The early childhood field brings together families, professionals, programs, and agencies that influence every aspect of children’s lives, from prenatal development through age 8. Our Doctor of Education (EdD) with a specialization in Early Childhood Education prepares you to foster positive outcomes for young children and their families in roles such as early childhood teacher, teacher educator, researcher, policy maker, and other positions working with young children, families, and communities.*
Throughout the program, you will explore the complex familial, cultural, societal, and developmental influences that affect child development and learning. You will critically review current research in the field on topics such as child development, family partnerships, content knowledge, assessment, effective practices, leadership, and advocacy. Using real-world case studies and innovative technology, you will 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 individual doctoral study process allows you to pursue original research in an effort to effect positive social change for children, families, and the early childhood field.
Minimum Completion Requirements
- 79 quarter credits*
- 1 face-to-face residency
- Doctoral Writing Assessment (0 cr.)
Walden students have 8 years to complete their doctoral program unless they petition for an extension.
In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.
To complete a doctoral dissertation/doctoral study, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the Chief Academic Officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation/doctoral study process in the Dissertation Guidebook.
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an enrollment advisor at 855-646-5286.
To satisfy these completion requirements, you must have access to a school or learning environment that has early childhood education programming.
As a graduate of this program, you will be prepared to:
- Evaluate practices, programs, and 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.
Compare Walden’s Doctoral Education Programs
Walden offers both an EdD and PhD in Education with a specialization in Early Childhood to meet your career goals. View the chart to help you determine which program is right for you.