Early Childhood Education

Early child educator working with a young student

Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education Degree Online at St. Catherine University College for Adults

St. Catherine University's early childhood education degree is a comprehensive program that prepares you to be a confident and effective early childhood educator.

An Early Childhood Education Degree from St. Kate’s Will Prepare You as a Critically Informed Educator

Learn from experienced faculty and gain the skills you need to make a difference in the lives of young children.

In our early childhood education program, you'll learn the skills you need to be a socially aware, and critically informed early childhood educator. You'll gain a foundation in child development, early childhood education, and teaching methods through hands-on and applied learning experiences. You'll gain insight and practice in how to create inclusive and nurturing learning environments and make an impact on young lives as an anti-bias teacher through a Montessori-influenced program.


Scholarship opportunities for Montessori and early childhood educators include

  • Jeri Grant Miller Scholarship. Each year, this scholarship is awarded to two early childhood education students at St. Kate’s. The $500 award may be used for any expenses related to your education at St. Kate’s. To learn more, see our Jeri Grant-Miller Scholarship instructions.
  • Minnesota T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship. A scholarship for early childhood and school-age care professionals in Minnesota. While benefits vary, for most recipients T.E.A.C.H. covers the majority of tuition and textbook expenses, as well as travel stipends and paid release time. For details, see the Child Care Aware of Minnesota website.

St. Catherine University is a top-ranked private university with a strong reputation for academic excellence. We also offer a variety of student support services, including career counseling, internship opportunities, and financial aid.

Program at a Glance

Classes meet: Online*

Time to completion: 2-4 years

Credits for major: 50

Cost per credit (2024–2025): $500

Start: Fall, Spring, or Summer

*Field experience/student teaching takes place at schools in or near your community. Licensure students who do not have Montessori credentials also attend methods courses on our St. Paul campus each summer (6 weeks total).

Connect with an Admission Counselor.


If you have earned a teaching credential from a training center accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE), you'll be granted 25 St. Kate's credits for your Montessori teaching credential, which will be applied toward your 120-credit online early childhood education degree.  This program will be fully online and asynchronous.

If you choose, you may also meet the requirements for a Minnesota license to teach children ages 0–8. In this option, you'll complete 100 hours of field experience throughout the program and a final student teaching experience — a full-time immersion in teaching at a school in or near your community. Students pursuing licensure will only be granted 19 credits for their Montessori credentials.

Child Development Associate

If you have a CDA, you can transfer that in for 5 credits and have ECED 1000: Introduction to Early Childhood Education and ECED 2600: Health, Wellness, and Nutrition waived from your program plan.

Are you seeking to earn an Early Childhood (Children’s House) Montessori credential? Students may choose to meet the requirements for the American Montessori Society early childhood credential. This program is a one-year program that begins with in-person courses in the summer, followed by a nine-month practicum. 


Do you already hold a Minnesota K-6 teaching license and want to add to your expertise? You may roll into this one-year asynchronous program to complete your pre-primary certificate and add the Pre-Primary endorsement to your current K-6 teacher license. You will take two classes in the fall, two in the spring and complete an 80-hour practicum in the summer to complete your program.

Our online associate degree in early childhood education will prepare you to meet the diverse needs of children today and into the future. All AAS courses will count toward St. Kate's bachelor's in early childhood education.

Career Outcomes

Apply for Admissions

Application requirements, deadlines, and instructions.

Learn More

Transfer Students

Find out how your courses will transfer with a free custom transfer evaluation.

Learn More

Information Session

Ask questions, meet faculty, and more.

Learn More

Financial Aid

Apply for aid from federal and state governments, University grants and scholarships, and educational loans.

Learn More

News Custom Block

News from the School of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences

Megan Andrews ’06, MAED’10 inspires early learners
Megan Andrews ’06, MAED’10 inspires early learners
Women and children first: building the future of early childhood education
Women and children first: building the future of early childhood education