Early Childhood Education
Currently Licensed Teachers
Currently licensed elementary (K-8) teachers can add a P-3 endorsement through our M.Ed. - Early Childhood Education Option program. The degree can be completed fully online, and the curriculum is designed to meet national and state early childhood education standards.
Currently licensed teachers who already hold a graduate degree in education or another field can complete our Early Childhood Education Graduate Certificate Program to obtain a P-3 endorsement without an additional advanced degree. Please complete an ECE graduate certificate program application if you are interested in this track.
Note: In addition to coursework, the Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) also requires the Praxis Early Childhood Education test #5025 for those seeking the P-3 endorsement.
Individuals who do not have current K-8 licensure can complete an M.Ed. - ECE Option degree for professional development, but this would not lead to a P-3 endorsement required to teach in public preschools in Montana. This option is a good choice for people working in community-based early childhood programs and referral agencies, as well as people working with young children and their families in fields such as psychology, social work, sociology, anthropology, pre-medical science, and nursing.
If you do not have current K-8 licensure and want to earn a P-3 endorsement, you could pursue and M.Ed. With Initial K-8 Licensure and a P-3 minor. Some of the course requirements for the M.Ed. and the minor overlap.
All EDEC courses require a lab component in a qualifying P-3 setting. Professionals currently working in the early childhood field (preschool - grade 3 settings) will be able to complete most of their lab work in their current settings.
All students enrolling in the ECE option must complete a federal background check as part of their application. Information is available on the Admission page of our website.
Students must purchase or have access to a GoPro HERO camera (or equivalent) to share videos that demonstrate their implementation of lab activities.