This master’s program is a multidisciplinary program with an emphasis in infant and early childhood mental health. Students will study multiple factors affecting an infant’s, child’s and family’s well-being, including social emotional, brain, and cognitive development, as well as school readiness, family systems, and mental health. The faculty teaches typical and atypical infant, child, and family development from a strengths-based approach using a curriculum that includes physiological, emotional, cognitive, behavioral, social, and cross-cultural perspectives. Students will enter the program in one of two chosen concentrations.
For students who complete the MA and are approved to continue on to the PhD in Infant & Early Childhood Development , some credits may be transferred from the master’s program to the PhD program.
The concentration in Early Childhood Development: Education, Mental Health, & Disruptive Behaviors focuses on children with disruptive and/or social emotional difficulties, as well as learning issues. It is geared toward educating and training professionals to evaluate and work with these populations and their families.
The concentration in Infant Mental Health and Neurodevelopment focuses on assessment, intervention, and prevention. It is geared to prepare those professionals who work with infants, especially those at risk, and their families.
For these concentrations, education and training include covering the relationship between brain development and behavior, reflective practice, mindfulness, and culturally sensitive approaches. In addition, the program will offer practical techniques to use in the classroom, practice, clinic, and at home, especially in the Early Childhood concentration.
Both concentrations are appropriate for educators, educational administrators, health professionals (physicians, nurse practitioners, and nurses), allied health professionals (occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech and language therapists) as well as mental health professionals (social workers, marriage family therapists, and counselors).
These concentrations offer a unique link between various disciplines within a relationship-based developmental framework. A common language across disciplinary boundaries is developed so that students can deepen their understanding of each of the disciplines.