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Information Meetings Set for New Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education

ROCK HILL, S.C. - The Richard W. Riley College of Education at Winthrop University plans to launch a new master of arts in teaching in early childhood education next year. The program is scheduled to begin in January 2009 pending final approval by the South Carolina Department of Education.

The main purpose of the degree is to prepare highly qualified teachers to enter pre-kindergarten through third grade classrooms. The new degree is developed to specifically address all National Association for the Education of Young Children standards for initial certification programs. The program will be accelerated to better meet the needs of working adults, as well as career-changers who desire to achieve a teaching certificate in the most time-efficient manner.

“The new program will help to fill a void of initial certification at the graduate level for personnel desiring to teach in elementary schools,” said Sue Peck, chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. “The University routinely receives inquiries asking about an initial certification program in early childhood education or elementary and this program will have broad appeal for those who desire a new degree in education.”

The new degree offers a unique opportunity to join a cohort of peers in a carefully sequenced full-time course of study that features peer collaboration and a full year of field experience and internship in local schools.

The proposed program is expected to initially enroll 20-22 students.

The Riley College of Education will be hosting two information sessions for those interested and needing more information. The two meetings are scheduled on Tuesday, May 20 at 5:30 p.m. and Thursday, May 22 at 6:30 p.m. in the Plowden Auditorium, Withers/W.T.S. Building on the Winthrop campus on Eden Terrace Ave. Information packets will be distributed at these meetings.

For more information, contact Dr. Christine Ferguson, graduate program advisor, at 803-323-2595 or at

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