Graduate Center for the Study of Early Learning

The University of Mississippi School of Education



The Graduate Center for the Study of Early Learning became a reality in November, 2015. The Center is a component of the School of Education’s focus on the preparation of teachers of young children birth through age 8 years of age. External funding for the Center is provided by The Phil Hardin Foundation, The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Mississippi Development Authority, and State of Mississippi.


The vision of the Graduate Center for the Study of Early Learning is to provide informed leadership, research and interdisciplinary collaboration in the field of child development and early education, with a commitment to respecting the rights of children to learn and grow in an environment that supports their natural ability to explore, experiment, create and wonder.


The mission of the Graduate Center for the Study of Early Learning is to promote and facilitate the support of child development and learning by establishing policies and practices dedicated to:

  • Providing leadership in the field as well as informing leaders charged with decisions that impact the lives of children birth-8 years of age.
  • Conducting research and reporting various research findings that have a direct impact on the well- being of children birth to 8 years of age and their families.
  • Collaborating with stakeholders and programs that focus on the needs of young children and their families.


The Center will:

  • Serve as an online resource to various stakeholders by providing information on the education and healthy development of young children
  • Provide information and professional development on the most current research-based/best practice approach for use in educating children birth-8 years of age to teachers, school administrators, policy makers and parents
  • Provide families information to support their role as the child’s first and most important teacher
  • Generate and/or report research findings on the negative impact poverty has on brain development of young children to inform stakeholders for the purpose of developing and implementing interventions to offset potential developmental delays
  • Support the implementation of the University’s graduate early childhood programs
  • Support the operation of the campus early care and education program serving pre-school children