Do you have a passion for teaching? Perhaps you want to help foster a lifelong love of learning in future generations of children? Earning a degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Central Missouri will prepare you to design and run your own classroom, assess children’s educational needs and create positive and healthy learning environments.
Earn your Early Childhood Education degree from the longest continuously CAEP-accredited public institution in Missouri and become the best teacher you can be.
A degree in Early Childhood Education designed for you
95% of graduates employed by graduation
Top public school in the Midwest region
Ranked a best value in education
One-on-one faculty mentorships
Includes kindergarten education
Whether you’re interested in an undergraduate or graduate degree, you’ll enjoy extensive experience in early childhood classrooms — observing and interacting with children as they learn and grow. The real-world experience you’ll receive at UCM will set you apart from other teachers who have spent less time in the classroom, helping you stand out:
The United States is currently experiencing a nationwide shortage of teachers. Our Early Childhood Education programs are dedicated to helping students become inspiring and caring practitioners to fill these positions and instill a love of learning in future generations.
When you earn a degree in Early Childhood Education from UCM, you’ll be ready to build family and community relationships to promote child development and learning. You’ll also gain the expertise to design, implement and improve meaningful curricula for classrooms using educationally effective approaches. With so much experience and knowledge, not only will you become every student’s favorite teacher — you’ll also be every teacher’s favorite colleague.
Your degree in Early Childhood Education can prepare you for a variety of rewarding careers, including:
As a graduate of our Early Childhood Education program, you will:
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.
Clinical Services and Certification, located in Lovinger 2170, monitors your progress from admission to teacher education through student teaching and finalizes your certification with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Clinical Services and Certification will oversee your field experiences, including your student teaching placement.
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.
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.
Both certificate programs have the same minimum admissions requirements:
This certificate is designed to support and enhance leadership skills within early childhood education. The Leadership in Early Childhood Education Certificate aligns with the Missouri Association for the Education of Young Children (MO AEYC) Director Credential, meeting criteria upon completion. The certificate consists of Master’s level Early Childhood Education courses approved by the Missouri Department of Higher Education. This certificate is designed to support and engage early education leaders in and outside the classroom promoting learning, achievement, development, and well-being of each early childhood student through leadership development.
This certificate is designed to support and enhance teaching skills within early childhood education. The Advanced Teaching in Early Childhood Education Certificate aligns with the Core Competencies for Early Childhood and Youth Professionals (Missouri and Kansas) and the revised 2020 National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators. The certificate consists of Master’s level Early Childhood Education courses approved by the Missouri Department of Higher Education. This certificate is designed to support and engage early childhood educators in the classroom promoting learning, development, achievement, and well-being of each early childhood student.
UCM is the longest continuously CAEP accredited public institution in Missouri