Early Childhood Education Majors

Studies in Early Childhood Education, Intervention and Services at Western Michigan University feature: 

  • Interdisciplinary content, including: early childhood education, family science and human development, literacy studies, special education 
  • Academic pedagogy 
  • Professional preparation 
  • Best practices of early childhood education 
Our dynamic pathway model encourages students to select the preparatory pathway best aligned with their academic interests and career goals. Program offerings prepare students for work in a variety of care, teaching, and service settings with young children. Pathways include options that align with State of Michigan requirements for childcare center directors; the early childhood general and special education (birth through kindergarten) teaching endorsement; and the lower elementary (pre-kindergarten through third grade) teaching endorsement. 

Undergraduate options

  • Child development and services

    Centers on the development of children, birth through school age, and the cultivation of skills, environments, and programs that promote healthy child development and outcomes. This program offers two tracks: Child Programming and Administration (fulfills State of MI requirements for childcare center directors) and Child Life foundations.

    Non-teaching certification track.

    Learn more

  • Early Childhood General and Special Education and Lower Elementary Education: Birth through Grade 3

    Prepares students for work in a variety of early care and classroom settings. Integrates courses focused on child development, diverse family and community relationships, early childhood and special education, content area knowledge and pedagogy.

    Graduates are eligible for MI certification B-K and PK-3 all subjects.

    Learn more

  • Early Childhood General and Special Education: Birth through Kindergarten

    Prepares students for work in a variety of early care and classroom settings serving infants through kindergarten-age children, including those with disabilities. Students receive focused coursework in preparation for work with young children, their families, and the direct and ancillary services dedicated to them.

    Graduates are eligible for MI certification B-K.

    Learn more

Graduate options

  • M.A. in Early Childhood General and Special Education: Birth through Kindergarten

    Program curriculum integrates graduate courses focused on child development, diverse family and community relationships, early childhood education, special education, and content area knowledge and pedagogy. It prepares educators to teach and work with young learners and their families, to meet the socio- emotional needs of the whole child, and to implement developmentally appropriate practices and intensive interventions in response to both typical and atypical development.

    Graduates are eligible for initial MI certification with an endorsement in early childhood general and special education: BK (ZN) or for an additional ZN endorsement.

    Learn more

  • M.A. in Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies with a concentration in Early Childhood

    This program is designed for early childhood educators and administrators working in a variety of settings including childcare, private and public preschools, and home-based programs. It provides a comprehensive professional development option for current preK-12 teachers. Educators wishing to increase their knowledge base and professional skills, including teachers with elementary school certification wishing to add the ZS endorsement, are also ideal candidates for this program.

    Graduates are eligible for the ZS endorsement.

    Learn more

Get involved

Registered student organizations (RSOs) are a great way for Broncos to pursue their unique personal interests and find a community of like-minded peers at WMU. Created by students, for students, and led by students, the College of Education and Human Development has four RSO's that are major specific to our early childhood options. 

  • Aspiring educators of Michigan

    Aspiring Educators of Michigan at WMU (formerly WSEA, SMEA) creates an environment where future educators can communicate, collaborate, and grow to ensure success in the field of education. To fulfill our mission, we hold two meetings a month where aspiring educators at WMU can attend informative presentations, gather career-related insight from professionals in the field, learn about the hard to navigate aspects of education, and most importantly create a community of educators that will outlast our time on campus!

  • Child life club

    The Child Life Club at WMU is a group of students aspiring to be Certified Child Life Specialists seeking to advocate, play, educate and support children and their families. 

  • Future teachers of color

    Mission: The mission of Future Teachers of Color is to bring together future educators of color at WMU with a focus on various topics related to career preparation,academic success, mentorship, community service outreach, and networking skills.

    Vision: The vision of Future Teachers of Color is to produce a network and community on WMU's campus for students pursuing a degree in education, and who have a passion for working in diverse and inclusive environments.

  • Student council for exceptional children

    The purpose of this organization is to provide professional development, networking, and community engagement to students and faculty/staff at Western Michigan University (WMU) interested in working with or supporting children and adults with disabilities. The SCEC members will (1) support the surrounding areas and community of WMU through their advocacy of individuals with disabilities and (2) participate in events and with agencies that support those children and adults and their families. 

Approved programs by the Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Michigan Scholarship Program