Early Childhood Education

Education and Professional Studies Building, Room 329

The Early Childhood Education (ECE) Department is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

The programs in early childhood education are designed to deepen the understanding and perfect the skills of teacher candidates who plan to work with children from birth through eight years of age in a variety of child-development and school settings. Emphasis is placed on current theory and research in child development and application to early childhood education practice.

All undergraduate early childhood teacher candidates must complete one of the following baccalaureate programs offered by the William J. Maxwell College of Arts and Sciences: Art, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, English, Geoscience/Geography, History, Mathematics, Media Arts, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Spanish, and Women's and Gender Studies.


  • A minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0.
  • A minimum of B- or better on all education courses
  • Passing scores on all three sections of the Praxis CORE, or 560 verbal, 540 Math on the SAT, or 23 or higher on the ACT, or 155 verbal, 156 quantitative on the GRE.

Passing scores on the Praxis CORE Academic Skills for Educators Tests, as of 9/1/19:

  • Math Test #5733         Passing Score 150
  • Reading Test #5713    Passing Score 156
  • Writing Test #5723     Passing Score 162

Students who meet the score levels below are not required to take the Praxis CORE:

SAT Scores

  • If taken before 4/1/1995: Math 520, Reading 480
  • If taken between 4/1/1995 to 2/28/2016: Math 540, Reading 560
  • If taken on or after 3/1/2016: Math 570, 610 Evidence-Based Reading and Writing or 30 Reading Section

ACT Scores

  • If taken before 8/28/1989: Math 23, English 20
  • If taken on or after 8/28/1989: Math 23, English 23

GRE Scores

  • If taken before 8/1/2011: Quantitative 720, Verbal 530
  • If taken on or after 8/1/2011: Quantitative 156, Verbal 155

For more information on Praxis exams:  https://www.ets.org/praxis/nj/requirements

For the most updated information on this teaching certification program, students are directed to contact the Department Chairperson, Dr. Sai Jambunathan (sjambunathan@njcu.edu) as changes may have occurred since publication.

Saigeetha Jambunathan, Chairperson
Professor of Early Childhood Education
University of Madras, B.S., M.S.; Oklahoma State University, Ph.D.

Jale Aldemir
Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education
Inonu University, Malatya, Turkey, B.S.; Pennsylvania State University, M.Ed., Ph.D.

Basanti Chakraborty
Professor of Early Childhood Education
Utkal University, B.S., B.Ed., M.Ed., Ph.D

Muriel Rand 
Professor of Early Childhood Education
Bucknell University, B.A.; Rutgers University, M.S.W. M.Ed., Ed.D.

Various discipline-specific concentrations that will prepare students for multiple fields of employment or areas of additional undergraduate/graduate study are noted below. Course requirements for each concentration are explained in detail. The requirements for graduation, in addition to completion of the major area, are listed on "Undergraduate Degree Requirements."

Early Childhood Education (ECE)

ECE 1XX Early Childhood Education Transfer Credit (0 Credits)

ECE 2XX Early Childhood Education Transfer Credit (0 Credits)

ECE 200 Introduction to Early Childhood Education (3 Credits)

This course has as its focus the social, historical, political, legal, and philosophical constructs that impact upon young children, families and communities. Candidates examine the role of the community and family in the developmental process and education of the young children (birth through eight years) through field visits to community-based early childhood programs. Linkages are established with community resources. Candidates develop a personal philosophy of education and code of professional ethical conduct.

Pre-Requisite(s): 3.00 CGPA

ECE 210 Young Children's Development Behavior & Learning (3 Credits)

This courses emphasizes the practical applications of the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional and physical factors that affect learning, development, and behavior in children from birth through age 8. Candidates will examine the value of play as a mode of lerarning in the young child and apply the integration of play in early childhood practice. Candidates will interpret, develop and apply assessment that is multidimensional, ongoing and performance-based. Reflection on knowledge of theories and research in human growth to make instructional choices is emphasized.

Pre-requisite: 3.00 CGPA

ECE 212 Human Development: Prenatal through Adolescence (3 Credits)

Students will learn about development from the prenatal period through adolescence. The course will highlight developmental theories and current perspectives as they relate to social-emotional, cognitive, physical, and normal development and a variety of factors influencing development and learning.

ECE 215 Introductory Field Work 1 (1 Credit)

This course is the field work component for ECE 200 and provides an introduction to working with young children for students seeking P-3 (Preschool through 3rd Grade) certification. Students will work for 75 hours over the course of the semester in various types of placements serving this early childhood population.

Pre-Requisite(s): GPA 3.00

ECE 220 Introductory Field Work II (1 Credit)

This course is the field work component for ECE 210 and provides an opportunity for students to focus on the behavior, development, and learning of children, birth through age 8. In addition, it provides a laboratory for students to interpret, develop, and apply assessment to specific children with an early childhood setting.

Pre-Requisite(s): 2.75 GPA equal to or greater

ECE 225 Professional Dispositions in Urban Early Childhood Education (1 Credit)

This course introduces students to dispositions expected of all early childhood educational professionals. Topics include personal characteristics and habits of individuals working with young children, ethics in ECE, professional networking, and commitment to and advocacy for urban children and families. The course is taken prior to the fourth phase of the ECE program.

Pre-Requisite(s): GPA 3.00

ECE 300 Early Primary Curriculum grades 1-3: Methods of Content Delivery (3 Credits)

Strengthening teacher candidates' understanding of content knowledge and proficiency in methods of instruction to children in grades 1-3. This course provides tools necessary for becoming a reflective early childhood practitioner in urban and inclusive environment. Reflection on developmentally appropriate methods of teaching in all types of learning environment is emphasized.

Pre-Requisite(s): 3.00 GPA equal to or greater and Passing Scores on the Praxis Tests (Core Academic Skills in Reading, Writing and Mathematics)

ECE 305 Math, Science and Technology in Early Childhood Education (2 Credits)

This course is a study of theory into practice, research-based teaching practices, methods, modifications and strategies in mathematics, science and technology. Emphasis is placed on the development and implementation of developmentally appropriate practice and instructional materials in urban and inclusive environments.

Pre-Requisite(s): Phase I, Phase II, and CGPA 3.00 or Higher

ECE 310 Social and Emotional Development: Infant Mental Health for Practitioners (3 Credits)

The course will explore social/emotional development for infants and toddlers. Focus will be on brain development and/other relevant development theories and how social-emotional development occurs and is supported. Particular attention will be paid to the importance of adult-child interaction and the use of developmentally appropriate practice in this process.

Pre-Requisite(s): PSYC 150 and ECE 200

ECE 315 Infants and Toddlers: Curriculum and Programs (3 Credits)

In this course students will learn about developmentally appropriate curriculum, materials, guidance and teaching practices that can be used in infants and toddlers settings. This course will emphasize the interrelationship of emotional, social, cognitive, physical, and language development of infants and toddlers and the importance of family involvement.

Pre-Requisite(s): ECE 200, 210 and 225

ECE 325 Supervised Field Work in Infant and Toddler Settings (3 Credits)

This field experience focuses on quality interaction in infant/toddler settings. This experience emphasizes the planning, implementation and developmentally appropriate care and education of infants and toddlers in group settings.

Pre-Requisite(s): ECE 310 Social and Emotional Development: Infant Mental Health for Practitioners.

ECE 331 ECE Clinical Practice I (2 Credits)

This field experience is designed to increase the teacher candidate’s ability to glean information relevant to instruction directly from student work, to prepare lesson plans for all types of students, to assess students’ strengths, and to relate classroom practice to student outcomes in early childhood/elementary/inclusive settings.

Pre-requisite: 3.00 CGPA, Department Consent, and Passing Scores on the Praxis Tests (Core Academic Skills in Reading, Writing and Mathematics)

ECE 350 Early Childhood Integrated Curriculum (3 Credits)

In this course students design integrated, developmentally appropriate curriculum for children in early childhood/inclusion settings. The student is guided by a model that promotes the physical, social, emotional and cognitive development of young children by providing opportunities to construct knowledge through active interaction with their physical and social environments.

Pre-Requisite(s): 3.00 CGPA and Passing Scores on the Praxis Tests (Core Academic Skills in Reading, Writing and Mathematics)

ECE 351 Early Childhood Inquiry Curriculum Workshop (4 Credits)

Offered Spring Semester Only This course stresses the integration of concepts, process and relationships in the areas of math, science and social studies. Course work emphasizes hands-on, concrete and relevant experiences to help children develop an understanding of the physical world and develop skills of inquiry, such as interpreting, reasoning, and problem-solving skills. Assignments, class discussions, activities and lectures are designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of the education candidate and to produce reflective urban practitioners. Special attention is devoted to the delivery of developmentally appropriate teaching and evaluation strategies. Students gain a practical hands-on experience in using current computer technology in the classroom.

Pre-Requisite(s): 3.00 CGPA

ECE 352 Early Childhood Creative Curriculum Workshop (2 Credits)

Offered Spring Semester Only This course explores the creative process as it relates to music, movement and art curriculum for children. Knowing about the nature of the children's art, children's musical abilities, movement possibilities and aesthetics, provides the student systematic ways to maximize creative expression, responsible freedom, decision making, and discovery for children. The arts also provide opportunities for children to develop cross cultural understanding. Students gain a practical hands-on experience in using current computer technology in the classroom.

Pre-Requisite(s): 3.00 CGPA

ECE 400 Classroom Management, Classroom Behavior and Positive Behavior Supports (3 Credits)

This course is an introduction to Pre K-3 classroom management techniques and behavior management. Topics include: physical space, procedures, rules, positive behavior support, technology, special conditions, and interventions.

Pre-Requisite(s): Phase I, II, and III

Co-Requisite(s): Internship, Internship Seminar in Phase IV and 3.00 CGPA

ECE 460 Working with Families of Young Children (3 Credits)

This course examines the contemporary families with young children and helps the student to develop the skills needed to create positive working relationships and to promote the social, emotional, and academic growth of children. Diversity (cultural, racial, economic, religious, special needs and family structure) is addressed throughout the course.

Pre-Requisite(s): 3.00 CGPA and Passing Scores on the Praxis Tests (Core Academic Skills in Reading, Writing and Mathematics)

ECE 470 ECE SPEC Clinical Practice II (8 Credits)

Teacher candidates experience a semester internship assigned to a local early childhood special education setting under the supervision of a cooperating teacher and university supervisor. The candidate assumes full responsibility of the classroom, including planning and assessment of student learning, implementing appropriate instructional strategies and conferencing with parents and interdisciplinary teams.

Pre-Requisite(s): Completion of Phase III, 3.0 CGPA, Passing Score of ECE Praxis Content Knowledge Test.

ECE 475 Reflecting on Knowledge & Practice (3 Credits)

This seminar will help candidates reflect on and improve three dimensions of their teaching: Planning, Instruction, and Assessment. Teacher candidates will develop a portfolio with lesson plans, artifacts from their teaching experience, supporting audio-visual examples of their instruction, and comprehensive well-written commentaries.

Pre-Requisite(s): 3.00 CGPA and Passing Scores on the Praxis Tests (Core Academic Skills in Reading, Writing and Mathematics)and Co-Requisite: ECE 400, ECE 470, or ECE 1480.

Co-Requisite: ECE 400, ECE 470, or ECE 1480.

ECE 500 Early Childhood Classroom Management (1 Credit)

This course addresses classroom management in settings that serve children from birth through third grade. Using the Reflective Urban Practitioner Model, the course content covers establishing a positive social climate, designing appropriate physical environments, establishing classroom rules and routines, and discussing techniques for handling challenging behaviors. As candidates explore the elements of classroom management, they reflect on what they also learned about classroom management in their previous field experiences.

UG Pre-Requisite(s): 3.00 CGPA and Passing Scores on the Praxis Tests (Core Academic Skills in Reading, Writing and Mathematics)

ECE 1450 Classroom Management Early Childhood Education (1 Credit)

Pre-Requisite(s): 3.00 CGPA

ECE 1470 Internship Seminar-Early Childhood Education (2 Credits)

Pre-Requisite(s): 3.00 CGPA

ECE 1480 ECE Clinical Practice II (8 Credits)

As a course in the undergraduate early childhood program, ECE 1480 is part of the process of developing an educator who is a reflective practitioner in an urban environment. Candidates experience a field-based, full-time, full-semester internship assigned to local early childhood settings.

Pre-Requisite(s): 3.00 CGPA, Department Consent, and Passing Scores on the Praxis Tests (Core Academic Skills in Reading, Writing and Mathematics)