Early Childhood Education

Bachelor of Science (BS)

The Early Childhood Education program at the University of Minnesota Crookston emphasizes a developmental approach to teaching and learning, integrating the fields of child development, early childhood education, family relations, and small business management. Graduates are uniquely qualified to be effective teachers of young children (from birth through age 8 or 3rd grade) and/or to manage high-quality early childhood programs.  Students who complete the primary education emphasis in this major will be eligible to apply for a Minnesota Teachers License.

Key Features

Key Features


  • Many of the courses require laboratory experiences in conjunction with other projects and assignments. 
  • observation roomStudents majoring in Early Childhood Education at UMC benefit from this state-of-the-art Early Childhood facility, which provides them with an opportunity to observe and participate in a teacher-training laboratory at an actual child care facility. The facility was meticulously planned to serve as a model center for early childhood care and education. Under the supervision of UMC's faculty, students gain experience working directly with children in different "lab" settings. Observation, seminar, and resource rooms provide areas for students to prepare lesson plans and to analyze interactions.
  • Children playing outsideThis degree program has four academic core areas of required coursework—education core, early childhood and family core, infant and toddler education core, and preprimary education core—and two areas of emphasis—primary education and program management where you can obtain your Minnesota State Teacher Licensure. These courses and their required clinical teaching experiences will prepare graduates to design, implement, and evaluate developmentally appropriate learning experiences for young children in early childhood settings, to collaborate with families, to effectively manage resources (human, fiscal, physical), and to communicate with the community.
  • Teacher reading book to childGraduates communicate their understanding of the foundations of early childhood education and the effects of societal conditions on children and families, identify and use ethical guidelines and other professional standards in their practice, and engage in reflective practice and professional development as informed advocates for sound educational practices and policies.
  • Graduates will learn to comprehend and value the importance and complex characteristics of children’s families and communities and use communication skills to effectively establish and maintain positive, respectful, collaborative relationships that support, involve, and empower families in their child’s development and learning.
  • Children field tripGraduates articulate a philosophy and rationale for decisions, work effectively with others, carry out management tasks associated with planning, organizing, staffing, leading, monitoring and controlling for quality, and engage in reflective practice as they evaluate the effects of their choices and actions on others (young children, parents, and other professionals), as a basis for program planning and modification.

Program Requirements & Curriculum

Program Requirements & Curriculum

To view the current Early Childhood Education, BS curriculum, visit our catalog:
View Early Childhood Education, BS curriculum

The  Early Childhood Education major offers two areas of emphasis:

  • Primary Education
  • Program Management

Learn more about UMC's Teacher Education Unit and requirements.

Associated Clubs & Organizations

Associated Clubs & Organizations



Child playing on foorCareer opportunities include positions as:

  • Preschool Teachers
  • Head Teachers or Lead Teachers for ECE Programs
  • Kindergarten & Elementary Teachers (through 3rd grade)
  • Head Start Teachers
  • Children playing insideEarly Childhood Care Managers
  • Directors of Early Childhood Education Programs
  • Home Start Educators
  • Education Coordinators, Family Coordinators

Student Stories

Student Stories

Samantha Maki '11, B.S. graduate of the Early Childhood Education Program at the University of Minnesota Crookston, discusses her experience at UMC and some of the options graduates of the program have.

Stacy Flikka '11, majored in early childhood education and business management talks about her experience at the University of Minnesota Crookston. 

The UMC Advantage

The UMC Advantage

Small Campus. Big Degree.

Did you know a degree from the University of Minnesota is recognized all over the world? True story. As a system campus of the University of Minnesota system, the U of M Crookston offers access to world-class teaching, learning, and research resources—all in a smaller, more personal campus setting that’s very much like a private school. The University of Minnesota is internationally recognized and respected by not only intellectuals and academic movers and shakers, but major employers who want to hire the best and brightest—namely, you.

Learning and Doing

At the U of M Crookston, you won’t spend all your time behind a desk. Our curriculum is designed around experiential learning, which means we want you to have as much hands-on learning as possible. Depending on your major, you’ll find opportunities to be in the field, the lab, the classroom, or engaging in simulated scenarios that give you a competitive edge when you enter the workforce or head to grad school. You’ll learn the concepts and then actively apply them through projects, field trips, site visits, internships, and interactions with professionals in the field.

Caring Faculty and Staff

Our faculty and staff members are respected not only for their knowledge and skills, but also because they care about you as an individual. They serve as true mentors, offering personalized attention through small class sizes, a student-faculty ratio of 16:1, and by working closely with you as advisors. They take the time to welcome you to the UMC community, watch you grow as a leader and scholar, and help you connect with alumni and other experts.

A Technology-Rich Environment

At the U of M Crookston, we offer every student a laptop computer from day one. Everyone is tech-savvy, wi-fi is everywhere and learning happens in many ways, including simulations, applications and video presentations. It’s a virtual tech-topia! So, when you graduate, you’ll have all the latest technology skills, giving you a competitive edge. Employers consistently report the UMC graduates they hire are their “go to” people for technology and are well prepared for the demands of today’s technological workplace.

Internships, Job Placement and Grad School

More than 87% of U of M Crookston graduates gain full-time employment in their field or enroll in graduate or professional school within one year of graduation. That’s a fact. We’ll sure miss you when you graduate, but we know as a proud Golden Eagle alum, you’ll want to come back to cheer us on at homecoming or catch up with your favorite professors.

Internships. They’re a great way to earn college credit, add to your resume and help answer the question, “is this really what I want to do?” You can find internship opportunities with everyone from the business down the street to Fortune 500 companies. Or maybe grad school is in your future. U of M Crookston students get the educational requirements and resources they need to apply to an array of graduate programs from veterinary science to med school to an MBA program. Many go on for more education in a variety of other fields.

Opportunities for undergraduate research also add real value to your educational experience by allowing you to design and conduct research while working alongside faculty mentors. Research experience is especially helpful if you plan to attend graduate school.

One-Rate Tuition and Scholarship Options

Whether you live in Minnesota, just across the border, across the country, or on the other side of the ocean, you pay the same tuition rate, and the U of M Crookston’s tuition rate is a real value because it’s the lowest of the five campuses that make up the U of M system. Additionally, with merit-based scholarships guaranteed based on GPA and ACT scores and more than 300 specialty scholarships, we really do help make college affordable.

Leadership, Clubs and Athletics

Sure, college is about classes, studying, and research, but another important part of the experience involves professional development, creativity, leadership, and service. And let’s not forget about fun! With more than 40 student clubs and organizations, there’s something for every interest. Best of all, if you can’t find something from the existing list, grab a few friends and start a new club. It’s really just that easy…

In athletics, Golden Eagles shake things up on the court, the field, and on the sidelines. The U of M Crookston competes at the NCAA Division II level in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) as well as the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) and offers a full range of men’s and women’s athletic programs.

A Diverse, Global Experience

The world really is a small place, and at U of M Crookston we value diversity. Our students bring rich experiences spanning six continents, and more than 20 countries and 40 states! We value diversity because it not only helps you better understand the world, it helps you understand yourself and how your piece fits into the puzzle of global society. Get involved in the many multicultural and international programs on campus, and you’ll see how easy it is to make friends from across the world.

Or choose one of our international programs. Study, intern, volunteer, play, explore – here or anywhere. Take your pick from more than 300 options in 67 countries. Don’t just learn it, live it.

On-Campus Faculty

On-Campus Faculty

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Teaching Specialist
Teaching Specialist
(218) 281-8245
UMC Photo Not Available
Teaching Specialist
(218) 281-8256
Associate Professor
(218) 280-1476
CIHS Coordinator, Teaching Specialist
(218) 281-8677
Department Head/Professor
(218) 281-8248
Associate Professor (retired), Emeritus
(218) 281-8255
College Factual Top 10% Nationwide for Non-Traditional Students Award Badge
College Factual Top 5% Nationwide for Gender Diversity Award Badge
Niche Award Badge for 2018 Best Colleges
Best 4-Year Colleges in Minnesota award badge

Related Majors, Minors & Programs...

Interested in a double major or minor to complement your Degree? Check out these other programs at UMC: