collaboration:  Providing Services for Young Children and Their Families 

  • ECI 677:  Instructional Leadership in Early Childhood Education (3 credit hours)

Supportive electives (6-12 credit hours) are required and chosen from the following list of courses.

  • ECI 601:  Creating Learning Environments for Young Children (3 credit hours)

  • ECI 670:  Administration of Child Development Centers (3 credit hours)

  • ECI 615:  Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts (3 credit hours)

  • ECI 693:  Advanced Theory and Design of Tests and Measurements (3 credit hours)

  • ECI 605:  Play and Young Childrenís Learning (3 credit hours)

Requests for applications or information about the graduate program should be addressed to:

Rosalie Parrish, Ph.D.
Coordinator for the Graduate Program
Department of Education, Shaw University,
118 East South Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27601
Telephone Number: (919) 278-2675