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Early Childhood Education: The UDC Edge

The University of the District of Columbia (UDC)—an urban land-grant university and the only public institution of higher education in Washington, D.C.—traces its roots to the Miner Normal School, a school for African-American girls founded in 1851 that eventually became Miner Teachers College, D.C.’s first public college.

The Graduate Program in Education embodies UDC’s longstanding commitment to preparing future educators to provide an exceptional education to the residents of the District of Columbia. Our program is heavy on practical classroom training and closely aligned with trends and curricula at local schools. You will learn how to teach from experienced educators with a deep understanding of local context and practical concerns, not scholars far removed from practice. Many of our adjunct faculty members are active principals in the D.C. public schools with their fingers of the pulse of current issues and trends. In addition, UDC works closely with D.C. public schools to pair candidates with outstanding teachers during their internship.

Master's Degree (MA) in Early Childhood Education

The Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education prepares candidates for careers as master teachers or early childhood specialists in classrooms in Pre-school thru grades, both in private and public sectors. The degree consists of 35 credit hours.

Coursework is held in evening hours to accommodate working professionals. Field experiences - which take place in P-3 school settings - require some daytime availability. The final semester requires a full-time apprenticeship.

The Division of Education Student Outcomes and Proficiencies

The Outcomes below were created to address what candidates should know and be able to do upon completion of the Educator Preparation Program. During the program sequence, all 9 of the teacher education outcomes are addressed and monitored through multiple assessments. These outcomes are aligned with the Divisions Conceptual Framework, CAEP Standards, the INTASC principles, essential knowledge, skills and dispositions.

  1. demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the subject matter to be taught and skill in applying the basic principles of teaching and learning in a primarily urban community setting;
  2. demonstrate a command of fundamental communication skills and skill in effectively communicating diverse perspectives;
  3. utilize classroom and behavior management techniques that nurture a positive learning environment that enhances the growth and development of all students;
  4. create developmentally appropriate objectives in terms of expected outcomes that meets the needs of diverse learners;
  5. design, implement, and assess developmentally appropriate teaching and learning activities utilizing performance criteria with a variety of assessment techniques;
  6. integrate into the learning environment activities that are inclusive such as:
    • respect for the learner as an individual by considering differentiated learning needs, abilities, and ethnic and cultural backgrounds
    • a commitment from the student to meet challenges and high academic expectations while exacting a commitment from the students to strive to meet high expectations;
  7. design and apply technology applications that are appropriate for diverse learners in the classroom to meet the demands of the global society;
  8. pursue on-going knowledge and professional growth to enhance student achievement; 
  9. cultivate a high level of social and emotional maturity and a sense of professionalism in collaborating and communicating with students, colleagues, school administrators, parents, and members of the school community at large.


Curriculum and Requirements in the UDC Early Childhood Education Graduate Program

Program Admission Requirements

Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, and meet all admissions criteria established by the Office of Graduate Admissions. Students must take and pass Praxis CORE before entering the program. In addition, applicants must be interviewed by the Graduate Education Admissions Committee.

Program of Study

Student Organizations and Activities in the UDC Early Childhood Education Graduate Program


Faculty Spotlight: UDC Early Childhood Education Graduate Program

Dr. Anika Spratley Burtin is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate Education Program at the University of the District of Columbia and serves as the Graduate Program Coordinator. Dr. Burtin received her Bachelor’s degree from Spelman College. She obtained her Master’s degree in English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and earned her doctorate in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University. She is a former high school English teacher and administrator. Her professional experience has always been situated in urban schools. She has worked as an educational consultant, curriculum writer, and professional development facilitator for schools in Washington, DC, Baltimore, and Chicago. As well, she has served as a national trainer for The College Board. Dr. Burtin’s research primarily focuses on issues of expert practice in teaching, specifically as it relates to literacy education, literary reasoning, and struggling adolescent readers.

Career Pathways and Prospects

The master’s degree program in early childhood education at the University of the District of Columbia prepares you for a career as teacher of children from preschool through third grade. With the program’s emphasis on theory and research, you are also prepared for advanced study or other education-related careers in advocacy or government.

Contact info:

E: | T: 202.274.6172