Human Development and Family Studies

Leadership in Early Care and Education

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

baby on swing

The online Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Leadership in Early Care and Education (LECE) provides students with graduate level training and a credential to pursue careers in leadership positions in early care and education settings including early intervention, Smart Start, resource and referral, and community college instruction. The certificate requires 18 semester hours of course work and is available to students with at least a bachelor’s degree. Individuals who do not plan to pursue a degree program may enroll in the LECE program, as well as individuals pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree in Human Development and Family Studies or Specialized Education Services.

Individuals who wish to pursue a master’s or doctoral degree simultaneously with the LECE program must meet all requirements for admission to both programs. GRE scores are not required for admission into the LECE Certificate program. We encourage applications from individuals with backgrounds in early childhood or related fields.

Required Courses 15 s.h.

HDF 650 Theory & Research in Early Childhood Development
HDF 636 Leadership & Mentoring in Educating Young Children
HDF 634 Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood Policy
SES 601 Introduction to Inclusive Birth – Kindergarten Services
SES 605 Diversity and Inclusive Early Care and Education
Elective With the approval of the advisor, students choose 3 hours of electives at the 500 or 600 level.

Sample LECE Plan of Study:

Summer 1 Fall 1 Spring 1 Summer 2
HDF 634 SES 601 HDF 650 SES 605
  HDF 636 Elective  

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the program admission requirements?
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood or a related field and an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 for admission.

What if my undergraduate GPA is below 3.0?
If your GPA is below 3.0, then you have the option of taking a graduate level course as a visiting student and then applying for the program. Students are not guaranteed admission to the program (a full application review will still be required) but they will be considered as eligible applicants if they earn a B or better in the course they take as a visiting student through UNCG Visions.

Can I work while completing the LECE Program?
Yes, many students work while completing the program. Synchronous class meetings are in the evenings from 5:00-6:50pm. In HDF/SES 607 and HDF/SES 606, electives for the LECE program, students are required to participate in 3 hour-per-week field experiences in high-quality inclusive settings. If LECE students elect to take one of these courses, in some instances, students may need to leave their work settings to complete a field experience in an approved setting.   

How long does it take to complete the LECE Program?
The program can be completed in as few as 2 regular semesters and 2 summers, depending on the number of courses taken each semester. Students applying from fields other than early childhood education may be required to take two pre-requisite courses during the program.

I am interested in completing the LECE certificate along with the BK:ISED M.Ed. Can I do that?
Yes, if you are interested in obtaining the LECE Certificate along with your BK:ISED degree, you must apply to the UNCG Graduate School for admission to the certificate program within the first 12 hours of your coursework. This is an additional application and acceptance process. A final plan of study for the LECE program is due by the end of the third week of classes during the last semester of coursework. No graduation fee is charged for certificate candidates. Please note that you cannot be admitted to the Certificate program and graduate from it in the same term.

How do I apply for the LECE Program?
Complete the online application . Applications must include academic transcripts, a current resume, a professional statement describing interest and rationale for completing the program and career goals, and three letters of recommendation, including at least one academic reference.

What is the application deadline?
All applications must be COMPLETED by February 1, 2017, in order to be considered for Fall 2017 admission. We strongly recommend that applicants submit all materials by January 13, 2017 to allow sufficient time for letters and transcripts to be uploaded to the online application system. Applications completed after February 1 will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the program fills.

For further information about any BK program contact Dr. Catherine Scott-Little, HDFS BK Graduate Co-Director, at or Dr. Margaret Gillis, SES BK Graduate Co-Director, at

Gainful Employment information
BK Graduate Handbook (pdf)

UNCG is currently authorized to offer online courses to students in all states except Iowa, Wisconsin, Montana, Wyoming and Minnesota.