M.Ed. Early Childhood + Endorsement

credits 40  |  completion just over 2 years (6 to 7 semesters)  |  next start August 26

Top online early childhood masters programs Earn your M.Ed. in Early Childhood and endorsement together online.  The  Birth Through Grade Three Inclusive Setting endorsement is created to be easily completed during the 2 years you’re earning your M.Ed. The credential enables you to teach in early-grade classrooms that include students with IEPs. Northwestern is the only college in Iowa to offer an online path to this endorsement (formally Endorsement 100); students can complete the student teaching requirement in their own classrooms.

(Ranked #6 in  Top 30 Online Early Childhood Education Master's Programs in the nation)

Our Early Childhood M.Ed. + Birth Through Grade Three Inclusive Setting endorsement program is aligned with the outcomes and competencies required by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners. As required by the BOEE, you will participate in field experiences and student teaching, some of which may take place in your own classroom.
It's more than a lane change.

100% online. 8-week courses. Go at your pace.

Earning a graduate degree doesn't have to cost you time away from your other responsibilities. Northwestern College's online Masters in Early Childhood Education means you can log into class each week to complete your coursework, whenever it's most convenient for you.

Take one online 8-week class at a time, completing two classes each semester, and you'll finish your M.Ed. in just over 2 years and be eligible for financial aid. 

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Scholarship

Educators pursuing a Birth Through Grade Three Inclusive Setting endorsement may be eligible for a T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Scholarship. For information or to apply, visit the  T.E.A.C.H. website.

Program Requirements


Core (18 credits):
EDU 555 - Trends and Issues in 21st Century Education (3 credits)
(3 credits) Teachers and schools must continually examine current practices in PreK-12 education in search of better solutions to increase student achievement and to thoroughly prepare children for the world in which they will live and work. In this course students will study current social, political and academic trends and issues affecting children, teachers and schools. Students will define their personal positions based on facts and experience, and will collaborate with others to advocate for solutions that improve education for PreK-12 grade students. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.
EDU 560 - Curriculum and Assessment for Student Learning (3 credits)
3 credits) Through a process of discussion, reflection, reading, discovery and practice, this course will lead students to a more comprehensive understanding of how curriculum and assessment are interrelated. Students will delve into timely issues associated with curriculum and assessment affecting schools. Upon completion, students will be prepared to develop aligned curriculum and assessment that takes into consideration local, state and national standards, best practices and students' diverse needs. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.
EDU 570 - Teaching and Learning with Technology (3 credits)
(3 credits) Technology integration in the K-12 setting can enhance learning, improve motivation and engagement, increase accessibility, individualize instruction, differentiate assessment and improve communication with parents and stakeholders. In this course students will broaden their understanding of the technology available to them in the PreK-12 classroom and improve their ability to leverage specific technology to improve teaching and learning. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.
EDU 610 - Educational Research Methods and Design (3 credits)
(3 credits) This course will provide an overview of research methodology employed for studies in the field of education. Topics include basic research methodology, interpretation of findings, and application of research in educational settings. Students will develop their ability to critically evaluate educational research and to judiciously apply findings in their professional settings. By the conclusion of the course students will be able to identify a potential topic for future research and outline the basic methodology needed to conduct the study. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.
EDU 635 - Master’s in Education Capstone (3 credits)
(3 credits) In this course students will apply the cumulative knowledge and skills learned in their master's program. The research focus may be related to student learning, teacher effectiveness, school quality, school policy, or other area by approval. The project will be proposed, approved, designed, and implemented prior to the student's graduation with a master's degree in education from Northwestern College. Students who do not have a finished capstone approved by the M.Ed. Director at the conclusion of EDU635 will repeat the course for credit. Prerequisite: EDU610. Note: Graded on a pass/no pass basis.
EDU 540 - Teaching Young Children with Diverse Needs (3 credits)
(3 credits) Students will learn to design curriculum, instruction and assessment specific to the needs of diverse children ages 0 through 8. Create safe and nurturing classroom environments that are developmentally appropriate and respect diversity. Collaborate with stakeholders to meet the needs of young children. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.

Early Childhood Emphasis + Endorsement (22 credits):

EDU 505 - Collaboration and Advocacy in the Early Childhood Community (3 credits)
(3 credits) Examine characteristics of the diverse cultures and structures prevalent in American families, and how those factors influence children's growth and development. This course emphasizes strategies to improve collaboration with families, schools and community partners to improve students' success outcomes. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.
EDU 525 - Advanced Child Development (3 credits)
(3 credits) Intensive study of typical and atypical development of children from birth through age eight. This course will immerse you in research that will improve your ability to facilitate the cognitive, emotional, physical and social development of young children with diverse abilities and needs. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.
EDU 530 - Leadership of Early Childhood Programs (3 credits)
(3 credits) Thorough examination of roles, responsibilities and characteristics of effective leaders of early childhood programs with a focus on personal growth in leadership and communication. Emphasis on identifying areas of strength and need in programs and staffing to create opportunities for improvement. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.
EDU 535 - Strategies for Early Literacy Development (3 credits)
(3 credits) Examine widely accepted theories of language, reading and writing development in young children. Use research and assessment data to identify curricula and instructional strategies most suited to the diverse needs of young children. Examine research and develop strategies to leverage play in providing successful literacy instructional experiences. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.
EDU 546 - Behavioral and Social Interaction of Early Learners (3 credits)
Students will understand applied behavior analysis and the importance it plays in early childhood education for both typically developing children and those with special needs. The student will acquire tools that they need to positively impact the lives of young children especially focusing on implementing effective techniques for changing behavior, strategies for every day challenges both in the classroom and at home and collaborate with parents and caretakers. (3 credits)
EDU 575 - Science and Math in Early Childhood: A STEM Approach (3 credits)
3 credits) Integrate science and math instruction throughout the early grades curriculum, with a focus on activating children's innate curiosity, modeling habits of the mind, and fostering students' belief in their ability to learn. Focus on curriculum, instruction and assessment that are developmentally appropriate for young children. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.
EDU 580 - Student Teaching ECIS (4 credits)
(4-8 credits) ECIS candidates will complete a supervised student teaching experience in an integrated setting. This practicum endorses the student teacher to become a teacher in an integrated setting for children from birth to third grade by preparing the student to schedule, evaluate, collaborate, write IEPs and IFSPs, and to develop strategies to address special needs of children. This is a four-week experience. Note: Graded on a pass/no pass basis. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.

Total Credits: 40 credit hours


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Passion for Education

Rebecca is a K-12 literacy coach who loves the challenge of instructional coaching and learning new literacy strategies that support her students and other teachers. Through her M.Ed. program, she has gained not only educational resources, but a deepened passion for education.

Rebecca's story

With an online M.Ed. + endorsement program, Brandie was able to earn the credential she needed along with a master’s degree. What she didn’t realize was just how impactful the program would be on her teaching and life.

Brandie's story

Levi Letsche, M.Ed. Educational Administration Northwestern College, Teacher of the Year Finalist

Top Teacher

As one of five finalists for Iowa's 2023 Teacher of the Year, Levi has been recognized for his teaching excellence. As an instructional coach, he is striving to help others learn how to live a life of excellence—and succeeding. His M.Ed. in Educational Administration has equipped him to use his influence in new leadership roles.

Levi's story