Early Childhood Education

UM Western's Early Childhood Education (ECE) Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree prepares early childhood practitioners to meet the unique needs of children from birth through age eight and their families in a variety of early childhood settings including child care homes and centers, Head Starts, and preschools.

Western offers two ECE AAS courses in-person on the Bitterroot College campus (EDEC 247 & EDU 201). The remainder of Western's ECE AAS core and professional courses are available remotely/online via Western's School of Outreach. General Education courses needed for Western's ECE AAS may be taken remotely/online via UM Western's School of Outreach or in-person at Bitterroot College.


UM Western Early Childhood Education (ECE) Course Requirements

ECE Courses available in-person on Bitterroot College campus1
Course Course Title Credits
EDEC 247 Child & Adolescent Growth & Development (fall) 4
EDU 201  Introduction to Education (spring) 4

1Students must be admitted to UM Western to register for these courses. Contact Bitterroot College Advisor Lea Guthrie at (406) 375-0100 or for assistance with UM Western admissions.

ECE General Ed Courses available in-person at Bitterroot College2
Subject Credits
Written & Oral Communications 4
Mathematics 4
Behavioral & Social Science 4
Natural Science 4

2Students must be admitted to Bitterroot College to register for in-person General Education courses. Contact Bitterroot College Advisor Lea Guthrie at (406) 375-0100 or for assistance with Bitterroot College admissions.


To apply for Western's Early Childhood Education AAS program, schedule an admissions appointment with Bitterroot College Advisor Lea Guthrie by calling (406) 375-0100 or emailing .

Employment Outlook

Preschool Teacher jobs are predicted to grow nationally by 2% between 2019 and 2029 and in Montana by 6.4% between 2018 and 2028. The median national annual salary for Preschool Teachers is $30,520; in Montana, the median annual salary is $32,620. For more employment information, visit the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook HandbookProjections Central, and Montana's Informational Wage Rates by Occupation.


All college courses taken through attendance at Bitterroot College UM are accredited through and transcripted by Missoula College UM.

UM Western Contact
Ryann Gibson
Program Coordinator, School of Outreach
(406) 683-7537

Bitterroot College UM Contact
Lea Guthrie
Academic & Student Services Director
(406) 375-0100