Designed for working professionals

The MEdX program is designed to be convenient for working educators, with credits earned through a hybrid, part-time program that combines face-to-face and online class sessions meeting in late afternoons. The program includes 33-36 credit hours taken over the course of two years, with participants completing two or three courses each semester.

The program is designed so that you can continue working while completing the program. During the fall and spring semesters, courses meet once a week at an off-campus location in Chapel Hill that features convenient parking. Summer courses generally meet more often.

Rich, practical courses

Our curriculum incorporates research, technology-rich instruction and twenty-first century standards for educators. It includes an emphasis on social justice, early childhood leadership and evidence-based practices.

Distinguishing features of our program includes robust experiential learning, opportunities to complete some assignments consistent with National Board Certification requirements, and action research that is focused on classroom-based practice.

We emphasize the early childhood professional’s role in the promotion of developmentally, individually, and culturally appropriate assessment and instructional practices informed by evidence developed through rigorous research.

A focus on high-needs areas, role of families

ECIFS instills leadership skills in family-centered inclusive practices that focus on young children who are at risk due to poverty, linguistic or cultural differences, and developmental delays. We promote evidence-based practices regarding family-centered and socio-culturally sensitive learning strategies for all young children ages birth to five.

We also maintain an interdisciplinary focus, with an emphasis on preparing early childhood professionals to work collaboratively on teams with parents and professionals from a variety of disciplines and agencies. We work with students to develop a family-centered focus,

recognizing that the early childhood professional’s role is to strengthen and support the family as they facilitate and nurture their young children’s development.

The ECIFS program also features an emphasis on inclusion, recognizing that early childhood professionals need skills to facilitate the successful inclusion of young children with developmental disabilities and those who are from diverse backgrounds in their natural learning environments.

Who should apply?

ECIFS is designed for experienced early childhood professionals who have completed at least two years as classroom teachers in their chosen specialty area or two years of teaching experience with young children in a public or community-based program and would like to upgrade their present licenses to the master’s level. The program is open to both public and private school teachers.

Your current teaching license does not have to be Birth-Kindergarten. It is preferred that you have a license and experience in one of the following areas: Special Education and Elementary Education.

Option for non-licensed teachers

Applicants interested in ECIFS have an option to apply as non-licensed teachers if they have a degree in child development, early childhood education, or a closely related field and have at least two years of early childhood teaching experience.

Applicants entering the program without a current teaching license may be required to enroll in additional internship hours in order to obtain more experience working with young children.