The Early Childhood Education concentration in DePaul's Ed.D program recognizes the current shortage of highly trained early childhood professionals for colleges and universities at the national level. The program focuses not only on analyzing theory and practice in early childhood education today, but also on the policy issues influencing the field of early childhood education.
All the coursework in this program is designed based on best practice guidelines from a variety of leading national early childhood education professional and research organizations, such as National Association of Education of Young Children, Council for Exceptional Children and Zero to three. The program is rooted in applied child development as well as curricular theory that embraces the notion of learner self-efficacy, inquiry-based curricula, and partnerships with families.
Recognizing the need for hands-on training in research and higher academic teaching, part of the focus of this program is on mentoring doctoral candidates in acquiring these skills through two research and teaching internships prior to their dissertation work. The program is designed to prepare early childhood professionals who might come from a variety of backgrounds such as teachers, leaders or administrators, professionals working in the early childhood or related fields, or instructors at the college level.
In order to obtain the Educational Doctorate degree with an Early Childhood Education concentration, students must complete 88 credit hours (80 credit hours of coursework and 8 credit hours of dissertation research, doctoral dissertation and oral defense.) All students in this program take common core courses required by the Ed.D program. In addition, students take 7 seminars in Early Childhood Education, including one research and one teaching internships.