Early Childhood Education


Turn your associate degree
into a bachelor’s degree

A.A.T. in Elementary Education ---> B.S. in Early Childhood Education
A.A.S. in Child Growth & Development ---> B.S. in Early Childhood Education


Bachelor of Science
in Early Childhood Education

The early childhood education degree allows you to focus your educational training on working with young children ages birth through third grade. Graduates will be prepared to teach in public or private school settings where a teaching certificate is required.

Most courses are offered online, at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley Campus, or at Missouri Western’s Kansas City Northland campus. Most courses are offered in the evening or online to fit your busy schedule.


Who is this program for?

  • Current elementary teachers with certificates and applied science degrees
  • Childcare employees with certificates and applied science degrees
  • College students who have earned an A.A.T. or A.A.S. in Child Growth and Development/Early Childhood
  • Individuals who desire to become certified in early childhood education

Metropolitan Community College students have the opportunity to plan their A.A.T. or A.A.S. degrees to seamlessly transfer to Missouri Western.


Why Early Childhood Education?

The early childhood years are a time to lay the critical foundation for educational success. As an early childhood educator (0-8), you will have an enormous impact on building a solid learning foundation for young children.

This learning foundation assures young children the best academic and social base for future learning. Early childhood teachers help to provide the tools and the environment for their students to develop into responsible adults.

Research documents that teachers who have earned four-year university degrees are better prepared to provide high-quality preschool education (nieer.org, preknow.org).

As a result of state and federal legislation, there has been an increased emphasis on preparing early childhood educators. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, “Employment of preschool teachers is projected to grow 17 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth is expected due to a continued focus on the importance of early childhood education and the growing population of children ages 3 to 5.” (www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/preschool-teachers.htm)


What can I do with my degree?

In addition to working as a certified teacher, the following is a partial list of the careers graduates could pursue:

    • Early Interventionists
    • Parent and Teacher Educators
    • Child Care Center Directors
    • Child Life Specialists
    • Child Care Resource-and-Referral Agency Counselor
    • Policy Analyst
    • Staff Development Specialist

Why should I choose Missouri Western?

Quality: Missouri Western’s Northland graduates consistently pass the Praxis II exit exam at a rate that is above state and national averages.

Accredited: This program is approved by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the National Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. Missouri Western is a fully accredited institution.

Convenient: Take courses online, blended and face-to-face in the Kansas City region. Most courses in this program are online. A few are blended or entirely face-to-face, with some being offered at Metropolitan Community College - Penn Valley campus. Some courses may overlap with courses offered at the Kansas City Northland Campus.

Affordable: Completing your first two years of college at a community college can save you thousands of dollars. Pair that with Missouri Western’s low in-state tuition rate, and you have one of the most affordable ways to earn an early childhood education degree in the state of Missouri.

Griffon Rate: Now students from 51 neighboring counties, including Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas, can receive a tuition rate equivalent to in-state tuition.

Scholarships: If you have completed 24 hours at a community college with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better, you may be eligible for the President’s Transfer Scholarship, the Griffon Scholar Scholarship or the Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship (Phi Theta Kappa members only). If you have completed 24 hours at a community college with a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or better, you may be eligible for the Governor’s Transfer Scholarship. Additional transfer scholarships are available. For more information about Missouri Western scholarships, please call (816) 271-4361 or visit https://www.missouriwestern.edu/finaid.