Helping children grow up to be healthy, happy, responsible, and productive adults of tomorrow is not easy.

And it couldn’t be more important.

An Erikson education is the best preparation you can get to do the most important work you could choose. This is the place to learn if you want to:

  • make the greatest impact you can on the lives of children and families you serve;
  • learn with and work with others who are passionate about giving young children the best start in life;
  • excel at what you do and feel satisfied by your work, and
  • be prepared for where your experience leads you.

Erikson is the nation’s premiere graduate school focusing exclusively on early childhood, and our approach to education is unmatched. Our programs combine comprehensive knowledge of child development, opportunities to put that knowledge into practice, and a critical third component — an emphasis on professional self-awareness, a core competency that enhances your effectiveness.

Our doctoral program offered in conjunction with Loyola University Chicago explores how educational institutions, intervention programs, policies, and other contextual factors such as poverty and language differences shape the dynamics of children’s development, achievement, and well-being, preparing graduates for careers in college teaching and research, program design and evaluation, program administration, and policy analysis.

Erikson education features

  • Comprehensive curriculum covering all aspects of child development — physical/motor, language and cognition, social and emotional. You’ll draw on diverse fields including sociology, psychology, biology, neurology, anthropology, health care, law, and public policy to understand children.
  • An emphasis on culture and context. Understanding how family, community, environment, cultural traditions, and other factors influence a child is essential to optimizing his or her development.
  • A focus on relationship-based learning. When you work with children, you enter into a relationship with them. You affect the child, who in turn affects you. You’ll learn how your personality, history, expectations, and assumptions influence that ever-shifting equation.
  • Reflective practice. You’ll spend time examining your values, biases, habits, and techniques. You’ll learn to question, self-assess, and continually develop yourself and your practice.

NEXT: What is reflective practice?