Early Childhood Leadership

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  • Master of Science in Education

Work in your current role while learning about leadership

Earn School Building Leadership certification


Early Childhood Leadership (38 credits) is one of the nation's few programs that prepares leaders specifically for the unique challenges of providing care and education to young children from birth through age eight. Candidates become eligible for leadership roles in early childhood community-based programs and public schools. They focus intensively on the developmental and learning needs of young children; the pivotal roles of family and community in early learning; and on effective strategies for strengthening teaching and learning in early childhood classrooms, centers, schools, and systems. Some candidates come with significant supervisory experience; others are teacher leaders and teachers who aspire to leadership roles.

Distinctive Features.

  • Study with a group of committed early childhood educators. Because your fellow candidates share your passion for educating young children, you will gain a strong professional network. Courses and fieldwork stress effective change strategies and provide experience in action research.
  • Move into leadership roles while continuing your present job. Supervised fieldwork generally takes place at your own site.

Career Opportunities

  • Supervisory roles in centers or schools, e.g. Program Director, Principal, Assistant Principal, department chair, staff developer, coach.
  • Teacher leader roles, e.g. Teacher leader, teacher mentor, peer coach, curriculum developer, instructional specialist.
  • Other educational leadership roles: Educational administrator in a non-school setting.

Certification in Education

  • New York State School Building Leader (SBL) certification for those who meet experience requirements and pass the state assessments.
  • New York State School District Leader (SDL) certification for those who add Bank Street's five-credit SDL sequence to their studies, meet the experience and credit requirements, and pass the state assessments. (SDL link)

Coursework

This program begins in the Fall term. Courses at Bank Street provide students with the opportunity to engage in readings, discussions, direct experience, and reflection, encouraging a constant interplay between theory and practice. They cover all aspects of leadership with an emphasis on the complexities and dynamics of early childhood settings, both school-based and community-based. 

Supervised Fieldwork/Advisement

  • Supervised by a Bank Street advisor who is an experienced early childhood leader.
  • Supervised fieldwork takes place during the first fall and spring, followed the second year by the Early Childhood Practicum, providing you with extensive support and leadership experience.  
  • Generally located at the site where you currently work, supervised fieldwork includes on-going contact with your advisor, including site visits from your advisor.

Admission Requirements

  • Excellent academic record and references reflecting strong leadership potential.
  • To qualify for School Building Leader certification, candidates must have successfully completed three years of teaching or pupil personnel service work in N-12 settings by the time they graduate.
  • See the Admissions Criteria.