UMF’s Early Childhood Education major offers a high quality program with extensive experiences in children’s settings. The Early Childhood program at UMF has a national reputation for preparing highly qualified teachers.  Based on National Association for the Education of Young Children standards for teacher preparation, faculty prepare students to work with children from birth to age eight and their families.

There are three options within the major:

  • Early Education and Care option (non-certification) prepares students for work with children birth to age 5 and their families. Students select a specialization.
  • Birth to 5 education option (certification) leads to Maine Teacher Certification allowing graduates to teach in a variety of early childhood settings, including pre-Kindergarten classrooms in public schools.
  • K-3 education option (certification) leads to Maine Teacher Certification allowing graduates to teach in Early Childhood settings including Kindergarten through 3rd grade classrooms in public schools.

For a full description, visit the UMF catalog.

How do I explore Early Childhood at UMF?

There are many ways to explore a major. You could:

  • Review the webpage for this major.
  • Talk to faculty members in the major. Ask about their career path.
  • Sit in on a class in this major. Choose a class of interest and contact the faculty member to find out which day might be best to drop in on. If you have access to myCampus, click here to go to Schedule Planner to view classes.
  • Talk with upperclass students in the major. They can give you insights into the courses you will take and professors who will instruct you. Just remember, their reasons for liking a major may be different from your own. Ask your advisor, your CA or other UMF staff to help you find someone in the major.
  • Enroll in one of the following courses:
    • ECH 150 Introduction and Observation in Early Childhood Education
    • PSY 225S Child and Adolescent Development
  • Get involved with a Club & Organization related to the major (for example, Council for Exceptional Children or Student Education Association of Maine (S.E.A.M.)).
  • Volunteer or intern with an organization that is aligned with this major. Contact Meghan Price at The Partnership for Civic Engagement, or Career Counselors Stephen Davis or Cyndi McShane to discuss opportunities.
  • Try a Job Shadow or Informational Interview. Contact Stephen Davis or Cyndi McShane for more information.
  • Make an appointment to talk to a Career Counselor (Steve or Cyndi) or Academic Advisor (Lori Soucie) about the major.

What can I do with this major?

Learn more about the major using this resource maintained by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington: http://www.uncw.edu/career/WhatCanIDoWithaMajorIn.html

Can I minor in Early Childhood? Are there related majors at UMF?

UMF has a minor in Special Education that is open to Early Childhood, Elementary, Secondary, or Community Health Education with School Health  Education concentration majors. There is also a Child and Adolescent Health minor available. Click here for more information. Majors related to Early Childhood Education include Early Childhood Special Education, Special Education, Elementary Education, Secondary/Middle Education, and Community Health Education/School Health.

What kind of jobs have UMF graduates obtained with this major?

Day Care Provider, Early Childhood Teacher, Pre-K Teacher, Early Head Start Home Visitor, Afterschool Project Director, Kindergarten through Grade 3 Teachers, Vocational Coordinator, Early Childhood Services Coordinator, Guidance Specialist, Education Technician, Supervising Lead Teacher, Director of Student Support Services at Thornton Academy, and others.

What other career paths can I pursue?

Other career paths include Social Worker, Child Therapist, Education Administrator, Education Technician, and many more. Talking to faculty in the major or a career counselor can provide you with more information about a variety of career paths associated with this major.

How do I declare this major?

The first step is to communicate with the contact person for this major:  Dr. Patricia Williams, Education Center, patricia.h.williams@maine.edu, 207-778-7109.

To apply to the major, students must pick up appropriate application materials from Mary Melcher, Administrative Specialist in the Early Childhood Department, room 337A Education Center. Complete a Program/Plan Change Form (available in Merrill Center or outside room 337A Education Center) and include an articulate essay about why you want to work in early childhood education.  You’ll need a minimum GPA of 2.75, and passing scores on the PRAXIS Core exams (for K-3 and Birth-5 Option only). [Please Note: PRAXIS is not required for the Early Education and Care non-certification program.]

Recommended deadlines for review are October 1st and March 1st although applications are accepted year round.


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