Overview: Post Master’s Certificate Program in Early Education Research,
Policy, and Practice
The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, through its Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant award, has funded the University of Massachusetts Boston to design and deliver an innovative 12-credit post master’s certificate program that advances research, policy, leadership, and data-driven practice in early education and care. The certificate program will provide advanced study in early education research methods, policy, leadership and the science of child development and early learning.
This program will be delivered to three cohorts of 15 early educators from across the state between 2012-2015. The first cohort began in January 2013, the second cohort will start in September 2013. The program includes four, 3-credit courses that will be delivered in a “blended” format of both online and face-to-face sessions between September 2013 and July 2014. Eligible candidates for the program will be educators with a master’s degree who work directly with young children birth to age five, or in out-of-school-time programs up to age 8, in EEC-licensed (or license-exempt) programs. These programs include family child care settings, child care and early education programs, Head Start and Early Head Start, Early Intervention, and after school programs. The grant covers the full cost of tuition, books, and a stipend. In addition, educators will be offered a wide range of support services, including the development of an individualized professional development plan, academic and career advising, mentoring, and individualized tutoring and academic support embedded into courses. Top early education leaders locally and nationally will work together with the educators in the post master’s certificate program to foster a powerful network of connected research, policy and practice leaders in the field.
UMass Boston is partnering with other institutions of higher education to ensure that the 12 credits are fully transferable and will articulate into doctoral programs and other advanced degree programs across the state. This will enable educators who complete the Post Master’s Certificate Program to apply to advanced graduate programs (PhD, EdD, CAGS, Ed.S) and transfer 12 credits into partner’s programs.
Who should apply to the Post Master’s Certificate Program?
This program is designed for early educators who meet both of the following criteria:
o Work with young children birth to age 5 (or to age 8 in out-of-school time) in EEC-licensed (or license-exempt) programs. These programs include family child care settings, child care and early education programs, Head Start and Early Head Start, Early Intervention, and after school programs.
o Have a master’s degree
Applicants must be willing to sign a Memorandum of Understanding documenting commitment to the program and terms and conditions.
Time/travel commitment: This is an intensive 10-month program. The Post Master’s Certificate Program is designed to meet the needs of working professionals. In addition, the program serves students from across the state. Therefore, courses are offered in a non-traditional schedule and in a blended format that includes both face-to-face and online class sessions. Face-to-face course sessions will be held approximately every other Saturday all day, in central Massachusetts.
Costs: This program is fully funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. As participants complete the course work there is a small stipend to cover costs for books and miscellaneous expenses.
This program will be designed to accommodate non-traditional post-masters student.
Successful candidates must have strong writing and computer skills, as well as reliable
high-speed internet access, as the cohort will use a variety of instructional technology platforms
to communicate and collaborate remotely, in addition to face-to-face class sessions.
How to apply: Apply now! Apply by April 15th!
Three step process:
1. Complete an online survey (found at
2. Fill in your information at the online UMass Boston Graduate application (found at
3. Complete online survey by April 15th to have the $60 application fee paid for by the grant
The UMass Boston Graduate Application will require the following documentation:
1. Statement of Purpose - Please attach a 1-2 page cover letter that addresses these questions: a. What excites you about this program?
b. How does it fit into your professional goals? c. How will your participation in this program impact the lives of children and families?
2. Current resume and job description – are uploaded as attachments in the UMass Grad Application.
3. Three letters of recommendation: links will be sent to the references after the online application is completed:
a. One documenting academic work,
b. One from your current employer on letterhead, and
c. One documenting your contribution to the field of early childhood education.
4. Writing Sample: write a 4-5 page doubled-spaced academic essay about an issue/topic in early education that you want to explore in this graduate program. Include a bibliography of the research/literature that has informed your interest in this problem.
5. Mail Official Transcripts (all colleges attended) to:
100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125
6. Payment of $60. PRIOR to clicking the submit application button. Be sure that you have reviewed your information in application. Prior to April 15th complete the survey at: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1151157/Application-Fee-PMC UMass Boston will enter payment information and submit. You will receive an email confirmation once this has happened. After April 15th and prior to May 1st, you will be responsible for the $60 fee. Please note: if you click the submit application button on your application at any time the grant
funds will not be able to pay your application fee. You will then need to pay it. We are excited about this new opportunity for advanced graduate study in early education.
For more information:
Lynne Mendes or Lisa Van Thiel
Anne Douglass, PhD, Post Master’s Certificate Program Director, Assistant Professor of Early Education, UMass Boston
Lisa Van Thiel, MS, Post Master’s Certificate Program Specialist, UMass Boston
Lynn Mendes, Post Master’s Certificate Program Specialist, UMass Boston