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Outstanding Educators for Early Childhood

With its long history of teacher education, the University of Northern Colorado is highly regarded for its teaching philosophy and outstanding graduates. When you choose UNC’s Early Childhood Teacher Education program, you are choosing a program that offers small class sizes, passionate faculty and hours of field and classroom experience. The Early Childhood Teacher Education Program also offers a minor in early childhood for students outside the College of Education (such as pediatricians, nurses and speech pathologists) who seek a career working with children and families.

Led by dedicated early childhood professors who are actively involved in teaching and research, you’ll develop a range of specialized skills to work with children from birth through age 8. You’ll benefit from extensive field-based learning opportunities that provide valuable classroom experience in both birth-5 and K-3 settings.

Small class sizes and many opportunities to volunteer in schools and communities (such as after-school tutoring and our Waste Not Food program) allow you to deepen your education and develop professional relationships for future success.

Degree Options

The Early Childhood Teacher Education degree offers two options: an emphasis in Teacher Education or Liberal Arts depending on your interests and career goals. Note that in Colorado, students can take the PRAXIS teacher certification exam and have their licensure extended to include fourth, fifth and sixth grades as well. This program is also offered through the Center for Urban Education in Denver.

Early Childhood Teacher Education Degree with Director Qualification and Ages Birth - 8 Licensure

The Teacher Education emphasis includes methods courses focused on K-3 teaching and a semester-long student teaching experience. This option is ideal for students who wish to pursue a license to teach children in K-3 classrooms in elementary schools.

Major Requirements

The licensure program is also available as an online degree completion program.

Online Program Details

Early Childhood Education Liberal Arts Concentration Degree with Director Qualification

Want to work with children younger than five? Instead of taking methods courses and student teaching in your senior year, the Liberal Arts emphasis includes other electives that will prepare you to teach children birth to age five in a variety of settings.

Major Requirements

Center for Urban Education

Interested in gaining specialized training and experience in urban school districts?  All Center students spend their mornings in a classroom teacher apprenticeship position - all four years. Students receive pay as well as college credit for this experience. That means you will be part of the school environment as working, contributing staff members while you complete your college education.  You'll be mentored by a retired master teacher who offers guidance and support for the classroom apprenticeship experience.

Center for Urban Education Program Details

Minor Option

Early Childhood Education Minor

Whether you’re an elementary education major or you’re majoring in nursing or psychology, UNC’s Early Childhood Minor provides options and coursework that gives you the opportunity to focus on the development of young children. You’ll complete 18 credit hours by taking Nutrition, Health and Safety, Child Development in Context (0-8 years), Family Diversity and Involvement Early Childhood Education, Teaching Young Bilingual Children and Language and Literacy Development of Preschool and Elementary School Children.

Minor Requirements

Related Programs

“My job is exciting and full of surprise and I have never felt as though I was not prepared for my first teaching experience. Thanks again for your UNC program and making my dreams finally come true. I had raised my own children and had an associate’s degree but didn’t think I could go on and be a teacher in a public school. Going from Aims to UNC and earning my degree has truly changed and blessed my life!”

–Nicole, Preschool Teacher in a Public School

“The Early Childhood Program prepared me very well for teaching. Right from the beginning of my teaching kindergarten, I felt at home and like I had been doing this every day of my life.”

– Elizabeth, Kindergarten Teacher in a Public School

“Having a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education has created many opportunities for me. I can teach birth to third grade and know that my degree makes me a very effective teacher.”

– Shana, 2013 graduate and Montessori teacher

Your Future in Early Childhood Education

Our program promotes an inclusive approach to early childhood education, emphasizing cultural sensitivity and diversity. Coursework also provides a strong foundation in child development and children’s literature.

Consider UNC’s B.A. in Early Childhood Education if you:

  • Wish to work as a K-3 or preschool classroom teacher or as a child care teacher or center director
  • Are interested in working as an in-home licensed childcare provider 
  • Wish to become an early childhood curriculum expert
  • Seek small classes with close faculty mentorship
  • Are interested in continuing your education at graduate school

You’ll learn:

  • Principles of child development and learning, and elementary teaching
  • To lead educational change, drawing from research-based projects, units and integrated assignments and activities
  • To use innovative tools and methodologies for success as an educator
  • Skills for a strong background in diversity and child development through research-based coursework and hands-on experiences in childcare centers and elementary school classrooms

Sample courses:

  • Infant and Toddler Theory and Practice
  • Guidance Strategies for Children
  • Teaching Young Bilingual Children
  • Curriculum Development: Methods and Techniques
  • Family Diversity and Involvement Early Childhood Education
  • Creative Expression and Play in Early Childhood
  • School programs 

Beyond the Classroom

Follow in the footsteps of the best teachers in Colorado. UNC ranks fifth in teacher candidate graduates in the U.S., and graduates more than half of the educators trained in Colorado. 

You’ll benefit from seamless collaboration with Aims and other Colorado community colleges. Real-world experience deepens your preparation with continuous classroom experiences. In community college classes, you’ll be in classrooms with children birth to age 5. UNC classes include experiences in school classrooms with children ages 5 through 8. Your last semester is a full time student teaching experience in a K-3 classroom.

Where can your degree take you?

When you graduate, you’ll be prepared for a variety of school settings including public schools, childcare programs and home-based programs, with expertise in early childhood curriculum. Many of our graduates work in preschools, kindergarten and early childhood centers, while others choose to go on to graduate school to pursue an advanced degree.

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