Early Childhood Development and Learning: Diverse Children and Families (MSEd)


Welcome to the Early Childhood Development and Learning: Diverse Children and Families (MSEd) program home page. Use this page as a guide to program 1 from acceptance to graduation.

The Early Childhood Development and Learning: Diverse Children and Families (MSEd) program prepares graduate candidates in support of infants, toddlers, preschoolers and primary age children (birth through Grade 2) and their families. Candidates are prepared for a variety of roles that include, but are not limited to, classroom teacher. These roles include coaching/consulting in homes and early childhood settings, leading community-based group learning experiences, coordinating resources and services within and across systems, and providing developmental supports across all early childhood settings. In every role, professionals are expected to partner closely with families, utilize family expertise and promote family confidence and competence. The Early Childhood Development and Learning: Diverse Children and Families (MSEd) program has a strong emphasis on quality inclusive practice and preparing candidates to support diverse children and families, spanning culture, language, socioeconomic status, and ability.

Program 1 is for those with no New York State certification or New York State certification in an area other than early childhood education.

Academic Plan


Total Credits for Program 1

Earn at least 42 credits

Program Code for Certification



Newly Accepted Students

Program Sequences

Program sequences provide a suggested order of courses for the program based on start date. It also includes when to take certification exams and apply for clinical experiences in addition to other important non-course requirements. For technical registration support and troubleshooting, please visit the Register for Classes page.

Hunter College Catalog

To review descriptions of specific courses and academic progress standards for the program along with exit requirements please use the course catalog for the year you were admitted to the program.

Clinical Experiences

The Early Childhood Development and Learning: Diverse Children and Families (MSEd) program prepares candidates for professional roles in classrooms, homes, and communities across the birth through grade 2 age range. Clinical experiences are a critical component of the program and designed to provide reflective experiences in order to develop competencies in working with young children of diverse ages, abilities, cultures, and languages and their families. These experiences are purposely sequenced so candidates learn new competencies that build upon those acquired in earlier experiences.

Students participate in clinical experiences which include:

  • developmental field experiences (fieldwork)
  • supervised teaching (pre-student teaching)
  • supervised teaching (student teaching/practicum)

Clinical experiences take place across three age group requirements, birth through 4 years; kindergarten; and first or second grade.

Developmental Field Experiences (Fieldwork)

Developmental Field Experiences (Fieldwork) are applied experiences in classrooms, homes, or community settings in conjunction with a course. Select courses have fieldwork requirements. Developmental Field Experiences (Fieldwork) are not administered by the Office of Clinical Experiences. For support, please contact the course instructor. Registration, placement, and application processes for fieldwork requirements vary by course.


To receive permission to register for the first semester of SPEDE 773, students must complete the following application:

Supervised Teaching: Pre-Student Teaching

Students participate in supervised teaching (pre-student teaching). Pre-student teaching combines coursework and a sustained clinical experience in preparation for student teaching and/or practicum. There are two pre-student teaching courses. For both courses, pre-student teaching requires one full day per week over 10 weeks (to be assigned) for one semester if completed during the academic year. For the Early Childhood Education pre-student teaching experience (ECC 712), students can elect to complete it in the Winter over two weeks. For the Early Childhood Development and Learning pre-student teaching (SPEDE 776), students can elect to complete it in the Summer which consists of 2-3 days per week for 5 weeks. Students are observed by Hunter College Clinical Supervisors during the semester. Students may not complete SPEDE 776 in their current job.

Supervised Teaching: Student Teaching/Practicum

Students participate in supervised teaching (student teaching and/or practicum) as the culmination of their course of study. Student teaching and/or practicum requires three full days per week for two semesters over the academic year. Students may complete practicum in their current job if it is aligned with their pending certification/area of study and meets specific Early Childhood Development and Learning (ECDL) practicum requirements. Should students complete both semesters as a practicum, students would complete an additional student teaching experience in a placement outside their worksite for five full days per week for the duration of the placement’s summer program. Students are observed by Hunter College Clinical Supervisors throughout the semester.


Graduation is the official completion of your program and conferral of an academic degree. In order to graduate, students must apply for graduation using CUNYFirst the semester before the semester of their planned graduation and complete any outstanding requirements by the stated deadlines. Visit the Graduation and Commencement page for complete information.

Certification and Licensure

The Early Childhood Development and Learning: Diverse Children and Families (MSEd) program leads to dual certification: early childhood and students with disabilities birth to grade 2. Students must wait to apply for certification until they receive an email from the School of Education indicating their recommendation has been entered. This usually occurs six to eight week’s after the conferral of your degree.

Types of Certification

Students are recommended for both initial and professional certification:

  • The Initial Certificate is the entry-level teaching certificate and is valid for five years. Students who graduate from a Hunter master’s degree certification program without prior certification will be recommended for initial certification.
  • The Professional Certificate is an advanced certificate. Once teachers have completed three years of full-time, paid teaching experience including one year of mentored teaching, they can apply for professional certification.

Application Processes and Procedures Checklist

Additional Resources

Program Related Events