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Master of Arts in Teaching:  Early Childhood Education 

Graduate Program Advisor: Christine Ferguson, 803/323-2595

Please note: we are not currently accepting applications for Spring 2013 admission. 

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Early Childhood Education is designed to prepare individuals who are seeking initial certification in grades PreK-3. This program admits students only one time a year, August 1. All students must follow the sequence in a cohort manner. It is a full-time, 4 term program beginning each spring term (January). MAT in Early Childhood Education students graduate the following spring (May). It should be noted that because the MAT in ECED is a cohort model, courses are strictly sequenced and offered only one term a year. 

Click here to read Initial Teacher Preparation Unit Standards Framework

Admission Requirements

Deadline: August 1 for Spring admission. (We strongly suggest applying well before the August 1 deadline).

Graduate candidates must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. Graduate candidates who do not meet all undergraduate pre-requisite requirements will be required to complete additional course work prior to being admitted to the Master of Arts in Teaching in Early Childhood Education Program.

For admission to the graduate program, the applicant must meet the general requirements for admission to graduate study at Winthrop University as well as:

1. Submit all academic transcripts from previous higher education institutions attended. An undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 or above on a 4.0 scale is preferred.
2. Submit an official standardized test score. Applicants may take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Miller’s Analogy Test (MAT). Preferred test scores for the GRE are 146 on the Verbal Reasoning section and 140 on the Quantitative Reasoning section (post-August 2011 exam) or a 400 verbal and 400 quantitative (pre-August 2011 exam). A preferred score for the MAT is 392. While test scores are required, an admission decision is based on a complete evaluation of all available credentials, including transcripts and the writing sample. (Applicants who have already taken other graduate level tests may submit those scores for consideration in lieu of the GRE or MAT scores. Preferred scores for admission will be 21 verbal and 27 quantitative on the GMAT, and 144 on the LSAT.
3. Satisfactory completion of a writing sample as prescribed by the MAT program director.
4. Pre-requisite courses listed below are required for students who are entering the MAT in ECED:

  • 6 hours of English composition, grammar, literature (i.e., writing or English composition, and English literature)
  • 6 hours of math for classroom teachers (to include: basic number concepts, measurement, and geometry concepts for teachers: ex. MATH 291 & MATH 292) or the equivalent.
  • 7 hours in Natural Science, at least two of the following sciences must be represented: biological, physical, or earth science. At least one course must involve a laboratory experience (i.e., biology, physics, physical science, geology, oceanography, astronomy)
  • 6 hours in two areas in the Humanities and Arts (i.e., art, music, English literature, Drama)
  • 6 hours in Social Science (i.e., anthropology, sociology, political science, economics, geography)
  • 3 hours in U.S. History or Government (i.e., history, political science)

Required Program

Course Title (Semester Hours)
EDUC 600 Teaching in a Democracy (3)
EDUC 604 Educational Psychology and Assessment (3)
EDUC 602 Technology for the 21st Century Classroom (2)
EDUC 690 & 695 Internship and Capstone (9)

Early Childhood Core Courses
READ 510 Literature for Children (3)
READ 600 Literacy Instruction and Assessment for Early Childhood Educators (3)
EDUC 610 Effective Teaching Practices for Exceptional and Diverse Learners (3)
ECED 631 Home-School-Community Collaboration (3)
ECED 638 Creative Learning Experiences for Young Children (3)
ECED 636 Early Childhood Development and Implications for Developmentally Appropriate Practices (DAP) (3) 
ECED 640 Teaching and Assessing Mathematics in Early Childhood Education (2)
ECED 641 Teaching and Assessing Science in Early Childhood Education (2)
ECED 642 Teaching and Assessing Social Studies in Early Childhood Education (2)
ECED 643 Field Experience in Early Childhood Education (1)
PHED 603 Developmental Movement for Early Childhood (2)

Total Semester Hours  44

Admission to Teacher Education

After the first semester (11 credits), the graduate candidate will be admitted to Teacher Education if he/she meets the following criteria:

1. Achieve a cumulative 3.0 grade-point average in graduate course work;
2. Complete an application requesting formal admission to teacher education that includes an analysis of learning thus far in the MAT Program;
3. Complete a minimum of 25 hours of supervised Youth Experience with graduate candidates within the age range of the early childhood education grades (ages 4-9);
4. Submit a program of study that indicates the planned semester for MAT internship; and
5. Complete an interview with two professors resulting in a favorable admission recommendation to the Dean of Education.

ECED MAT candidates may not complete more than 18 hours of graduate coursework without full admission to Teacher Education. When criteria have been met, the graduate candidate will receive a signed certificate of formal admission. Additional requirements may be referenced in the Teacher Education Handbook and the Internship Handbook.

Student Internship

Graduate candidates must be formally admitted no later than one full semester prior to student teaching. A disclosure form regarding criminal activity or campus misconduct must be submitted with the application. Any submitted Teacher Education Professional Dispositions and Skills forms will be reviewed prior to admission. Graduate candidates must also complete an application for the semester-long internship prior to the internship. Applications are due in October for the spring internship.

Program Completion

To complete the program graduate candidates must meet the following criteria: a) successful completion of a minimum of 44 semester hours of graduate coursework, b) successful completion of all required coursework, c) maintenance of a minimum grade point average of 3.00, d) successful completion of all field experiences and internships, and e) completion of the PRAXIS II Series examination in the Early Childhood Education area passing score required.

At the end of the internship semester, a program area committee completes a competency review of each intern’s performance and recommends exit from the program. Exit criteria include the following: (a) passing scores on rubrics for final portfolio documents, midterm, and final internship evaluations, and rubrics for unit work samples; (b) satisfactory review of any Professional Dispositions and Skills forms; and (c) a minimum grade point average of 3.0.

The following signatures will be on the recommendation for exit from the program:

1. ECED faculty designee
2. Department Chair of Curriculum and Instruction
3. EDUC 695 faculty member
4. University supervisor
5. Mentor-teacher from the final internship (optional). (If there is a discrepancy, the mentor-teacher may be asked to sign the recommendation also.)

A signed recommendation for exit from the program is required in addition to items specified for program completion in the Graduate Catalog.

A passing score at the multi-structural level is required for portfolio documents and the unit work sample. 


Graduate School
211 Tillman Hall
Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA
800/411-7041 (toll free)
803/323-2292 (Fax)

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