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Early Childhood Education Program

Program Overview

Teaching young children is as rewarding as it is fascinating. At the University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL), the Early Childhood Education (ECED) program focuses on children from birth through age eight. Studies show the more active engagement support a child receives in early years of life developing cognitive, social, language, motor, and other skills, the more likely the child is to be successful in school, and in life.  Our goal is to help ensure the success of these, our youngest learners, by preparing high-quality, experienced early childhood education professionals.

The ECED faculty are passionate, dedicated educators, experienced in early childhood education, child care center administration, curriculum development and special program oversight. They are committed to each student, and advancing educational knowledge through innovative research.

Accreditation Information

NAEYC Higher Education Program Early Childhood SealThe National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) has granted accreditation to the Early Childhood BS program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education at University of Houston-Clear Lake.

The College of Education is accredited by the Texas State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC).

We've earned national recognition for accomplishment and innovation, including the Christa McAuliffe Award for Excellence in Teacher Education.

Undergraduate Degrees

Undergraduate Degrees with Texas Certification

Graduate Degrees

Minor Programs

Certificate Programs

Request Info

To request more information about any of the Early Childhood Education degree programs, contact us through the links below.

ECED Undergraduate Programs ECED Graduate Programs

Program Mission Statement

The UHCL ECED program exemplifies the mission of the university through its mission and core values. The ECED program is a research and theory-based, hands-on, early education program whose purpose is to provide candidates with the opportunity to become leaders in the field of early childhood through innovative teaching and research practices while preparing them to be culturally responsive leaders and advocates.

Program Core Values

To achieve the ECED program's mission and meet the needs of the community, we adhere to the following core values:

  • Academic Preparation: Candidates will experience distinctive and innovative coursework that provides research and theory-based, hands-on educational experiences that enable candidates to gain knowledge of and to demonstrate developmentally appropriate and culturally relevant care and teaching practices for young children. Candidates will be able to demonstrate the academic knowledge identified through national and state professional standards to be high-quality educators of young children.
  • Professionalism: Candidates will engage in best practices leading to the knowledge and skills necessary to meet or exceed national and state professional standards of professional and ethical conduct. Candidates will gain knowledge of ethical standards and practices required to demonstrate professional judgment in the appropriate use of technology and media with young children.
  • Application: In partnership with the local community, candidates will have high-quality, practical experiences in a variety of diverse settings, including local childcare centers, public schools, Head Start centers, community programs, and agencies serving young children and their families from diverse backgrounds. Here candidates will utilize the knowledge, skills, and dispositions essential for working effectively with children, families, and the community.
  • Culturally Responsive Leadership: Candidates will be given the tools to engage candidates, families, and communities in ways that positively impact learning by honoring indigenous heritages and local cultural practices. Candidates will cultivate innovative skills necessary to promote best practices and advocacy in the field of early childhood. Candidates will recognize the importance of assuring equitable access to technology tools and interactive media experiences for the children, parents, and families in their care.
  • Workforce Development: Through articulation agreements with local community colleges, candidates will participate in an aligned educational pathway that supports candidates from certificate/credential programs, to associate degree programs to a bachelor’s degree, and then on to a master’s degree in early childhood education. Candidates are also supported as they become the next generation of diverse leaders, trainers, and educators at the higher education level.

Our Conceptual Framework is a Star with UHCL Early Childhood Education in the Center

At each point of the star are the words: Professionalism, Academic Preparation, Diversity and Inclusion, Professional Standards and Guidelines, and Community Partnerships. Each of these is defined below:

Professionalism: Leadership Skills, Reflective Practices, NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct, Advocacy, ECE Workforce

Academic Preparation: Child Development, Theories to Learning, Developmentally Appropriate Practices, Authentic Assessment

Diversity and Inclusion: Culturally Relevant Teaching, Anti-Bias Curriculum, Honoring Differences, Seeing Similarities

Professional Standards and Guidelines: NAEYC Professional Learning Standards, Texas Pre-K Guidelines, Infant Toddler, Three-Year-Old Early Learning Standards

Community Partnerships: Field Experiences, Field-Based Assignments, Service Learning, Practicum

ECED Conceptual Framework

Additional Information