The University of Colorado Denver’s Buell Early Childhood Leadership Program will prepare you to be a transformational leader in early childhood. You’ll learn about leadership practices specific to child development, learning organizations, and community and systems change. Annually, a diverse cohort of 18-22 fellows from across Colorado holding a variety of professional roles, receive full tuition funding by the Buell Foundation to engage in learning experiences that deepen their capacity to lead early childhood community and systems innovation and change.
This graduate certificate program, offered in partnership with Clayton Early Learning and the Buell Foundation, enrolls early childhood professionals who are committed to positive change within early childhood programs, policies, and practices to advance equity, excellence, and opportunity with all young children and families.
After completing the program, Buell Fellows join an alumni network that fosters ongoing connections and leadership learning. Students are also able to apply credits earned in this program into one of several master’s or doctoral programs offered at the CU Denver’s School of Education & Human Development.
Read and learn about the 11th cohort’s leadership stories in everyday contexts. The stories feature the issues and conversations Buell Fellows engage with and in during the program year.
You can trust CU Denver to provide an education that will prepare you for excellence in your career as an early childhood leader. We have a name that is recognized for preparing leaders of excellence who inspire others. Additionally, CU Denver’s School of Education & Human Development is counted among U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools,” making us one of the top education schools in the country.
Admitted candidates must have the ability to secure release time to attend the following:
Courses will meet in person at Clayton Early Learning unless noted otherwise.
ECED 5330: Introduction to Transformational Leadership
This course outlines the evolution of leadership theory over the past half-century and immerses students in an exploration of the values, leadership capacities, and practices that define transformational leadership as they apply to effecting change to support the success and well-being of young children and their families and communities. 3 credits
ECED 5311: Leadership for Equity in Early Childhood Programs
This course is designed to provide early childhood leaders with an understanding of the equity issues present in early childhood systems and how these issues are reflected in individual identities and programs. Theories from the academic community will be used to facilitate student growth in understanding how these issues interact with them at a personal, professional and leadership level. 3 credits
ECED 5301: Child Development: Theory to Leadership Practices
This course will provide an introduction to theories of child development from an interdisciplinary perspective. It examines development in the cognitive and socioemotional domains utilizing biological, social, psychological and anthropological perspectives and how theory is used to shape program models. 3 credits
ECED 5312: Leading Learning Organizations
This course will deepen student's capacity to lead effectively and learn how to create an adaptive, flexible learning organization well positioned for delivering effective and sustainable programs and services on behalf of young children and families. 3 credits
ECED 5350: Policy and Advocacy in Early Childhood
This course provides the historical and political context of early care and education in the United States. Local, state and federal mandates, public laws, and legislative procedures and initiatives will be investigated. 3 credits
ECED 5320: Community-based Action Research: Capstone
The course focuses on the leader’s role in promoting inquiry as a means to improve the ECE field. Students will gain experience with community-based action research as a methodology for addressing critical systems and program issues affecting their work. 3 credits
Generous funding by the Buell Foundation provides for each admitted student (Buell Fellow) to receive the full tuition for the 18 required credits. Fellows will incur costs throughout the year related to books, travel and lodging while attending classes in Denver.
Minimum qualifications to apply to the program include: The admissions committee considers the following in each applicant: Applications must be submitted in December to be considered for the cohort that begins the following calendar year. Applicants will be selected upon completion of our application process. Please call us with questions at 303-315-5000 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Minimum qualifications to apply to the program include:
The admissions committee considers the following in each applicant:
Applications must be submitted in December to be considered for the cohort that begins the following calendar year. Applicants will be selected upon completion of our application process.
Please call us with questions at 303-315-5000 or email us at email@example.com.