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Elementary Education - Early Childhood: Birth-Grade 3, BSE

Inspiring Young Minds

A degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Central Missouri prepares you assess children’s developmental needs, provide developmentally appropriate instruction, and provide positive and healthy learning environments for children. You’ll have extensive experience in early childhood classrooms in a variety of settings and grade levels. These experiences will make you look and act differently than other future teachers who’ve spent less time in the classroom. You’ll stand out!


Experiential Learning

At UCM, we believe you learn best by doing. That’s why you’ll receive extensive classroom teaching opportunities in multiple grade levels and settings well before you graduate. In fact our goal is for you to have classroom placements in every grade in which you will be certified to teach. 


Engaged Faculty

Our faculty are all experienced former elementary teachers with the knowledge and skills to help you develop as an educator. Your professors are with you in your field placements to provide support. Working alongside elementary teachers and students ensures we stay current and are preparing you well for the reality of today’s classrooms.. 


Find Your Place

UCM offers many ways for students to be involved. Education students may choose to join student chapters of the Missouri State Teachers Association or the National Education Association. Members of Kappa Delta Pi, an education honor society, sponsor a variety of projects designed to support area schools and organizations. If visiting other countries is appealing, our department sponsors two Study Abroad trips each year.


Undergraduate Majors

Undergraduate Minors

Undergraduate Certificates

Graduate Degrees

Program Outcomes

As a graduate of our Early Childhood Education program, you will:

  • Promote child development and learning while building family and community relationships.
  • Observe, document, and assess to support young children and families.
  • Use content knowledge, appropriate pedagogy, and dispositions to build meaningful curriculum using developmentally effective approaches.

Team Advising Approach

We use a team advising approach for our students. Your academic advisor will make sure you are taking courses in the correct sequence and that you are meeting all requirements for Missouri teaching certification. You will also be assigned a faculty advisor who will be one of your professors. Your faculty advisor will work closely with you when you begin taking major and professional education courses.

Early Field Experience

You will be placed in an elementary classroom for the first time in your second or third semester at UCM. You will complete a six-hour block of foundations courses and spend 30 hours in an elementary classroom. This will allow you to see teaching from a teacher’s perspective and help you know for sure you are on the right path.

Junior Year Blocks

During your junior year, you will complete two blocks. A block is a combination of courses and an extensive placement in an elementary classroom. One of your blocks will focus on Pre-K and Kindergarten and the other will focus on grades 1-3. All of your courses will be about teaching and learning in those grades. You will be placed in an elementary classroom in one of the grades you are focusing on that semester. You’ll primarily work with small groups of children – you will teach them, interview them, assess them, read with them, play games with them.

Senior Year Blocks

You’ll spend your senior year in the same school district. During your first senior semester, you’ll have classes one day a week and them be in your classroom placement two days a week. You’ll experience three different grades levels for about five weeks each. During this semester, you really start assuming the work of the teacher. You’ll plan with your cooperating teacher and teach the whole class. You’ll attend professional development and meetings along with your teacher. The second semester is student teaching and you will be placed with one of the three teachers you worked with first semester. This means the transition to student teaching is smooth!

Student Teaching and Certification

The Clinical Services and Certification Office is located in Lovinger 2170. This office monitors your progress from admission to teacher education through student teaching and finalizes your certification with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The staff of Clinical Services Office will oversee your field experiences, including your student teaching placement.



UCM is the longest continuously CAEP accredited public institution in Missouri

Early Childhood Education Information:

Natalie Tye
Assistant Professor
Lovinger 3182
Tel: 660-543-4235


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