Student working with child in Montessori classroom.
Early Childhood Education

College for Adults | School of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences

Get ready to change the lives of young children with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education (ECE). The St. Kate's ECE program offers the convenience of online instruction as well as interactions with experienced faculty members and hands-on applied experiences in early childhood education settings.

Program Details

Classes meet: Online*

Time to completion: 2-4 years

Credits for major: 50

Cost per credit (2023–2024): $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 one-week courses on campus each summer.

Admissions & Aid

Explore the Courses


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 awards 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.

Become a Socially Aware Educator

Through interactions with experienced faculty members, as well as hands-on applied experiences in early childhood education settings, you'll become a socially aware educator and learn about

  • anti-bias and anti-racist (ABAR) teaching strategies
  • creation of effective lesson plans
  • classroom management and assessment
  • infant, toddler, preschool, and early elementary methods and materials
  • understanding the needs of diverse and special learners
  • grounding your teaching in the Montessori philosophy, with a focus on the whole child
  • integrating ongoing renewal into your professional life

St. Kate's offers different program pathways for aspiring early childhood educators to earn a primary education degree.

In this option, fully approved by the State of Minnesota's Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board, you may meet requirements for a Minnesota license to teach children ages 0-8. This license is a requirement for many early childhood positions in public schools, as well as private schools and other early learning centers. 

You'll complete 100 hours or field experiences throughout the program. You'll learn online, with one-week intensive courses on our St. Paul campus each summer. If you choose, you can also complete additional practicum experiences for an American Montessori Society early childhood (ages 2-1/2 to 6) credential.

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.  

If you choose, you may also meet 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.

Student working with child in Montessori classroom.
Careers in Early Childhood Education

You'll prepare to work in public and private schools as an early childhood educator. Growth in early childhood programs means credentialed educators are in demand in public schools, private schools, early learning centers, and other settings.