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Advanced Teaching in Early Childhood Education Certificate

Early childhood education is the foundation upon which every child builds. Providing that foundation ignites a desire for learning that is paramount for young children. Recognizing the need for more caring educational leaders like you, the University of Central Missouri launched an innovative graduate program.

UCM’s Advanced Teaching in Early Childhood Education graduate certificate program is specifically designed to support candidates who want to take the next step in progressing their careers. You’ll enhance your teaching skills and increase your marketability as you prepare for a leadership role in early childhood education.

Early education leaders are the key to accessible and inclusive learning. This graduate certificate program curriculum is focused on teaching and leading 21st-century education. At UCM, we support and engage early childhood educators by promoting student learning, development and achievement. All courses are approved by the Missouri Department of Higher Education.

The University of Central Missouri is the only institution in the state to offer an Advanced Teaching in Early Childhood Education graduate certificate.

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Karrie Snider
Associate Professor
Lovinger 3320                                           Warrensburg, MO
Tel: 660-543-8658 |

College of Education

Department of Early, Elementary, Middle and Physical Education

Early Childhood Education

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CAEP accredited

Continuously accredited by the CAEP

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100% online graduate program

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Only grad certificate of its kind in MO

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150-year tradition in education

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Courses approved by MO Dept of Higher Ed

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Aligns with ECYP and NAEYC standards


What you will study

UCM’s Advanced Teaching in Early Childhood Education certificate aligns with the Core Competencies for Early Childhood and Youth Professionals Missouri and Kansas. It also meets the revised 2020 National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Professional Standards.

Our focused courses offer opportunities for you to practice your teaching strategies and sharpen your leadership skills. To complete your Advanced Teaching certificate, you’ll take innovative courses such as:

  • Early Childhood Education: A Constructivist Approach for 21st Century Thinkers
  • Play and Advocacy in the 21st Century
  • Multicultural Education Beliefs, Curriculum and Pedagogy
  • Making and Learning: STEM in Early Childhood Education
  • Teaching Strategies and The Classroom Environment for Active, Engaged Learning

Direct Pathway to a Master’s in Early Childhood Education

With your Advanced Teaching Certificate, you’ll be eligible to complete an additional 15 credit hours to earn the full MSE in Early Childhood Education from UCM. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, completing a master’s degree can qualify you for jobs that pay as much as 26% more per year.


Excellence in Early Childhood Education

  • UCM is Missouri's longest continuously accredited public institution by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
  • Top 15%: Most Focused Colleges for Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 6%: Most Popular Colleges for Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • A Most Popular College for Teacher Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 10%: Best Value in Education (College Factual, 2021)


Unique Learning Opportunities

Your University of Central Missouri’s Advanced Teaching Certificate will help you pursue leadership roles beyond the classroom. Gain hands-on, real-world experience to grow as an educator:

  • Direct interaction with students: Work alongside elementary school teachers and assist in the classroom. You’ll apply what you’re learning in your courses while staying current with teaching methods.
  • Mentorship: Our faculty is active in early education advocacy through organizations and political associations. They will show you how to lead education conversations that inspire action.
  • Personal career advising: With small class sizes and dedicated faculty, UCM’s Advanced Teaching in Early Childhood Education graduate certificate program offers individualized support throughout the program.


What can you do with an Advanced Teaching in Early Childhood Education certificate from UCM?

UCM created the Advanced Teaching graduate certificate in response to the changing landscape of elementary education and an increasing demand for education leaders within the early childhood profession.

Investing in your career opens new pathways to you as an educator:

  • Create early childhood programming in a museum or other educational settings
  • Lead educational services for families with young children
  • Create curricula for the professional development of early childhood educators

Earning your graduate certificate also gives you the opportunity to accelerate completion of your master’s degree for a second credential.

Advancement opportunities for early childhood educators

Explore more career paths and salary potential in early childhood education using the interactive tool below.




Financial assistance options for your Advanced Teaching in Early Childhood Education graduate certificate

Gaining a graduate education shouldn’t jeopardize your financial future. At the University of Central Missouri, we’re committed to helping you achieve your goals in a cost-effective way.

UCM’s tuition is lower than those offered by many colleges in Missouri — and the national average. 

For degree-seeking students, financial aid is available in several forms:

  • Scholarships
  • Grants
  • Loans
  • Graduate assistantships

You may also qualify for funding specifically for students in Early Childhood Education. Learn more about program-specific scholarships with the UCM Scholarship Finder.


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Take your degree further.

Once you’ve earned your Advanced Teaching in Early Childhood Education certificate at UCM, you’ll have the opportunity to count those course credits toward a Master of Science in Education:

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Explore programs related to advanced early childhood teaching.

You may also be interested in the following graduate certificate instead of, or in addition to, UCM’s Advanced Teaching in Early Childhood Education graduate certificate:

Admission requirements

In order to be accepted into this graduate certificate program,  you must have

  • A minimum 2.5 GPA on any courses completed prior to admission
  • Completed bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a related field of study
  • Completed application for graduate admission to UCM

Student Learning Outcomes

Advanced Teaching in Early Childhood Education Graduate Certificate students will:

  1. Apply research-based procedures, using their own knowledge, appropriate early learning standards, high leverage practices, innovative resources to design, implement, and evaluate use of engaging and challenging curriculum for early learners.
  2. Develop a pedagogy of caring by 1) recognizing the characteristics of caring; 2) classifying pervasive teacher attitudes and expectations that impact caring; and 3) recognizing how the effects of teacher-student interactions on student outcomes can lead to culturally responsive teaching.
  3. Plan and program STEM activities for children through intentional teaching, inquiry units, play and everyday routines.
  4. Analyze and use relevant theories and research to demonstrate the understanding that positive relationships, supportive interactions, and engaging instructional experiences build effective classroom environments.
  5. Engage in professional conversations with colleagues focusing on current issues in early childhood education to support 21st century teaching and learning.

These outcomes are aligned with the following:

  • Missouri Association for the Education of Young Children (MO AEYC) competencies I: Child and Youth Growth and Development and II: Learning Environment and Curriculum.
  • Revised 2020 National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators, Standard 1: Child Development and Learning in Context and Standard 4: Developmentally, Culturally, and Linguistically Appropriate Teaching Practices, Standard 5: Knowledge, Application, and Integration of Academic Content in the Early Childhood Curriculum
  • Professional Standards for Educational Leaders developed through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Standard 4: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment and Standard 5: Community of Care and Support for Students.


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