Special Programs, Research Projects and Initiatives

Professional Development and Partnership Schools:

Three elementary professional development schools work closely with the department to prepare teacher candidates, raise student achievement, and provide professional development for school and university based faculty. Professional development schools approach their work through an inquiry lens that asks challenging questions about teaching and learning at both the school and university sites.

Modified Alternate Route Program for P-3 Certification:

The Modified Alternate Route Program for early childhood teacher candidates (P-3) is available to individuals with BA or BS degrees who are currently teaching in a preschool setting. This is a 18 credit program. We also have two satellite campuses at Cumberland County Community College in Vineland and Brookdale Community College in Monmouth County. This program currently enrolls more than 200 students each semester. For more information on these programs, please visit the Modified Alternate Route (MAR) / P-3 Certification program web site.

Research on Bilingual Preschoolers:

Through a generous grant from the New Jersey Department of Education's Office of Early Childhood, Dr. Freedson is directing a large-scale research study investigating the impact of preschool language and literacy environments on the early literacy development of Spanish-speaking preschool children. The study will track the language and print-related literacy development in English and Spanish of 200 children in Abbott Districts, and examine how differently organized approaches to bilingual and English-language instruction contribute to children's learning. The grant will also support professional development for Master preschool teachers in the use of a new classroom observation tool designed to encourage teaching practices that support English Language Learners.

ECELE Summer Programs

The Summer Literacy Program of the Department of Early Childhood, Elementary and Literacy Education for children from grades 1- 12, provides individualized and small group diagnostic and literacy enrichment services for students who are experiencing difficulties in reading and language arts skills, or are seeking to enhance their general literacy skills. The program ensures that reading and writing remain fun and meaningful with the perfect balance of instructional support to keep children engaged in literacy experiences throughout the summer months, in preparation for the new school year.

The program is staffed by classroom teachers and Reading Specialists who  are in the final stages of completing the requirements for their Master’s degrees and/or state of New Jersey Reading Certification, most of whom have taught an average of five years. Instruction is done under the supervision of faculty from Montclair State University's Graduate Program in Reading.

Features of the program include:

  • Literacy interest interview with parent/guardian
  • Individualized instruction
  • Informal and Formal Assessment
  • End of program portfolio share and conference
  • Written report of student progress
  • Nutritious lunch buffet
Faculty in the Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, and Literacy Education developed the program to prepare future STEM-ists and STEM teacher leaders. The program provides children in grades K-8 with opportunities to engage in hands-on, inquiry-based, interdisciplinary STEM activities for enrichment and core competencies development. Students partner with pre-service graduate certification students as they participate in one-on-one and small group STEM activities. Graduate students apply their knowledge of inquiry-based STEM pedagogy to develop lessons and assessments for their young partners. University faculty and mentor teachers facilitate the program for teaching and learning with the learner in mind. Faculty are currently researching this model of field experiences to strengthen and innovate the teacher certification programming to bridge theory with practice.