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Early Childhood Education Minor (BSE)

A strong early education provides a foundation upon which children will continue to build all their lives. At the University of Central Missouri, we know how vital it is to encourage a thirst for learning in young students. To meet this need, we created a birth–grade 3 minor to enhance our Bachelor of Science in Education degree. 

In alignment with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), we promote and guide thinking toward high-quality early learning for all children by connecting practice, policy and research. UCM’s Early Childhood Education minor for BSE, which can be completed in just one semester, gives you a competitive edge in the marketplace. 

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80% of alumni teach in MO schools

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CAEP-accredited program

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Graduates in 75% of MO school districts

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95% employment by graduation

What you will study

As an Early Childhood Education minor, you’ll become well-grounded in theory and have a strong command of content knowledge and instructional strategies. Your minor, along with the BSE in Early Childhood Education, will ensure that you’re prepared to teach children from birth to grade 3.

Courses you may take include:

  • Early Childhood Principles and Observation: Build a critical understanding of how to observe and record early learners’ behavior and translate your findings into best teaching practices.
  • Development and Learning Through Play: Demonstrate how to implement a play-based curriculum in diverse settings and connect play to learning and development.
  • Curriculum Design and Assessment: Use formal and informal assessment strategies to design individualized student programs.


Excellence in Early Childhood Education

  • Longest continuously CAEP-accredited public institution in Missouri, UCM has a tradition of excellence in education. We were originally founded as a training school for teachers and continue to be known for our high-quality teaching programs, including the Early Childhood Education MSE in Leadership.
  • A Best Value College for Elementary Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 15%: Most Focused Colleges for Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • A Most Popular College for Teacher Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 10%: Most Popular Master’s Degree Colleges for Teacher Education Grade Specific (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 6%: Most Popular Colleges for Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • A Most Popular Master’s Degree College for Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 10%: Best Colleges for Education for Non-Traditional Students (College Factual, 2021)
  • A Best Online Masters in Online Teaching Degree Programs (Intelligent, 2021)
  • Top 50: Masters in Elementary Education Degree Programs (Most Flexible Admissions) (Intelligent, 2021)
  • Among the Best Online Masters in Elementary Education Degree Programs by (Intelligent, 2021)


Unique learning opportunities in the Early Childhood Education minor

UCM embodies a constructionist approach. We believe the best educators are those who are exposed to multiple sources of information and methods of teaching.

The Early Childhood Education minor for BSE program offers:

  • Continual development support: As a BSE minor, you’ll be supported in learning through a clinical approach to teaching. Gain experience with various age groups and in classrooms in diverse MO school districts while planning with peers, professors and active teachers.
  • International teaching experience: UCM sponsors two trips abroad each year that are directly connected to BSE program coursework. Collaboration with education professionals in other countries helps broaden your perspective.
  • Discipline-specific student organizations: Join the Early Childhood Young Professionals (ECYP), an affiliate of the state NAEYC, as well as the Missouri State Teachers’ Association and the Student Council for the Exceptional Child.
  • Flexibility: The Early Childhood Education minor for BSE is offered full-time or part-time and in person at our Warrensburg campus. Some of our classes are also offered online for additional scheduling flexibility.


What can you do with an Early Childhood Education minor from UCM?

Adding an Early Childhood Education minor to your BSE degree helps lay the foundation for work with young children and their families. You’ll build the skills you need to positively contribute to their future success.

The content area expertise you’ll gain with your ECE minor is excellent preparation for an advanced degree, including UCM’s new, innovative certificate options:

Some BSE graduates who also completed this minor now teach in public schools and preschools. Others teach in charter and private preschools, early childhood centers and religious community programs.

Careers for early childhood educators

Plan for your future in early childhood teaching using the interactive tool below. You can gain insights into salary potential, job outlooks and more.




Financial assistance options for your Early Childhood Education minor

The University of Central Missouri’s tuition is lower than that of many colleges in the state — and the national average. Plus, 94% of UCM undergraduate students receive financial aid.

Financial aid is available in the form of grants, loans and scholarships. Many scholarship opportunities specific to early childhood education are available for undergraduate students, including ECE minors. For example, you could qualify for:

  • Merle and Maxine Rider Scholarship 
  • Mildred Putnam in Early Childhood Education Scholarship
  • Colene Smyer-Hank and Harvey Hank Scholarship
  • Christy Cox Whitley Memorial Scholarship
  • Dr. Shela D. Synder Teacher Education Scholarship
  • Fannie Faulkner Seevers Memorial Scholarship
  • Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Scholarship
  • Curriculum and Instruction Retired Faculty Outstanding Student Teacher Award

Learn more about program-specific scholarships by using the UCM Scholarship Finder.


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Explore programs related to early childhood education.

If you’re considering ways to enhance your undergraduate studies by adding a minor to a bachelor’s degree program, check out these other minor programs at UCM:



UCM is the longest continuously CAEP accredited public institution in Missouri


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