Teachers of young children must be proficient in research-based best practices that support quality teaching and learning. Fairleigh Dickinson University’s School of Education (SOE) offers a preparation program leading to New Jersey certification in Early Childhood (P-3) that requires 24 credits for certification and another twelve (12) credits to complete the M. A. T. degree for a total of 36 credits.

Candidates for New Jersey Certification and/or the Master of Arts in Teaching are responsible for obtaining academic advising, following the approved plan of courses, and maintaining good academic standing per the School of Education and Fairleigh Dickinson University policies.

Degree Plan

Required courses for Certification

  • EDUC6818  Language Development and Literacy I
  • EDUC6824  Teaching Laboratory and Field Experience I
  • EDUC6828  Teaching Laboratory and Field Experience II
  • EDUC6851  Child Development from Birth to Age Eight
  • EDUC6852  Curriculum Development and Assessment for the Preschool to 3rd Grade Classroom
  • EDUC6853  Family and Community in Education
  • EDUC6583  Advanced Clinical Practice
  • EDUC6575  Apprenticeship Teaching
  • EDUC6825  Apprenticeship Teaching Seminar

Additional courses to complete MAT degree

  • EDUC6584   Computers as a Teacher’s Aid                                                      
  • EDUC6820   Problem-based Strategies in Elementary Mathematics            
  • EDUC7812   Final Project: Applied Research                                        
  • EDUC6740   Introduction to Students with Disabilities and Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Career Outcomes

New Jersey now has Early Childhood Expansion Districts with a push to license Early Childhood Centers and to increase the number and quality of preschool programs within public school districts. 

Our program supports the NJ DOE’s Focus for Early Childhood (P-3) by training our candidates to:

  • Provide leadership, resources and professional learning opportunities that support high-quality early childhood and early elementary learning programs.
  • Provide guidance and capacity-building for meaningful family engagement in the developmental and learning support for children from birth through third grade.

Course Descriptions

  • EDUC6575 This full-semester teaching experience is offered in the spring or fall following completion of field experiences and prescribed courses. This experience exposes the preservice teacher to the functions of teaching under the mentorship of a cooperating teacher and clinical supervision of a School of Education faculty member. The responsibilities of the student teacher increase during the apprenticeship until she/he is conducting the class with full teaching responsibilities.

  • EDUC6583 Guided observation and clinical experience of 125 hours in an educational setting. Program assessment and design. Supervised practical experiences in classroom, increasing in intensity and duration. Orientation to the certification-required portfolio to be submitted at the completion of student teaching and required videotaping of classroom experiences. Intense preparation and analysis of acceptable lesson planning, instruction and engagement of students and assessment of student learning.

  • EDUC6584 This course will focus on how technology can be used in the classroom to address the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards. Students will learn how to use applications such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel to support classroom instruction. The Internet will be explored as a tool. Students will explore how instructional technology can be integrated into classroom curriculum to support state and national standards.

  • EDUC6740 Introduction to the student with disabilities and autistic spectrum disorders. Overview of normal growth and development as a basis to identify developmental delays and learning differences. Characteristics of different disabilities and their effects on how children learn. Review of federal, state and local regulations and their effects on local policies, procedures and placement. Transition planning, resources and assistive technology to enhance the performance of students with disabilities and autistic spectrum disorders.

  • EDUC6818 Recent research and findings in language development and literacy and its application in elementary education will be the focus of this course. Literacy skills in reading and language arts across grade levels for students with varying abilities and cultural and linguistic backgrounds will be included.

  • EDUC6820 This course introduces recent research in critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, problem solving, and interdisciplinary problem-based strategies as they apply to mathematics and their application across all elementary subjects. Emphasis is placed on standards-based mathematics curriculum development and instruction in elementary classroom aligned with the NCIM and NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards, highlighting national and statewide efforts to reshape mathematics content, instruction and assessment. Additional emphasis is placed on the central role of mathematics in science instruction and integrating appropriate use of calculators, computers and other technologies as learning tools that are routinely used in instruction and assessment.

  • EDUC6824 Guided observation and clinical analysis in an education setting. Program assessment and design. Supervised practical experiences in the classroom, increasing in intensity and duration.

  • EDUC6825 Seminar will provide an opportunity to review current theories and practices in education as they directly relate to the students' teaching experiences. This course is taken as a corequisite with EDUC 6575 Apprentice Teaching.

  • EDUC6828 Guided observation and clinical analysis in an educational setting. Program assessment and design. Supervised practical experiences in the classroom, increasing in intensity and duration.

  • EDUC6851 This course is designed to foster the understanding of the development and learning of children birth through age eight. It examines the current information concerning the development of the child through the various stages of childhood. Educators will gain knowledge base on the growth, development and learning of children ages birth through eight years old. We will explore the crucial role that communities, families and teachers play in the lives of young children. Students will engage in observations of children at various ages to gain a deeper knowledge of the integration of theory of child development into practice.

  • EDUC6852 This course examines the current literature on developmentally appropriate curriculum, classroom management and assessment for the Pre K through 3rd grade classrooms.

  • EDUC6853 This course examines the current research on parent, school and community influences on children's lives. It addresses effective family engagement activities in classrooms, schools and community. Educators will gain more knowledge and skills to work collaboratively to work with families. Contemporary issues of bullying, diverse family lifestyles, social media and children with differing abilities will be explored.

  • EDUC7812 The fundamentals of educational research and the link between theory and practice are explored. Students develop a research proposal that is specific to their needs and interests as practitioners. This course explores the fundamentals of educational research, its value and the links between educational research and practice. Students will conduct a survey of the literature on a selected topic and use higher order thinking skills to develop a research question or series of questions and research proposal.