In the Early Childhood Leadership and Advocacy specialization, you will critically review the latest research to understand the complex family, cultural, societal, and developmental influences that affect child development and learning. Coursework covers topics such as child development, family partnerships, content knowledge, leadership, advocacy, social change, and professionalism. This program utilizes case studies and innovative technology, which provides you the opportunity to examine the quality of early childhood programs and policies, research and present strategies to promote positive outcomes for young children, and evaluate the leadership characteristics necessary to be an advocate in the field.
The individual dissertation process enables you to pursue original research in an effort to promote positive social change for young children, their families, and the early childhood field as a whole.
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 to advocate for 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.
- Integrate professional resources to inform solutions to problems in early childhood.
- Synthesize a variety of perspectives to promote professional growth and positive social change in the early childhood field.
- Design research to address educational problems and contribute to the profession.
- Demonstrate the ability to conduct research that positively impacts social change.
Minimum Completion Requirements
- 86 quarter credits
- Foundations courses (5 cr.)
- Specialized courses (30 cr.)
- Doctoral support courses (11 cr.)
- Research courses (20 cr.)
- Doctoral capstone (minimum 20 cr.)
- Doctoral Writing Assessment (0 cr.)
- Four PhD residencies to equal a minimum of 16 units
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, 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 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.
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.