Missouri State University
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Early Childhood Education

Childhood Education and Family Studies 

For More Information

Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897
Office: 417-836-3262
Fax: 417-836-3263

Career Preparation

The Early Childhood Education program provides experiences that prepare students to become effective teachers for children from birth through grade three. If you are interested in young children and teaching, you may wish to consider early childhood education as a career. Current trends indicate employment opportunities for early childhood graduates have increased significantly. Salaries for graduates are in the $25,000 to $30,000 range, depending on the geographic area.

The program is approved by the Missouri State Board of Education and accredited by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and NCATE.

Academic Program

The Early Childhood Education baccalaureate degree program requires satisfactory completion of approximately 134 to 139 hours. The program includes course work that will satisfy the university’s general education requirements. This sequence is designed to provide a basic content background in subject-matter areas related to early childhood programs. Professional education courses are sequenced to provide both study in the university setting and practical experience in early childhood educational settings.

A high school student considering early childhood teaching as a career is encouraged to become actively involved with children in preschool through grade three in a variety of settings such as child care centers, public schools or summer day camps. Membership in the Future Educators of America (FEA) is strongly encouraged if the club is sponsored by the high school. In addition, a selection of high school courses to provide strong academic preparations in English, mathematics, science and social studies is recommended.

To be admitted to the Teacher Education Program at Missouri State requires completion of 45 college hours; a 2.75 GPA; a valid ACT score (if required by DESE); completion of ELE 302, and COM 115 with a C or higher; and a score of 265 on all components of the state’s general competency test (the C-BASE); Missouri Family Care Registry check and approval of PEC. In addition, the Early Childhood Program has a selective admission policy. See the Missouri State Catalog for more information. 


The following is a representative list of the early childhood education courses offered. Please consult the Missouri State Catalog online at www.missouristate.edu/catalog for course descriptions and specific degree requirements.

  • ELE 302: Introduction to Elementary Education
  • KIN 100: Fitness for Living
  • ECE 401: Curriculum in Early Childhood Education
  • ECE 402: Assessing Young Children


Faculty members are actively involved in teaching, research and service activities at the local, state and national levels. While the faculty provides advisement assistance to the undergraduate students, a central advisement office is located in Hill Hall. Students are encouraged to gain initial advisement from this center.

The College of Education has adopted as its theme for teacher education the "Teacher As Reflective Practitioner." This theme is addressed in all courses and activities in the professional sequence.


The university is fortunate to have Greenwood Laboratory School located on campus. Greenwood, a K-12 laboratory school, provides students in Early Childhood Education with first-hand experiences in observing and working with children. In addition, students also work with young children in the university’s Child Development Center and in public school early childhood settings. The technology laboratories located in Hill Hall represent the most recent innovations in instructional technology available for use by Early Childhood Education majors.


A student majoring in Early Childhood Education has the opportunity to become involved in a variety of student organizations. For example, Kappa Delta Pi is an honorary organization for Education majors; the Student National Education Association and the Student Missouri State Teachers Association are professional organizations for Education majors; and the National Association for the Education of Young Children has young children as its focus. These organizations provide students with the opportunity for professional growth and the opportunity to meet students with similar interests. An important service provided by the university and the department pertains to helping students secure teaching positions upon graduation. Career Services takes an active role in helping students secure teaching positions upon graduation


Sample Schedule

Missouri State is committed to assisting students to graduate in four years--see sample graduation plans for this major.

The following is a sample schedule for this major--your actual schedule will vary.

First Semester Courses Hours
GEP 101 First Year Foundations 2
CIS 101 or CSC 101 2
CFD 160 Principles of Development in Early Childhood 3
ENG 110 Writing I 3
PSY 121 Introductory Psychology 3
PLS 101 American Democracy and Citizenship 3
Total Hours 16
Second Semester Courses Hours
CFD 260 Supervised Experience in the Child Development Laboratories 4
COM 115 Fundamentals of Public Speaking 3
MTH 130 Contemporary Mathematics 3
HST 121 or HST 122 3
BIO 100 Biological Science for Educators 4
Total Hours 17

Sophomore Year

First Semester Courses Hours
ELE 302 Introduction to Elementary Education and Clinical/Field Experience 3
EDT 365 Educational Applications of Technology and Media 3
GRY 135, 142 or 240 Earth Sci 4
MTH 320 Foundations of Mathematics for Teachers 3
ENG 210 Writing II: Academic Writing 3
KIN 100 Fitness for Living 2
Total Hours 18
Second Semester Courses Hours
ENG 334 Literature for Children 3
Humanities Perspective 3
SPE 310 Introduction to Special Education 3
Social Sciences Perspective 3
PHY 101 Physics by Inquiry for Educators 4
CFD 463 Administration of Programs for Children and Families 3
Total Hours 19

Junior Year

First Semester Courses Hours
EDC 350 School and Society 3
ECE 304 The Early Childhood Education Professional 1
Creativity and Vision 3
CFD 560 Family Involvement in Early Childhood Programs 3
CSD 312 Normal Language Acquisition 3
CFD 455 Infants and Toddlers: Development and Program Planning 4
Total Hours 17
Second Semester Courses Hours
ECE 301 Emerging Literacy and Communication Arts 3
ECE 302 Social Studies and Sociomoral Development 2
ECE 303 Mathematics and Science for Young Children 3
RDG 318 Foundations of Literacy Instruction 3
Humanities Self-Understanding 3
BMS 130 Ess. of Nutrition 3
Total Hours 17

Senior Year

First Semester Courses Hours
ECE 401 Curriculum For Early Childhood Education 3
ECE 402 Assessing Young Children 2
RDG 420 Methods of Teaching Reading and Language Arts in Elementary Schools 3
RDG 421 Practicum-Methods of Teaching Reading and Language Arts in the Elementary Schools 2
EDC 345 Introduction to Multicultural Education and Diversity 3
KIN 545 Perceptual and Motor Development 3
Total Hours 16
Second Semester Courses Hours
Choose Two of Three Available Courses
ECE 490 Supervised Teaching (Infant/Toddler Settings) 6
ECE 491 Supervised Teaching (Preschool/Kindergarten Settings) 6
ECE 492 Supervised Teaching (Primary Settings) 6
Total Hours 12