Early Childhood Education (MAT)

Volume 1: 2019.2020

Effective 1 June 2019 through 31 May 2020

Please see the Graduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

This page was modified on 14 June 2019.
Please see the Graduate Catalog Addendum to view changes that were made.

This program is offered by the School of Education, and is only available at the St. Louis home campus.

Program Description

Students pursuing early childhood education in the MAT program study young children and their families from an ecological systems perspective. The emphasis is on the integration of knowledge of child development, relationships with families and community, developmentally appropriate practice and the curriculum content areas.

Students learn to identify strategies to support the development of individual children and design appropriate educational plans for them. Strategies for meeting the diverse needs of all children in an inclusive environment are emphasized. Throughout this major, students explore methods of consultation and collaboration among teachers, therapist, parents and others involved in providing services to young children.

The MA in early childhood education has been nationally recognized as an advanced degree that provides evidence that candidates have a strong foundation of both content and pedagogical knowledge by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Learning Outcomes

The goals of the MAT in early childhood education are to cultivate graduates who:

  • Demonstrate competence as a teacher researcher through ability to observe, document and analyze children's ideas, learning processes and actions.
  • Apply an interdisciplinary, collaborative and ecological systems-oriented approach to early education that encourages family and community participation.
  • Create curriculum that is grounded in an understanding of subject matter, developmental theory and ongoing research; that is responsive and respectful of diverse learners and their families; that considers the physical and social contexts of learning; and that promotes inquiry and multiple forms of expression.
  • Demonstrate professionalism through communication and collaboration with colleagues, families, children and community leaders; and through understanding and respect for self and others.


Course Requirements

  • ECED 5010 Foundations of Early Childhood Education (3 hours)
  • ECED 5430 Language and Motor Development in Infant Toddler Programs (3 hours)
  • ECED 5460 Curriculum Design (3 hours)
  • ECED 5470 Observation, Documentation and Analysis in Early Childhood Education (3 hours)
  • ECED 5480 Math Methods for the Young Child (3 hours)
  • ECED 5880 Integrating Resources: Community Schools and Family (3 hours)
  • COMM 5440 Integrated Language Arts (3 hours)
  • COMM 5820 Foundations of Reading Instruction (3 hours)
  • COMM 5830 Emergent Literacy (3 hours)
  • COMM 5960 Differentiated Reading Instruction (3 hours)
  • ECED 5096 Apprentice Teaching Seminar (1 hour)
  • ECED 5950 Apprentice Teaching: Early Childhood (9 hours)

Total: 40 hours

Additional Courses Required for Certification

  • CMAT 5000 Teaching in a Diverse Society (3 hours)
    (To be completed within the first 2 semesters; must be taken in residence at Webster; grade of B- or better required) 
  • COMM 5000 Fiction, Nonfiction and Poetry for children (3 hours)
  • COMM 5840 Reading and Writing as Cognitive Processes (3 hours)
  • ECED 5431 Practicum: Infant/Toddler (1 hour)
  • ECED 5461 Practicum: Pre-Primary (1 hour)
  • ECED 5462 Practicum: Primary (1 hour)
  • EDUC 4020 Health, Nutrition and Safety (3 hours)
  • EDUC 5080 Planning for the Inclusive Classroom (3 hours)
  • EPSY 5130 Educational Psychology (3 hours)
  • EPSY 5505 Applied Development & Educational Psychology (3 hours)
  • EPSY 5170/SPED 5250 Behavioral Management (3 hours)
  • EDTC 5410 Technology In-Service Topics (1 hour)
  • SPED 5860 Psychology of the Exceptional Student (3 hours)

Prior to apprentice teaching, candidates must take and pass the Missouri Content Assessment Exams: Early Childhood 064. 

Teacher Certification in Early Childhood Special Education

Early childhood education MAT students may receive an added teaching certificate in early childhood special education. These students should contact the Teacher Certification advisor.

Student Internship and Apprentice Teaching

Students must also complete the following courses to earn both the MAT early childhood degree and to complete certification in early childhood.

  • ECED 5096 Apprentice Teaching Seminar (1 hour)
  • ECED 5950 Apprentice Teaching: Early Childhood (9 hours)

Apprentice teaching is a requirement for all initial certifications. Students must apply by September 15 for Spring placement and by February 15 for Fall placement. 


Students who are interested in applying to this degree program should also see the Admission section found in the front of this catalog for general requirements.

Admission Requirements

  • Receipt of official transcripts from the baccalaureate-granting institution.
  • Undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher.
  • B- or greater in a college-level math course.
  • B- or greater in a college-level composition course.

Send all admissions materials to:

Webster University
Office of Admission
470 East Lockwood Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63119

Completed application files will be reviewed by the Graduate Department of Education.

Advancement to Candidacy

Automatic advancement to candidacy based on 12 credit hours of 3.0 GPA graduate level ECED courses.

This page was modified on 14 June 2019.
Please see the Graduate Catalog Addendum to view changes that were made.