The M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education prepares students as early childhood professionals for a variety of fields involving children and their families. A program of study is designed for students based on their professional goals. Taking into consideration previous course work and prior experiences, the program director reviews transcripts to determine the sequence of the courses and additional background preparation. Early field experiences are tailored to the needs, competencies, and current and prior experiences of the student. Field experiences are embedded in relevant courses.
In addition to foundation courses and pedagogy courses the division offers students interested in early childhood with two programs of study: early childhood administration or teacher certification.
Early Childhood Administration
The early childhood administration option fulfills the New Hampshire Bureau of Child Care Licensing and Standards for director licensure requirements. Students seeking to become administrators meet with the program director to select two business courses based on their professional goals, objectives and background. In addition, during their last semester of attendance students complete a capstone project as part of their culminating experience in the program.
Teacher Certification Option
The early childhood teacher certification option leads to New Hampshire teacher licensure (K-3). Students seeking teacher licensure as an early childhood educator must apply to the Professional Educator Program (PEPP) after successfully completing 12 credits. They also must have received positive reports from a cooperating practitioner and university professor(s), maintained a 3.0 GPA and have successfully completed the Praxis Test of Core Academic Skills. In addition to these Rivier University PEPP requirements, the state of New Hampshire requires that students seeking early childhood (K-3) certification provide passing scores on the following two tests:
- Praxis II for (Elementary K-6 and K-8 or Early Childhood)
- Pearson Foundations of Readingfor (Elementary K-6 and K-8; and Early Childhood)
- Praxis II middle school for (Elementary K-8 certification)
Students seeking teacher certification complete a full semester internship in early childhood. Students must successfully pass their Comprehensive Examination prior to enrolling in the internship and seminar. Students applying for teacher licensure complete a minimum of 14 weeks in kindergarten through third grade as part of their internship.
New Hampshire teacher licensure K-3 is not automatic with the completion of the internship. Students apply for licensure after successfully completing the internship, the program competencies, and other program requirements. The Director of the program reviews the student’s complete records and recommends the student for completion of degree requirements to the Division Curriculum Committee, Student Performance Review. The recommendation of the committee is forwarded to the Division Officer for Certification who recommends the student for certification to the NH Department of Education. Students are advised to periodically review the NH DOE website for state examination requirements and meet with the Program Director to determine a plan for successful completion of examination requirements.