Apply classroom knowledge to real-world scenarios, gain experience working with children—in Early Childhood Curriculum Studies you gain practical experience starting in the first year of the program.

Field placements are hosted by child care programs as well as by family support agencies, government offices and a variety of community organizations. Whether you exit the program with a two-year diploma or go the distance with the degree, future employers know you have the hands-on experience that will make you an asset to their program.

First- and second-year placements

In the first two years of the program, you complete four field placements, accumulating enough hours to meet Alberta Child Care Staff Certification requirements for Level 3 Early Childhood Educator certification through Alberta Children’s Services.

During your placements, you are supervised by an on-site mentor and a MacEwan faculty member, who visits you once a week at your placement. You will be given detailed policies, procedures, protocols, and expectations regarding your placement.

There is a MacEwan Field Education Facilitator responsible for finding you a placement.

Senior internship and capstone project

In the final year of your degree, you work for 150 hours as a senior intern at an early childhood organization. The internship (ECCS 455 Senior Internship in Research, Policy, and Practice) focuses on curriculum development and implementation, research in early learning, advanced practice with children and families and pedagogical leadership. As a senior intern, you integrate the skills and apply the knowledge you’ve developed throughout the program.

The experience you gain and the research you undertake during the internship is distilled in a capstone project, which is produced in ECCS 450, a required, three-credit, end-of-program course. Your capacity for independent intellectual work and professional responsibility are demonstrated through the capstone project.

Upon completion of the capstone course and your senior internship, you are well positioned to function with integrity in the field guided by professional principles, values, ethics and expectations. You are prepared to advocate for social justice, policy change and sustainability issues related to children and families and for advancing the field of early childhood.

Your MacEwan faculty coordinator is responsible for finding you a senior internship; however, you are invited to be part of the process for selecting the internship and the correlating capstone project.

International students

International students must have a co-op work permit before starting field placement, clinical practice or practicum. A co-op work permit is different from your study permit; it is an additional permit that authorizes international students to participate in work that is integral to their program of study. If you will be working with vulnerable populations in a health, community or medical field, you will need an up-to-date medical exam by an IRCC-approved panel physician before applying for a co-op work permit.

Ask MacEwan International about the documents you need to have to apply. You should apply for a co-op work permit 4-6 months before the start of your field placement, clinical practice or practicum as current IRCC processing times are lengthy.

Learn while doing

Gain work experience, apply the skills and knowledge you learn in class to a practical setting, study in another country, conduct research. Experiential learning can take you many directions. Find out what options are available for your program.

Experiential learning