Early Learning Specialization

Children are always learning, even when they’re playing. The Early Learning specialization will give you the tools to maximize the learning opportunities children encounter every day. Courses focus on language and literacy development, curriculum planning, and the creation of safe and healthy learning environments.

Early Learning Specialization for Undergraduate Degrees

Set the stage for a lifetime of learning. The Early Learning specialization focuses on developing supportive environments and effective curricula to help young children learn. This undergraduate specialization consists of four (4), three (3) credit courses.

Program Disclosures

Degrees Offering the Early Learning Specialization


Undergraduate Early Learning Specialization Courses

ECD 302 Safe and Healthy Learning Environments

3 Credits

In this course students will learn about creating safe and healthy learning environments. Students will explain the influence that contemporary issues have on establishing and maintaining a safe and healthy learning environment. Students will examine the roles of professionals in creating and maintaining healthy learning environments. In addition, students will apply required codes and regulations to create a safe and healthy environment for young learners. Finally, students will describe resources that support a commitment to professionalism.   Prerequisite: ECD 201

ECD 315 Curriculum Planning & Design for Early Learners

3 Credits

This course provides an examination of the essential elements of curriculum planning and design for diverse settings and learners. Students will analyze developmentally appropriate planning, teaching and assessment strategies used with a diverse childhood population. In addition, students will assess the role of educators in fostering each child’s development and joy of learning. Finally, students will create individualized objectives and design integrated standards-based lessons for a diverse childhood population. Prerequisite: ECD 310

ECD 340 Language and Literacy Development

3 Credits

This course focuses on language and literacy development in children. In this course, students will examine foundational theories, milestones and research related to the development of language and literacy in young children. Students will promote effective strategies for involving families and explain a variety of assessment tools for language and literacy development. In addition, students will develop a theoretical-based philosophy of language and literacy development and examine the influence of linguistic and cultural diversity on the development of language and literacy. Finally, students will design developmentally appropriate standards-based lessons that foster language and literacy development.  Prerequisite: ECD 335

ECD 415 Foundations of Play and Learning

3 Credits

This course focuses on play as the primary learning modality for young children. In this course, students will explain the function of play as a teaching and learning tool as well as analyze the role of play as a means of assessment. Students will evaluate the cultural and individual student factors that impact play in diverse settings. Finally, students will design appropriate play based activities and formulate a framework of play and learning for working with young children. Prerequisite: ECD 405

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