The Alternative Route to Licensure program in Early Childhood Education (ECE-ARL) is designed to support teacher candidates in developing evidence-based content knowledge and pedagogy related to teaching young children in inclusive environments. Through integrated coursework and field experiences, the mission of our program is to support your development in pedagogical content knowledge relative to effective teaching practices for teaching young children. Basically, through classes on campus at UNLV and experiences in early childhood education classrooms we are working to prepare you to be the best teacher you can be for students aged birth-2nd grade!

The ECE-ARL prepares you to teach young children from birth-2nd grade in early childhood education settings. These could be in public school settings or in early childhood education centers (i.e., Head Start).

Admission Deadline

Fall - July 1

Spring - November 1

Summer - April 1

Contact Info

Nancy Brown, EMS ARL Program Coordinator
Phone: 702-895-3205

Joseph Morgan, EMS Graduate Coordinator
Phone: 702-895-3205

Structure of the Program

Professional Development Semester

The ECE-ARL program is designed for completion in four semesters (approximately 15 months). In the first semester (professional development), students complete three classes (9 credit hours or 135 contact hours), the Praxis Core or the California Basic Educational Skills Test, and a one credit hour class which is a 45-hour practicum experience under the direction of a licensed early childhood education teacher.

If students complete the coursework, testing, and practicum requirements in the first semester, then they are eligible for an ARL certificate that allows students to apply for a provisional license in the state of Nevada through the Nevada Department of Education. This license is valid for three years and allows for ECE-ARL completers to then apply for employment as an early childhood education teacher in any public school in the state of Nevada.

Completion of Licensure Courses

Following the initial professional development semester, students will continue taking three courses per semester for the subsequent three semesters in order to complete the coursework criteria for a standard teaching license in the state of Nevada.

In their final semester of courses, ECE-ARL students will complete a comprehensive exam that covers material learned throughout their Master’s program.

Additional Licensure Requirements

Once ECE-ARL students complete all coursework requirements, they will also need to pass any additional state licensing exams and teach for two years satisfactorily in an early childhood education placement before applying for their standard teaching license. ECE-ARL students are encouraged to see the Nevada Department of Education licensure requirements in early childhood education for additional information.

Applications for admission to the ECE-ARL program are due by the following dates:

Fall – July 1
Spring – November 1
Summer – April 1

Interested applicants must complete both the Graduate College and the supplemental EMS application for full consideration. Candidates will be contacted to come to campus to participate in an interview following submission of their application.

Candidates must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the ECE-ARL program:

  1. Have a Bachelor’s degree in a field other than education with an overall undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher OR a 3.0 GPA or higher in your last 60 credits of study.
    1. If your GPA is below these criteria, it is recommended that you begin as a non-degree seeking student for your professional development semester and then apply to the Graduate College based on your grades in that first semester.
  2. Be accepted as either a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education student or a non-degree seeking graduate student through the UNLV Graduate College.
  3. Complete the supplemental ARL application.
  4. Take and pass the Praxis Core or the California Basic Educational Skills Test by the end of the semester for which you are admitted.
  5. Successfully participate in an on-campus interview with faculty in the Early Childhood program at UNLV.

Upon admission to the ECE-ARL program, all students will be assigned a graduate advisor who will guide them through the completion of their Master’s degree. It is expected that ECE-ARL students move through the program as a cohort and follow the program of study outlined for each cohort. This ensures that you will complete all licensure requirements in the timeframe outlined by the Nevada Department of Education. Students should check their admissions letter in the Grad Rebel Gateway for their advisor’s information, and should schedule a time to meet with their advisor in the first semester of coursework.