BES: Early Childhood

Innovative education... Engaged educators

Ensure the Youngest Children get a Head Start

Are you excited about educating young children outside of a formal classroom setting? If so, then UMSL’s BES with the Early Childhood emphasis is designed exactly for you. In UMSL’s BES program, students gain skill and insights that can be applied as innovative educators, as managers and directors, as program planners, and as curriculum developers. Students will find employment opportunities in both public and private institutions with missions that focus on the youngest learners or in any organization interested in young children and their learning. As part of the BES program, students have the opportunity to earn specific credentials, as needed, and to pursue academic minors related to their individual career goals. Traditional state teacher certification is not required for this emphasis area.

The Early Childhood BES program is based on current research of best practices for effective teaching of young children and their families outside of the classroom setting. The program addresses child development theories and practice, curriculum emergence and development in informal education, developmentally appropriate practice, diversity, advocacy, and family partnerships for education.

UMSL BES students have opportunities to apply their knowledge and skills in a variety of field and community based experiences offered as part of their professional course work throughout the program. These internship experiences take place in a variety of settings in the St. Louis region. Internships at signature organizations such as the Saint Louis Science Center. Beyond Housing, the St. Louis ARC, and Kids Play offer authentic work site experiences with suburban, urban and special populations. Built into the BES program is the flexibility for students to have a tailor-made culminating experience related to their professional goals and future career needs.

Bachelor of Educational Studies (BES)

Contact Advisor:

Ellen Duncan

201 South Campus Classroom Building (SCCB)
p: (314) 516-5932


Slide 1 Community College Student Makes Seamless Transition to a Career
Claire Eschen is the Lead Toddler Teacher at the University Child Development Center. Additionally, she has been a full-time student in the Bachelor of Educational Studies program for the last two years.

Students in UMSL’s BES program with the Early Childhood emphasis have some of their courses in common with other BES students, and specific courses in early childhood. The program includes 24 credit hours in Early Childhood for the specific courses, see the emphasis area for Early Childhood in the Requirements below.

Slide 1 The Explorers with their harvest corn from the COE's community garden. Nature experiences are a featured part of the Early Childhood Education curriculum in the Child Development Center.
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Lynn Navin, M.A.
Director of the University Child Development Center

Lynn Navin earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Bowling Green State University in 1984. She earned a Master of Arts in Child Development from Michigan State University in 1991. Infant Mental Health was an area of emphasis.  She is currently pursuing a ...