Master of Early Childhood Education

Advocate for children

At this time, St. Ambrose University is not accepting applicants to the MEA program.

If you aspire to be an advocate for children; to enrich their lives and enable them to reach their social and academic potential; and to assist parents and ensure the success of families, St. Ambrose has a program for you.

Our graduates work at early childhood centers, pre-schools, as administrators for early childhood programs.

Ambrose Advantages

  • Two-Year Cohort Program, Synchronous Online Format
  • Practical Learning You Can Directly Apply to Classroom
  • Strong Reputation For Training Top Educators

MECE student reading to kids

MECE student on the ground reading

The SAU Master of Early Childhood Education program allows early childhood educators and professionals to deepen their understanding of the field, develop leadership skills, and improve their expertise in research, child development, and special education.

See our MECE Fact Sheet (pdf)

More Information on the MECE Program

What will I learn?

Our MECE is a two-year cohort program offered predominantly online. A sequence of 12 courses - totaling 33 credits - can be completed in two years.

You will learn to motivate and give children opportunities for first-hand investigation; how to reflect on your practice and seek feedback; leadership strategies for mentoring new teachers; investigate the connection between play and learning; and study theories and research in family diversity.

Courses include history, philosophy, and contemporary issues in diverse early childhood classrooms; the project approach; collaborative and interdisciplinary teaming; dimensions of cognitive development; families, society and schools; teaching culturally and linguistically diverse learners; and more.

All MECE students complete a Capstone action research project prior to graduation, and many choose one that is related to their own classroom, school, or childcare center. This allows you to individualize research, knowledge and theory, and then apply it to your practice. Graduates of this program have remarked they are able to take what they learned in class and use it the next day!

Our MECE program is infused with three key themes. Educators can:

  • Promote the well-being of all children by developing strong relationships with families and their communities.
  • Develop reflective practice and research to improve the education of early learners.
  • Act on a commitment to social justice for young children and families.
What makes the SAU program unique?
  • We give you a unique, and immersive opportunity to broaden your skills and knowledge of project-based learning. The SAU Children's Campus is a comprehensive, early childhood program for children ages 6 weeks to 6 years old, with or without disabilities, and provides educational experiences and resources for families. The Center is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and is noted for its project approach to learning. As an MECE student, you can research and study inquiry-based learning at the Children's Campus. In addition, all MECE students will study the project approach in-depth and on-site during a one week Summer Institute.
  • Our faculty has deep expertise and experience in special education, early intervention, and teaching in inclusive classrooms. This means you get an education that prepares you to work with children of all abilities and their families, no matter the setting.
  • Our program is designed for professionals with previous teaching experience and will help you improve your practice right away. Students tell us they directly apply what they've learned in our classrooms to their classrooms. 
  • Our students make the program strong. They are educators and directors from various fields including public schools, lab schools, early childhood education centers, and early intervention programs. Our students share their experiences and learn from each other, which broadens your perspective and ability to successfully manage various situations. 
  • Our students tell us that the SAU MECE program is highly manageable. Because the majority of classes are offered online in a synchronous format, students are able to successfully manage their personal, professional, and educational responsibilities. They also say our program is affordable ($582 a credit hour for the 2017-18 academic year) and a great professional investment. Many early childhood educators receive a salary increase for earning a master's degree.
Degree Requirements

Requirements for a Master of Early Childhood Education Degree (33 credits)

ECE 601 History, Philosophy, & Contemporary Issues In Diverse Early Childhood Classrooms (3 credits)
ECE 607 Classroom and School Inquiry in Early Childhood Education (3 credits)
ECE 610 Professional Development and Leadership in Early Childhood Education (2 credits)
ECE 614 The Project Approach (1 credit)
ECE 617 Collaborative and Interdisciplinary Teaming (3 credits)
ECE 621 Dimensions of Cognitive Development & Learning (3 credits)
ECE 623 Dimensions of Language and Literacy Development (3 credits)
ECE 626 Math and Science in the Early Childhood Classroom (3 credits)
ECE 630 Families, Society, and Schools (3 credits)
ECE 641 Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners (3 credits)
ECE 650 Assessment and Technology in ECE (3 credits)
ECE 700 Capstone Project in Early Childhood Education (3 credits)

Read course descriptions for early childhood education

Admission and Application

St. Ambrose University is not accepting new applicants for this degree program.

Requirements for entry into the program are as follows:

• A Bachelor's degree in early childhood education or a closely related field.

• Work as a practitioner in one of the areas of early childhood education including teacher, early interventionist, speech therapist, counselor, and social workers.

• A brief goal statement for participation in the program.

• Two letters of reference.

Applications for the Fall cohort each year are encouraged by August 15.

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School of Education
Ambrose Hall
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803

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