United Way of Tucson & Southern Arizona

Great Expectations for Teachers, Children, and Families

Increasing Early Childhood Degree Program Completion





Name of CoP
University of Arizona – Higher Education Early Childhood Degree Program Completion

Increasing the number of students completing the Early Chidhood Education Bachelor’s Degree programs and the Early Childhood Education Master’s and PhD programs by reducing barriers and promoting alternatives that will lead to students pursuing a degree and graduating in early childhood education.

Now, more than ever, Arizona’s children deserve leaders – advocates, educators, policy makers, directors, administrators, and researcher – who can create engaging and safe learning environments.  The undergraduate program has 4 principles as its central focus:  promote early childhood educators’ understanding of the cultural knowledge and competencies (funds of knowledge within diverse cultural communities); use literature and story as a base for children’s understandings of themselves and others; involve families in literacy education for children – and for teachers; provide prospective and practicing teachers and teacher educators with opportunities to work and reflect together in community and school settings.  The graduate programs extend and expand upon these principles in order to prepare early childhood professionals for the challenge of leadership by increasing graduate students’ knowledge, developing their practices, and shaping the future for Arizona’s children.

When classes/sessions are held
The undergraduate program begins the fall (August) of each year.  Application to the program must be completed by the previous February.

Graduate program applications are accepted throughout the year with acceptance generally occurring in the spring for fall coursework and in the fall for spring coursework.  Up to 15 graduate hours may be completed prior to full admission to the graduate degree programs.  Courses begin each fall (August) and spring (January).   Summer coursework has some limited availability.

Class sessions vary in length based upon enrolled program and other requirements.

Contact information:
Iliana Reyes – Coordinator


Becka Lopez – Assistant Coordinator


Yvonne Gonzalez-Lewis – Administrative Assistant at TLS for Support