Cert Masters: Elementary Education with Early Childhood (B-3) Teacher Certification

Innovative education... Engaged educators

Certification courses in this Cert + Master's program are identical to those in the accelerated Teach in 12 program and are offered online, blended, and with local field experience and teaching practicums. Learn More

Ensure the Youngest Children get a Head Start

The impact of early learning experiences for children from birth through grade three is far-reaching and the need for passionate qualified educators in Early Childhood Education is growing. The Early Childhood Graduate Teacher Certification program with the option to earn a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education is designed for students who are interested in obtaining Missouri teacher certification in Early Childhood Education. The certification and Master’s in Early Childhood Education prepares educators to work in the early childhood field in a variety of roles and a variety of contexts (i.e. classroom teachers in regular and inclusive settings, center directors, and children’s organizations) and other positions that require certification within the public and private school systems.

The Early Childhood program prepares educators through a program based upon knowledge of what constitutes best practices for teaching young children within inclusive settings and supporting their families. The program addresses the areas of child development, curriculum emergence and development, developmentally appropriate practice, differentiated learning, diversity, advocacy and family partnerships. Students have opportunities to apply their acquired knowledge in a variety of field and community based experiences offered as part of their professional course work from the very first courses. These experiences take place in a variety of community agencies including United Way organizations, St. Louis educational and cultural institutions, studio schools, the University Child Development Center (UCDC), and preschools and elementary schools in the metropolitan St. Louis area.

Our teacher programs offer unique capstone experiences, two practica in “Studio Schools.” These are schools and districts where design happens, using a “differentiated staffing” plan. Specifically, teacher candidates will work in the school site as a faculty member, planning and teaching to provide in-depth support, flexibility, and intervention for pre K–12 students where it’s needed. The focus of this model is on K–12 student learning. Teacher candidates, supported by the supervisor and school site mentor, will impact Pre K–12 students in multiple, varied and wide ranging grade level, achievement and subject specific contexts. These can include small group settings, whole class lessons, enrichment and support lessons all focused learning experiences.

Unique Resources and Innovations:

  • Launch session to build community, provide early guidance, and share essential information
  • Grand Seminars and Collaborative Exchanges throughout the practicum experiences.

Missouri Educator Gateway Assessments (MEGA):

  • Missouri Content Assessment (MCA)
  • Missouri Educator Profile (MEP)
  • Missouri Pre-Service Teacher Assessment (MoPTA)

Clinical Experience:

  • 10 clock hours working in a community agency
  • 15 clock hours working in a school
  • 64 clock hours working in the UCDC at UMSL
  • 2 site-based practicum courses immersed in a Studio School
  • Practicum One: 2 days per week working as a Triton Teacher
  • Practicum Two: 4 days per week working as a Triton Teacher

Certification + Masters

Contact Advisor:

Teach in 12 Team

116 South Campus Classroom Building (SCCB)
p: (314) 516-5937

DESE Early Childhood (Birth - Grade 3) Certification
The College of Education will recommend you to the Missouri Department of Elementary/Secondary Education for teacher certification in Early Childhood B-3 at the completion of this program if you have met all state requirements. To ensure that you have met all state requirements, please contact your advisor.


  • Any teacher candidate aspiring to enter the “Teach in 12” accelerated path must first pass the Missouri Content Assessment appropriate to her or his area of certification.
  • The accelerated path requires intensive study, immersive experiences, and large investments of time and effort. Candidates who enter the “Teach in 12” pathway will be unable to maintain concurrent professional commitments.

Early Childhood Education Emphasis

The M.Ed. program with an emphasis in early childhood education is designed to enable candidates to further their competencies as teachers or program administrators in public and private early childhood program. The program also prepares them for positions in community agencies that support families and young children. The minimum required and recommended courses are as follows. Students must complete the required Core Competencies and Capstone Course as listed above.


ECH ED 6412Foundations Of Early Childhood Education3
ECH ED 6413Educational Role Of Play3
ECH ED 6415Organization And Development Of Early Childhood Programs3
Elective hours6

Total: 33 hours

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.
Profile Image

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 ...