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Online MAT in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education

The online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education (IECE) is an alternative certification program designed to prepare career-changing professionals and those with a bachelor’s in a field other than education to work as an early childhood educator.

UofL’s MAT in IECE provides a path to the teaching certification for individuals who do not hold a bachelor’s degree in education. It develops your understanding and awareness of the latest and most effective pedagogy methods and prepares you to teach diverse groups of learners and address their unique needs. The flexibility of online coursework combined with alternative certification pathways will allow you to get a jump start on the next phase of your career. Completion of this Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education program leads to a master’s in teaching and a teacher certification.

The MAT in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education is offered by the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) at the University of Louisville.

How Much Will I Pay?

Tuition & Aid    

Highlights

  • Gain the credentials you need to become a teacher – no matter your background or bachelor’s.
  • Develop the skills to effectively work with learners from all backgrounds, address their unique learning needs and make education accessible.
  • Learn how to construct and adapt instructional methods and curricula for your classroom to help students engage in critical thinking and lifelong learning.
  • Experience a thoughtfully designed curriculum, emphasizing children's physical development, mental growth and socialization skills.
  • Take advantage of the flexibility and convenience of 100% online classes and 24/7 access to learning tools.
  • Learn from world-class CEHD faculty, who have extensive experience as teachers and educators.

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What is an alternative certification program?

If teaching is your calling, the MAT offers you a path to become a teacher, regardless of your background or bachelor’s degree. The alternative certification program within the MAT enables you to immediately seek full-time employment as an early childhood educator in the state of Kentucky. While you have to complete the MAT program to receive your master’s degree and your initial teaching certification, once admitted as an alt. cert. student, you will be granted a temporary, provisional certification allowing you to get started on your new career right away!

100% ONLINE COURSES

Become an educator on your own time through fully online classes.

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30-36 CREDIT HOURS

Earn your master’s degree and teacher certification in just 30 or 36 credit hours (depending on your curriculum plan).

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$593 PER CREDIT HOUR

The College of Education and Human Development gives back to teachers with a 25% tuition reduction.

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Online learning video - Online MAT in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education - A

"This program is designed to prepare people for the classroom who have no previous experience, but it is also a great fit for someone who does have classroom experience and lacks their initial certification. The MAT curriculum is designed to prepare you to be an early childhood educator—no matter where you’re starting from."


Betty Doyle, M.Ed.
Program Director

What will I learn as a MAT in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education student?

The expertise you’ll develop as a student in the MAT in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education (IECE) program will prepare you to become an early childhood educator—regardless of your undergraduate background. Specific expertise gained from the program will include:

  • Research-based approaches to planning and implementing developmentally appropriate classroom activities, lessons, and materials that develop literacy, mathematics, science, and social studies learning in young children birth through age five.
  • An exploration of curricular approaches and teaching strategies appropriate for inclusive early childhood classroom.
  • How to supporting families in providing interventions to infants and toddlers, working with families of preschoolers, and collaborating with other professionals and paraprofessionals.

What is the job outlook for someone with a MAT in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education?

UofL’s online MAT in IECE leads to a master's in teaching and a teacher certification, and enables graduates to earn their Birth – Age 5 Kentucky teaching certification. Jobs that graduates may pursue include:

  • Kindergarten Teacher
  • Preschool Teacher
  • Early Childhood Special Educator
  • Developmental Interventionist
  • Infant-Toddler Teacher
  • Early Childhood Parent Educator
  • Special Educator for IEPs/IFSPs
  • Home-based Early Childhood Teacher
  • Itinerant Early Childhood Teacher
  • Nursery School Teacher
 

The 2019-2029 occupational outlook for kindergarten teachers is expected to grow 4% nationwide, which is as fast as the average national occupation growth rate and have a median annual salary of $60,660 (bls.gov).

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Application Deadline Term Start Date
October 15 Spring January
May 1 Summer May

Applicants who wish to enroll in the Alternative Certification program can start in the Summer Term. MAT Alternative Certification applicants must obtain full-time employment before the fall semester, teaching students in an early childhood classroom.

Steps to Apply

  1. Complete graduate application*
  2. $65 non-refundable application fee
  3. Submit official college transcripts from all previous institutions
  4. Submit current resume
  5. Submit 3 letters of recommendation
  6. Submit the signed Professional Code of Ethics and CEHD Technology Agreement form [PDF] and upload to your online application
  7. Submit a professional statement with your online application
  8. Complete a virtual interview with the program director
  9. Check for scholarships (optional)

*Should you encounter any issues while completing the application form, please contact Betty Hampton, Director of Graduate Student Services, at 502.852.0411 or betty.hampton@louisville.edu.

Note: Electronic transcripts are only accepted directly from the institution(s). Please have electronic transcripts sent to gradadm@louisville.edu.

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Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in any field from an accredited institution
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75, on a 4.0 scale
  • Minimum grade of C or higher in ENGL 102 (or equivalent) and oral communication courses
  • Personal essays uploaded with your application – each essay should be double-spaced (Times New Roman 12 point font) and no more than 3 pages
    • Essay #1
      • In what ways has your cultural heritage and background influenced the way you learn, and impacted your interactions with others who come from a different cultural background? Describe an example of an injustice or inequity that you witnessed, experienced, or became aware of, and your response at that time. Then, explain how you would respond if it occurred again. Finally, explain how you would support respect for diversity in your future classroom, and how you would demonstrate a commitment to social justice and equity.
    • Essay #2
      • In thinking about the characteristics of an effective teacher, name one characteristic as your greatest strength and explain why this characteristic is important to effective teaching. Name one or two characteristic(s) you need to develop to become an effective teacher, and your plan for improvement.
      • Please note that we already assume you “love kids” and “have patience.” Your answers should be based on careful reflection and may include such dispositional qualities as: initiative, flexibility, intellectual curiosity, creativity, preparation/organization, responsibility, reflection, collaboration, dedication, and/or dependability.

Out-of-State Applicants

Out-of-state certified teachers should be advised that we cannot guarantee that our program will meet licensure, salary, advancement or other requirements in their state. As part of the admission process, we will require a written statement confirming their interest in the program for personal development and that they understand the program is designed to meet Kentucky certification requirements only. For more information, please contact our academic advisor at betty.hampton@louisville.edu.

UofL’s online MAT in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education is available as both an alternative certificate and traditional degree. The traditional degree does not grant you the provisional certificate required to begin teaching immediately.

Alternative Certification Course Chart

Ideal for those who want to begin their work as a teacher immediately, the alternative certification is a 30-credit hour program that will grant you with a temporary, provisional certification. Students must complete two prerequisite courses (EDSP 536 and EDSP 527) prior to beginning the program or within their first semester.

Course List Hours
EDSP 533 Inlusive Early Childhood Curriculum 3
EDSP 537 Infant/Toddler Instruction Care 3
EDSP 600 Creativity and the Young Child 3
EDSP 657 Guidance for Young Children 3
EDTP 627 Practicum for Alternative Certification 1.5
EDTP 627 Practicum for Alternative Certification 1.5
EDSP 632 Universal Design for Learning Using Technology 3
Mid-Point Assessment: Completion of all courses listed above with 3.0 cumulative GPA and no grade lower than C in each course; satisfactory dispositions assessment; satisfactory performance on all Hallmark Assessment Tasks; Target performance or better on all rubrics.
EDSP 515 Communication and Socialization in Early Childhood 3
EDSP 583 Early Childhood Special Education Education Assessment 3
EDSP 584 Families and Collaboration in IECE 3
EDTP 678 Supporting the Second Year Alternative Certification Teacher I 1.5
EDTP 679 Supporting the Second Year Alternative Certification Teacher II 1.5
Minimum Required Credit Hours 30

* Advisor approval needed.

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  • Traditional Pathway Course Chart

    UofL’s online MAT in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education is a 36-credit hour program, including two 1-credit hour field experiences and 6 hours of student teaching in your local community.

    Course List Hours
    EDSP 515 Communication and Socialization in Early Childhood 3
    EDSP 533 Inclusive Early Childhood Curriculum 3
    EDSP 534 Inclusive Early Childhood Curriculum: Field Experience 1
    EDSP 536 Theories of Play 3
    EDSP 537 Infant/Toddler Instruction and Care 3
    EDSP 583 Early Childhood Special Education Assessment 3
    EDSP 584 Families and Collaboration in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education 3
    EDTP 585 Families and Collaboration in IECE: Field Experience 1
    EDSP 600 Creativity and the Young Child 3
    EDSP 656 Guidance for Young Children Field Experience 1
    EDSP 657 Guidance for Young Children 3
    600 level course elective approved by advisor 3
    Mid-Point Assessment: Completion of all courses listed above with 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher; satisfactory dispositions assessment; electronic documentation of 200 hours of diverse and approved field experiences; satisfactory performance on all Hallmark Assessment Tasks; Target or better performance on all rubrics.
    EDSP 614 Student Teaching: Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education 3
    EDTP 615 Student Teaching: Elementary School 3
    Exit Assessment: Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (with at least a 2.0 in Student Teaching); No more than a total of 2 “C’s” in course work; satisfactory performance on all Hallmark Assessment Tasks; Target or better performance on all rubrics.
    Minimum Required Credit Hours 36

Course Descriptions


    • Can I teach elementary school with this degree?

      No, graduates of the MAT in IECE program are qualified to work with children from birth to entry into the primary program, as well as their families. Out-of-state certified teachers should also note that we cannot guarantee that our program will meet licensure, salary, advancement or other requirements in their home state, and are encouraged to review our Application tab for more information.

    • Where can I find state licensure information?
    • Which term should I apply for?

      Applicants who wish to enroll in the Alternative Certification program can start in the Summer Term. MAT Alternative Certification applicants must obtain full-time employment teaching students in an early childhood classroom before the fall semester. If you have questions, we recommend speaking to someone within the department. You can contact our academic advisor at betty.hampton@louisville.edu.

    • Can I start teaching with this degree?

      If you pursue the alternative certification pathway within the MAT, you would be able to immediately seek full-time employment as an early childhood educator in the state of Kentucky (requirements for other states may vary). While you must complete the MAT program to receive your master’s degree and your initial teaching certification, once admitted as an alternative certification student, you will be granted a temporary, provisional certification allowing you to get started on your new career right away!

    • Is financial aid available for this program?

      Yes, there is financial aid available for this program. You can learn more by visiting our Financial Aid tab on the Tuition page.