Return to: Doctor of Education (EdD)–School of Higher Education, Leadership, and Policy
Families, professionals, programs, and agencies that influence every aspect of children’s lives from prenatal development through age 8 are brought together in the early childhood field. In this specialization, early childhood education professionals are prepared to foster positive outcomes for young children and their families in a variety of career roles. Through their coursework, educators explore the complex family, cultural, societal, and developmental influences that affect child development and learning. Education professionals critically review current research in the field on topics such as child development, family partnerships, content knowledge, assessment, effective practices, leadership, advocacy, and professionalism. Using case studies drawn from the real world and innovative technology, educators also examine the quality of early childhood programs and policies, implement strategies to promote positive outcomes for young children, and evaluate the leadership characteristics necessary to implement effective change.
The advanced early childhood professional guidelines set forth by the National Association for the Education of Young Children are reflected in the coursework for this specialization. In the individual dissertation process, educators are allowed to pursue original research in an effort to effect positive social change for children, families, and the early childhood field.
At the end of this program, educator professionals will be able to:
- Evaluate practices/programs/policies in the areas of child development and learning.
- Engage in effective leadership practices, including collaboration and advocacy, to promote positive outcomes for young children and families.
- Evaluate responsible assessment practices to support healthy development and positive learning outcomes for young children.
- Demonstrate cultural responsiveness in interactions with children, families, community members, and early childhood professionals.
- Create effective solutions to authentic problems in the early childhood field by integrating professional resources, including technology.
- Synthesize a variety of perspectives that are knowledgeable, reflective, and critical to promote professional growth and positive social change in the early childhood field.
- Design research to address educational problems and contribute to the profession.
- 76 total quarter credits
- Foundation course (5 cr.)
- Research courses (15 cr.)
- Specialization courses (30 cr.)
- Doctoral support courses (6 cr.)
- Completing the Doctoral Capstone (a minimum of 20 cr.)
- One face-to-face academic residency
Curriculum (76 total cr.)
Foundation Course (5 cr.)
Research Courses (15 cr.)
Doctoral Support Courses (6 cr.)
Specialization Courses (30 cr.)
- Complete the EdD required residency face-to-face by the end of Term 3.
- Optional: Complete an EdD Advanced residency face-to-face or virtual in Term 7 or later, including if you are enrolled in EDDD 8900 or EDDD 8990.
- Optional: Complete an EdD Doctoral Study Intensive retreat face-to-face during EDDD 8990. Contact Academic Advising to register.
Completing the Doctoral Capstone (5 cr. per term for a minimum of four terms = 20 cr.)
Note on Endorsement, Licensure, or Certification
This program does not lead to an endorsement, certification, or licensure. Walden makes no representation, warranty, guarantee, or commitment that successful completion of this program or coursework for graduate credit within this program will permit a graduate to obtain state certification or licensure.
The graduate degree program and coursework within the program in which you are enrolling may be accepted by many states toward upgrading or renewing a license or obtaining a salary increase (depending on state or district policy). Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement. Walden enrollment advisors can provide guidance on program requirements; however, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand and comply with all state and school district requirements.