Offering nation’s first competency-based MS in Early Childhood Studies program using direct assessment model

Minneapolis—January 12, 2015—A pioneer in online education, Walden University is introducing Tempo Learning™, a self-paced educational experience for students who want to earn their degree on their terms. The initial program offered through Tempo Learning is the new competency-based MS in Early Childhood Studies with a specialization in Administration, Management and Leadership. It is the nation’s first online competency-based master’s program in early childhood using a direct assessment model. The program is approved by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Through Tempo Learning at Walden, students can progress at their own pace by applying their existing knowledge and prior experience while focusing on the skills they need to meet the demands of the workforce. Tempo Learning is composed of competencies and rigorous assessments that have been designed by faculty and validated by employers—creating a direct link between education and the workplace.

“For 45 years, Walden has been committed to effecting positive social change and enabling working professionals to continue their employment while they earn their degree,” said Jonathan A. Kaplan, interim president of Walden. “By offering Tempo Learning, we are providing our students with the opportunity to accelerate their application of skills and knowledge to help their organizations and communities thrive.”

Tempo Learning allows students to:

  • Subscribe for three months at a time and learn as much they want, accelerating their degree completion time and reducing tuition costs.
  • Leverage prior learning and experience to quickly complete assessments.
  • Master skills that are closely aligned with employers’ needs—skills that are critical for long-term career success.

With easy-to-use, mobile-enabled features such as Plan/Map/Track and Raise My Hand, progress is within reach for students. Plan/Map/Track is an at-a-glance view of students’ progress that shows what they’ve completed, what’s coming next and the fastest path to degree completion. Raise My Hand allows students to quickly get help from faculty and other learners in their program.

“As someone who has worked in both early childhood education and higher education, I have personally been very excited by the movement to explore competency-based learning programs,” said Stephanie A. Morris, deputy executive director for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). “There is a critical need for more early childhood leaders who help care for and develop the children of our future. Such programs can open doors, potentially allowing early childhood educators opportunities to accelerate their education and earn advanced degrees for the greatest impact in our communities.”

The MS in Early Childhood Studies program leverages Walden’s dedication to effecting positive social change and its expertise in improving educator effectiveness in an accelerated model where students gain the knowledge, abilities and leadership skills to prepare for existing and emerging roles both in and out of the classroom. The areas of expertise covered include child development, effective practices, cultural responsiveness, leadership and professionalism, managing early childhood programs, research, communication and collaboration.

To learn more about Tempo Learning and the competency-based MS in Early Childhood Studies program, visit

About Walden University
For more than 40 years, Walden University has supported working professionals in achieving their academic goals and making a greater impact in their professions and their communities. Today, more than 47,800 students from all 50 states and more than 150 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees online at Walden. The university provides students with an engaging educational experience that connects them with expert faculty and peers around the world. Walden is the flagship online university in the Laureate International Universities network—a global network of more than 80 campus-based and online universities in 29 countries.

Walden offers more than 80 degree programs with more than 370 specializations and concentrations. Areas of study include health sciences, counseling, human services, management, psychology, social work, education, public health, nursing, public administration and information technology. For more information, visit Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association,

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