The Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education

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1 The Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education Student Information Booklet Fall 2008 Updated May 2010 Department of Instruction & Teacher Education College of Education University of South Carolina Columbia, South Carolina (803) Program Objectives The Ph.D. program in Early Childhood Education at the University of South Carolina at Columbia was established as an independent program in the Fall of 1993 in recognition of the emergence of Early Childhood Education as a unique and critical field of study. The program provides experiences for graduates to develop the following characteristics recommended in the Early Childhood Teacher Education Guidelines adopted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (1991). Each goal is delineated more specifically in course objectives that are integrated into course syllabi. In addition, the Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education aims to prepare students in advanced programs to master the Standards and Essential Tools of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (2003) which are noted as follows: Standards Standard 1: Promoting child development and learning Standard 2: Building family and community relationships Standard 3: Observing, documenting, and assessing to support young children and families Standard 4: Teaching and learning Standard 5: Growing as a professional

2 Tools Tool 1: Cultural competence Tool 2: Knowledge and application of ethical principles Tool 3: Communication skills Tool 4: Mastery of relevant theory and research Tool 5: Skills in identifying and using professional resources Tool 6: Inquiry skills and knowledge of research methods Tool 7: Skills in collaborating, teaching, and mentoring Tool 8: Advocacy skills Tool 9: Leadership skills The Ph.D. program in Early Childhood Education maintains high standards which include expectations for exemplary work in required courses as well as significant initiative to seek understandings through reading and investigation well beyond the scope of required coursework. It is also expected that students will be professionally involved in the early childhood community at both the regional and national levels. The Ph.D. is a research degree; therefore, students are expected to contribute to the knowledge base in Early Childhood Education. Admission Requirements Application Deadlines Applications are reviewed by the Advanced Programs Admission Committee as they are received from the Office of Student Services. Admission Criteria Admission requirements will ensure that Ph.D. students have the aptitude and dispositions to successfully complete a rigorous course of doctoral study and research. Decisions regarding admission are based on the student's total professional profile including evidence of scholarly potential as indicated by: A master's degree or the equivalent from an accredited graduate program in Early Childhood Education or a related field. A grade point average of 3.25 or above in graduate coursework. Three letters of reference focused on individual's scholarly potential. Graduate Record Examination scores (expected minimum of 1000 on combined verbal and quantitative) or Miller Analogies Test (expected minimum of 410). A minimum of four years of teaching experience in the field of Early Childhood Education or approved related experience. A letter of intent and other writing samples as available (e.g., issue brief or research paper, published article, previous research paper, professional assignments). A personal interview with the Advanced Programs Admissions Committee.

3 After the applicant has met all requirements outlined above, the Admissions Committee for Early Childhood Education will act on the application. Students are responsible for making sure their file is complete. Admission Procedures The Graduate School application is available at All completed Early Childhood applications are forwarded to the Advanced Programs Admissions Committee. Based upon a review of the applications, the Admissions Committee invites potential candidates for a personal interview. Applicants recommended for full admission will be notified of acceptance by The Graduate School. The ECE Doctoral Coordinator will write a letter to the applicant designating an advisor. After being fully admitted to the Graduate School, students should consult their advisor regarding appropriate coursework and readings in preparation for the qualifying exam. Procedures for Admission to Candidacy Admission to candidacy will be based on the successful completion of the written and oral qualifying examinations. Eligibility for Written and Oral Qualifying Examinations To be eligible to take the written and oral qualifying examinations a student must have been admitted to the Early Childhood Education doctoral program and completed twelve credit hours of course work at the 700 or 800 level in the College of Education. The student must take the written qualifying exam the semester following the completion of twelve credit hours of doctoral studies. Qualifying Examination Committee The written and oral qualifying examination committee will be composed of the student s advisor, two members of the Early Childhood Advanced Program Committee, and other faculty as appropriate. Written Qualifying Examination The written qualifying examination is a closed book examination and will be administered and supervised by the student s advisor. This four hour essay exam is individually administered and designed to assess the student's writing and thinking competencies and ability to connect professional beliefs to theoretical literature. Students may use a computer to word process their exam; however, prior arrangements must be made to use a computer. After completing the examination, the administrative assistant will print an original copy of the exam and give one copy to the student to duplicate for the Examination Committee. If the examination is hand written, the student must have it typed and duplicated to distribute to the Committee. The original examination must be left with the administrative assistant. The first part of the examination includes questions relating to the applicant's informed beliefs about young children and learning; advocacy activities on behalf of children and families; and the work of theorists, researchers, or other professionals who have informed and shaped the applicant's professional beliefs. It is expected that the examination be written in a scholarly manner and that references be mentioned although full citations and exact publication dates are not expected. The second part of the examination will be a critique of a research article. The critique should

4 be a mixture of summary, integration, and synthesis of material covered in courses or readings, and critique (e.g., analyses and reflection pointing out strengths, weaknesses, and usefulness of the research). The critique should be written in an academic style (i.e., avoid contractions and colloquial expressions). While the student is expected to reference other works, exact publication dates are not required. Oral Qualifying Examination The oral examination will focus on the student's written qualifying examination. The student will also be asked to reflect on his or her strengths and challenges (academic and professional) in relation to the successful completion of the program. Qualifying Examination Evaluation The Examination Committee will assign a grade of PASS or FAIL to the written and oral components of the qualifying examination. Successful completion of both the written and oral qualifying examination is required for the student to be admitted to candidacy and to continue studies toward the Ph.D. Any part of the examination (written or oral) that is not passed may be retaken once. After the qualifying examination and before being admitted to candidacy, the student may be required to complete additional readings, produce additional written works, or to take additional courses as deemed appropriate by the Examination Committee. After the examination the student s advisor will notify the student affairs office of her/his performance. This office will send a formal written notification of the Committee s assessment to the student. Doctoral Committees The three levels of Doctoral Committees are outlined below. The same faculty members may comprise all three committees. The student and faculty will decide if it is in the student's best interest to keep the same committee throughout the program. There are accompanying forms for the appointment of each committee. The student should initiate the completion and submission of these forms at appropriate times. 1. Doctoral Committee - This committee is formed after successful completion of the Qualifying Examination. It consists of three or more members, including the Major Professor and a minimum of one professor from Early Childhood Education, and one qualified professor from outside the Department of Instruction and Teacher Education. The Doctoral Committee works with the candidate to develop a program of study. The committee may develop a list of required readings for the candidate. Committees typically require the candidate to take at least one course taught by each committee member. 2. Comprehensive Examination Committee - This committee consists of four or more professors, and is composed of the major professor, a minimum of two professors from Early Childhood Education, and at least one professor from outside the Department of Instruction and Teacher Education. 3. Dissertation Committee - This committee consists of four or more professors. One is the major professor with a minimum of two professors from Early Childhood Education and at least one member from outside the Department of Instruction and Teacher Education.

5 Curriculum The curriculum for the Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education is consistent with, and designed to meet, the standards of the National Association of Education for Young Children (NAEYC) Guidelines for Advanced Degree Programs in Early Childhood. These guidelines are also approved by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The doctoral committee advises the student on the courses that make up the student s Program of Study and the major professor must sign the form which goes on record in the College of Education Office of Student Affairs and The Graduate School. Students may submit amendments to the Program of Study that must be approved by the doctoral committee and signed by the major professor and approved through College of Education Office of Student Affairs and The Graduate School. The course requirements are consistent with those of the College of Education and the Department of Instruction and Teacher Education and have six components: 1. Major Area of Specialization 36 hours (approximately depending on previous coursework and program of studies) 2. Dissertation Hours 12 hours (minimum) 3. Research Hours 12 hours (minimum) 4. Cognate 9 hours (minimum) 5. Foundations of Education 15 hours (minimum) 6. Electives 15 hours (minimum) The minimum number of hours required for the PhD is 90 graduate credits beyond the baccalaureate degree. A minimum of 9 graduate hours of study must be outside of Early Childhood Education. I. Major Area of Specialization - Approximately 36 Hours The major area of specialized professional study in Early Childhood Education includes five required doctoral seminars that address the program objectives: EDEC 811 EDEC 812 EDEC 813 EDEC 814 EDEC 815 Current Trends and Issues in Early Childhood Education Advanced Internship in Early Childhood Education Program Development and Implementation in ECE Analysis of Current Research in ECE Advanced Study of Early Childhood Curricula Students will select from the following courses or their equivalence as approved by their major professor and doctoral committee. EDEC 608 EDEC 740 EDEC 742 EDEC 744 EDEC 745 EDEC 750 EDEC 794 Parent Involvement in Early Childhood Education The Young Child: Applying Theory and Research Advanced Study of Early Childhood Curricula and Program Models Advanced Study of Language Development and Communication Skills in ECE Emergent Literacy Play Theory and Early Learning Leadership Advocacy and Collaboration in Early Childhood Settings

6 EDEC 810 Special Topics in Early Childhood Education EDTE 870 Seminar in Teacher Education II. III. Dissertation Hours - 12 Hours (minimum) Dissertation preparation is consistent with the requirements and policies of the College of Education. Dissertation preparation consists of at least 12 hours of EDTE Doctoral Research Dissertation Preparation. Three semester hours of EDRM Dissertation Seminar in Education may be substituted for 3 hours of EDTE 899. Students must enroll in a section of EDTE 899 each semester that they are working on their dissertation (1 hour minimum). Research Hours - 12 Hours (minimum) The doctoral student will study both quantitative and qualitative research as determined and approved by the Doctoral Committee. The necessary concepts and skills for qualitative and quantitative research can be learned in EDRM courses and are also integrated into the content of a variety of courses in many different programs within the College and throughout the University. At least two quantitative (beyond EDRM 700) and two qualitative courses are required as research preparation although students may be advised to take additional research courses to establish proficiency in a particular research methodology. An Example of Research Preparation EDRM 710 Educational Statistics I EDRM 711 Educational Statistics II EDCS 823 Curriculum Inquiry EDRM 840 Methods of Ethnographic Research Sample Assessment Courses EDRM 720 Educational Measurement EDRM 724 Design and Analysis of Educational Surveys Sample Advanced Quantitative Courses EDRM 789 Principles and Applications of Structural equation Modeling EDRM 816 Correlation and Multivariant Methods Sample Advanced Qualitative Courses EDRM 736 Program Evaluation EDRM 740 Qualitative Research in Education IV. Cognate - 9 Hours (minimum) A cognate is defined as an area of focus outside the department (e.g., physical education, motor learning/psychomotor, psychology, anthropology, philosophy, educational leadership, special education, music, art, linguistics, math, women's studies). V. Foundations of Education - 15 Hours (minimum) Recognizing the need for a basic core of common studies in Ph.D. programs in the Department of Instruction and Teacher Education, all students will select courses which meet the following goals and are approved by the student's doctoral

7 committee. Typically five courses will fulfill the requirement (one in each goal area). At least four of these courses must be from departments outside the Department of Instruction and Teacher Education. A. Understand alternate philosophies important to education historically, at present and for the immediate future. Students may choose one of the following or other courses approved by their committee. EDFN 744 EDFN 743 Philosophy and Education School and Society B. Understand trends and evolutionary forces at work in the development of the public school curriculum by content area and grade level historically, currently, and in the foreseeable future. Students may choose one of the following or other courses approved by their committee. SOCY 713 EDCS 821 Theory Construction Curriculum Theory C. Gain an understanding of current theories of human development. Students may choose one of the following or other courses approved by their committee. EDPY 705 EDPY 706 EDPY 805 Human Growth and Development Human Development and Learning Situations Contemporary Research D. Develop knowledge and skills needed to conduct systematic investigation. Students may choose one of the research courses listed above or other courses approved by their committee. E. Develop knowledge of policies and procedures within public schools and other educational agencies and institutions at the national, state (South Carolina), and local levels. Students may take EDLP 701 or another course approved by their committee. VI. Electives - 15 Hours (minimum) Courses which support the student's educational goals are selected with the approval of the student's committee. Suggested Electives: Courses addressing Multicultural and Diversity Issues (e.g., EDTE 779); Research; Educational Psychology; Content Areas; Special Education Courses; Technology Courses; Feminist Pedagogy; Sociocultural Theory; Critical Theory; Literacy; Teacher Education; Philosophy. VII. Residency Requirement The granting of a doctoral degree by the University of South Carolina presupposes a minimum of three full years of graduate study (or equivalent) and a minimum of 30 graduate hours of study after admission to candidacy in the doctoral program. A doctoral program is, by nature, an in-depth, self-directed, theoretical study at a high level that goes far beyond what can be covered in coursework.

8 For students who are also working full-time, it is rarely possible to complete such study in three years. The doctoral residency requirement may be satisfied only after admission to candidacy (following the qualifying examination) and must be fulfilled by enrollment in at least 18 graduate credit hours within a span of three consecutive semesters. Enrollment in a summer term is not required to maintain continuity, but credits earned during summer terms will count towards residency. VIII. Language/Research Tool Requirements The applicant must have a reading knowledge of one foreign language or an approved alternative selected from the Department of Instruction and Teacher Education language/research tool options. The language selected for the degree program must be approved by the College of Education and The Graduate School. The language requirement must be completed at least one academic year prior to graduation. Option A: Demonstrate competency in a foreign language or in an alternative language for the visually or hearing impaired by completion of one of the following courses with a grade of B or better: 1. Foreign Languages: 315 course or satisfactory performance on an examination administered by the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures 2. EDEX 682: Introduction to Braille 3. EDEX 687: Manual Communication for the Hearing Impaired Approved courses from other accredited institutions may be substituted for EDEX 682 and 687. Option B: Demonstrate competency in a computer language or software package with potential for research applications by one of the following: 1. EDET 603 Design and Development Tools I (with a grade of B or better) 2. EDRM 710 and 711, Educational Statistics I and II (with grades of B or better) 3. Submit artifacts at the time of the comprehensive examination that demonstrate the ability to use a software package approved by the advisor for qualitative research; faculty in the program area will evaluate the artifacts using a departmental rubric. 4. Demonstrate competency in a computer-related area of study outside of the College of Education by completing one of the following courses or sets of courses with a grade of B or better (please check the bulletin for the College of Engineering & Computing, and the School of Library and Information Science for prerequisites): Programming: CSCE 145 and 146, or CSCE 500 Internet Resources: SLIS 703 Online Databases: SLIS 706 and SLIS 740

9 IX. Comprehensive Examination The purpose of the comprehensive examination is to assess the student's knowledge of the coursework in his/her program of study and competence in achieving the program objectives stated on pages 1 & 2 of this booklet. Performance on this examination will determine whether additional courses or experiences are to be prescribed. It consists of a written and oral component. Written Comprehensive Examination The written component of the comprehensive examination is comprised of questions submitted by the Doctoral Committee. The scope of the examination shall be determined by the student's committee members. It addresses early childhood curriculum, child and family development, advocacy and leadership, and questions written specifically for the candidate s cognate area. Committee members will give students general guidance on areas that will be covered on the examination. Specific questions on the comprehensive examination are not given to students in advance. The examination is administered under supervision of the major professor and is scheduled for 12 hours (e.g., three hours on four consecutive days; six hours for two consecutive days). The Doctoral Committee may elect to have a maximum of 50% of the exam as an open book take home exam. The Comprehensive Examination is typically administered during or after the student's final semester of course work. Grades assigned are: PASS WITH HONORS, PASS, or FAIL. A student who fails the examination the first time may take it a second time. A student who fails the examination the second time shall be disqualified from pursuing the Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education. Oral Comprehensive Examination Successful completion of both the written and oral qualifying examination is required before students can present their dissertation prospectus for approval. The oral examination will be administered by the student's Doctoral Committee. Typically, the examination is scheduled for two hours and focuses on the student's written comprehensive examination. Specific requirements or conditions may be required of the student depending on his or her performance. Both the written and oral examination must be deemed HONORS in order to receive an overall rating of HONORS. Any part of the comprehensive examination (written or oral) that is not passed may be retaken once. X. Other Procedures, Requirements, etc. In all other matters, the proposed program will be consistent with the Graduate School's policies and procedures as outlined in the academic regulations section of the Graduate School catalog. Students who fail to enroll in graduate coursework for one academic year must re-apply to continue studies.

10 Dissertation Writing and Defenses Students are expected to take the lead in the dissertation-writing process. They are responsible for developing an in-depth knowledge of the literature related to their research questions and for constructing a solid conceptual framework. During all stages of the writing process, students should give committee members at least two weeks to read and respond to drafts. Dissertation Prospectus The preparation of the dissertation prospectus (3 to 8 pages) gives the major professor an opportunity to plan with the student and to suggest revisions. The prospectus should include an introduction, a brief literature review, and a description of the methodology. The prospectus must be approved by the major professor. Once approved, the student may begin his/her formal dissertation proposal. Defense of the Dissertation Proposal The defense of the dissertation proposal (the first three chapters of the dissertation) gives committee members an opportunity to examine and suggest revisions. Students are expected to explain their position in a scholarly manner. The committee votes to PASS or FAIL the proposal. Dissertation and Defense During the semester that the dissertation is finalized, the student MUST schedule a meeting with the appropriate person in the COE Office of Student Affairs to learn about formatting procedures for the dissertation. Once the dissertation is completed, students must schedule and pass an oral defense. It is the student's responsibility to announce her/his dissertation defense to the College of Education faculty and students at least two weeks prior to the defense. The final draft of the dissertation must be approved and signed by the Doctoral Committee and checked by the College of Education Office of Student Affairs. The proposal and dissertation defense may be repeated once if the student is unsuccessful on the first attempt. Typical Sequence of Events for Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education 1. Obtain an application on-line from the USC Graduate School. Take the GRE or MAT, attaining acceptable scores, and complete other application requirements. 2. If your file passes the initial screening, you will be invited for an interview with the ECE Advanced Program Admissions Committee and other faculty. Call the administrative assistant ( ) to schedule the interview or to ask other questions about logistics. 3. Once admitted to the program, seek guidance from your advisor about appropriate coursework. Schedule the five required doctoral seminars (EDEC ) which are offered in sequence. Each course is repeated once every two years. 4. After successful completion of twelve hours of doctoral study, you must take the qualifying exam (written and oral). Your advisor and the Advanced Program Committee will read the exam and are invited to participate in your oral defense. You

11 will either pass or fail the exam. You have two opportunities to pass the written and oral examinations. 5. After passing the qualifying exam, you will be fully admitted as a doctoral candidate and should: a. select a Major Professor. b. form a doctoral program committee. c. obtain a doctoral packet from the Student Affairs Office. It has all the necessary forms in it (e.g., program committee, dissertation committee). It is your responsibility to file each form. d. complete a program of study form with the guidance of your major professor and Doctoral Committee. 6. Finish all coursework in your approved doctoral program of studies except for EDTE 899 (Dissertation Preparation). Be sure that you meet the residency and the foreign language requirements. 7. Prepare for the written and oral comprehensive examinations. 8. Schedule and successfully you complete comprehensive exam (written and oral). Each of your four committee members will submit question(s) under the leadership of your major professor. At least one of your committee members must be a faculty member outside the Department of Instruction and Teacher Education. 9. Write your dissertation prospectus. Present and defend the prospectus to your committee. 10. Before beginning your research, your research with human subjects must be approved by the College of Education Student Affairs Committee and the Institutional Review Board (IRB). IRB forms are found on-line. 11. Conduct research, write, and defend your dissertation. Early Childhood Education Program Faculty EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION - Phone Number - (803) Dr. Angela Baum 107D Wardlaw, , General Interests: teacher preparation and development, coaching teacher and supervisor support/professional development, preservice teacher dispositions, Professional Development Schools. Dr. Gloria Boutté 104 Wardlaw, , General Interests: Multicultural education; social justice and equity issues; ideologies in children s literature; African American children s school experiences; African American children s language; urban education; culturally relevant pedagogy. Dr. Nancy Freeman 225 Child Development & Research Center, , General Interests: Professional ethics and professionalism; care and education of the very young; early care and education policy and advocacy; gender issues in early education.

12 Dr. Herman Knopf 208 Child Development & Research Center, , General Interests: Using technology effectively, appropriate assessment, administration, working with families, early childhood curriculum, inclusion of young children with special needs, evidence-based practice. Dr. Susi Long 107M Wardlaw, , General Interests: Sociocultural perspectives on language and literacy learning in diverse home, community, and school contexts. Dr. Julia López-Robertson 230 Wardlaw, , General Interests: Bilingual education, biliteracy, working with Latino families, critical literacy, literature discussions about critical social issues, Latino children s literature, teacher research. Dr. Beth Powers-Costello 107C Wardlaw, , General Interests: Care and education of young children, curriculum, culturally relevant pedagogy, social justice, equity, diversity (e.g. race, class, needs & abilities), teacher education, and professional development. Dr. Irma Van Scoy Wardlaw, , General Interests: Early childhood development and curriculum; preservice teacher education; school-university collaboration; Professional Development Schools. Dr. Jeanene Varner Child Development & Research Center, , General Interests: developmentally appropriate assessment, learning environments, growth, and development. Important Information Locate additional information about faculty members in the Faculty Directory linked from Visit the USC Graduate School to apply and for other important information: The Graduate School s Policies and Procedures manual is an excellent resource for students and faculty. It is located online at:

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