Certificate in Early Childhood Policy

Gain the knowledge and skills to work in policy spaces dedicated to early childhood education.

Certificate Overview

Through coursework, students will be equipped with deep content knowledge regarding literacy, children's learning and development, and poverty as these relate to early childhood outcomes.

This program is best suited for Peabody master's students with interests in the early childhood domain.

Career Opportunities

This certificate will enable recipients to effect change through policy work focused on the earliest years in organizations such as government agencies or advocacy organizations or through school-based program development and/or evaluation.

Photo headshot of Emily House

Emily House, Lecturer in Leadership, Policy and Organizations

“What’s unique about this certificate offering is that those who specialize in early childhood education policy can work for government agencies, advocacy organizations, and in program design and evaluation in a way that’s much more specialized than a graduate who just has the traditional K-12 experience.”

Certificate Details

Certificate Director: Emily House

Required Hours: 12

Prerequisites: Completed Bachelor's degree plus current enrollment in a master's or doctoral degree program within Vanderbilt University.

Home Academic Department: Leadership, Policy and Organizations

Note: Not all Peabody professional degree programs include enough elective credits to make earning an additional certificate possible. Students are encouraged to confer with their program director as well as with certificate directors to ensure they can meet all requirements for both degree and certificate programs.

Certificate Curriculum

The following course is required:

  • Foundations of Early Childhood Policy (NEW, in development)

Three additional elective courses may be chosen from the partial list below:

  • ENED7320 Untapped Potential: The Power of Books for Fostering Language and Thinking
  • EDUC8200 Foundations of Learning and Development
  • EDUC6400 Literacy Development
  • EDUC6460 Language, Education and Diversity
  • EDUC6090 Integrated Early Childhood Curriculum
  • SPEDE7800 Speech and Language for Young Learners
  • SPEDE7400 Instruction for Young Learners
  • SPEDE7450 Screening and Assessment for Young Learners
  • SPEDE7100 Collaborating with Families of Young Children

Note: Certificate courses are subject to change.

Certificate Outcomes

Upon completion of the certificate, students will be able to:

  • Communicate effectively to policymakers about the importance of early childhood education initatives at the local, state, and federal levels;
  • Advocate for research-backed early childhood education initiatives and programs;
  • Translate ECE research to practice, such that it is accessible and digestible to practitioners in the policy arena