Grad Cert: Early Childhood Teaching Certification

Innovative education... Engaged educators

Certification courses in this Graduate Certificate are identical to 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 and Early Childhood Special Education is growing. The Early Childhood Teacher Certification program is designed for students who are interested in obtaining Missouri teacher certification in Early Childhood Education. The certification 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

Graduate Certificate

Contact Advisor:

Teach in 12 Team

116 South Campus Classroom Building (SCCB)
p: (314) 516-7697

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.
DESE Early Childhood Special Education (Birth - Grade 3) Certification
Early Childhood students who have obtained their initial certification can add the Special Education endorsement by passing the appropriate content area exam. The candidate contacts the Department of Elementary/Secondary to add this endorsement.

This program of study is for individuals with a Bachelor's degree who would like to prepare for teacher certification in Early Childhood Education. This graduate certificate program option leads to Missouri Initial Professional Teacher Certification in Early Childhood Education Birth-3rd. 

Admission Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Teacher Certification:

  • A passing score on the designated Missouri Content Examination or an approved program of study
  • A 2.75 or higher overall GPA
  • Approved results of the Family Care Safety Registry
  • A clear TB test or chest x-ray, if appropriate
  • Students must meet the application deadlines set by The Graduate School
Related Area Requirements
TCH ED 6565Enriching Learning through Multicultural Arts, Music, Physical Education & Health1
TCH ED 6566Cross-Curricular Connections with Multicultural Arts, Music, Physical Education & Health1
Level I
TCH ED 5310AInstructional Design: Lesson Planning for Teachers1
ED PSY 6215Psychology Of Early Childhood Development3
ED PSY 6030Instruction, Learning And Assessment3
Level II
ECH ED 6412Foundations Of Early Childhood Education3
SPEC ED 6412Psychology Of Exceptional Children3
ED TECH 6135Technology for Preparing Inquiry-Based Teaching1
ELE ED 6337Teaching and Learning Literacy in Elementary Classrooms4
Level III
SPEC ED 6325Advanced Studies in Classroom & Behavior Management3
ELE ED 6338Literacy Assessment for Guided Instruction3
ECH ED 6348Understanding and Supporting Children's Math and Science Inquiry2
ECH ED 6535Assessment Curriculum and Research Based Practice Birth through Grade Three2
ECH ED 6536Early Childhood Pre-Primary Practicum2
ECH ED 5989Practicum I: Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education Site Based Experience2
ECH ED 5990Practicum II: Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education Site Based Experience8
TCH ED 5001Advanced Mid-Level Clinical Experience: Diverse Learners1
Total Hours43