Early Childhood General and Special Education and Lower Elementary Education: Birth through Grade 3 – B.S.

This program is offered in person.
WMU’s nationally accredited Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood General and Special Education and Lower Elementary Education: Birth through Grade 3 (formerly early childhood unified education program) prepares candidates for teaching and leadership positions in settings that serve children from birth through 3rd grade. Experienced faculty members mentor candidates to develop an effective balance of research, theory and practice in diverse educational settings. WMU offers multiple clinical experiences and a final internship which are spread across infancy through third grade and take place in private and public settings within diverse communities.

Why early childhood education at Western Michigan University?

Scholarship and funding opportunities: The department, college and university offer an extensive amount of scholarships each semester. Additionally, candidates may be eligible for the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Michigan Scholarship Program, the MI Future Educator Fellowship and/or the MI Future Educator Student Teacher Stipend.

Electronic portfolio: Graduates leave with an electronic portfolio of evidence that documents knowledge, skills and dispositions to work across multiple ages and grades, and across diverse educational settings.

Strategic curriculum: This program's curriculum is aligned with early childhood, special education and early elementary state and national standards. Additionally, there is a strategic focus on social emotional learning and MI Core Teaching Practices.

Creating exceptional educators: Michigan school principals ranked 95% of new teachers prepared at WMU as “effective” or “highly effective” in 2021-22. 

Hitting the standard: The WMU teacher education unit is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

  • High demand
    The number of early childhood educators in Michigan is expected to increase over the next 10 years at a rate of 18%. 

    - Bureau of Labor Statistics

Looking for additional early childhood majors?

Early Childhood Education Majors

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.

Additional information

  • Study abroad

    Students are encouraged to pursue additional educational opportunities through one of many study abroad options offered by the TLES department or WMU in general.

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  • WMU signature

    All WMU students have the option to stand out with an integrative learning project in one of several pathways including health and diversity and includsion, leadership and more!

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  • Visit campus

    There's simply no substitute for seeing WMU for yourself and experiencing a little slice of what makes WMU so unique and beloved. In-person and virtual tours are available.

    Schedule a visit

Western Michigan University has set me up for success, giving me many best practices specific to education.

Hailey Timmerman
Alumna, Teacher in Kalamazoo Public Schools

Teacher education resources

  • TRIO Future Educator Success Program

    The TRIO Future Educator Success Program is a selective program designed to serve teaching majors throughout their time at WMU to help them meet their personal, professional, and educational goals while having fun, meeting new people, and learning skills to help them be successful in college and their future teaching careers.

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  • Office of Clinical Experiences

    The Office of Clinical Experiences at Western Michigan University is responsible for the coordination and oversight of all field experiences (internships and student teaching) associated with teacher education curricula.

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  • Office of Teacher Certification

    Western Michigan University's Office of Teacher and Administrator is here to assist you with the application process and aid in preparing you for recommendation for certification.

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Questions about the program?

Lori Farrer

Lori Farrer

Program Coordinator and Faculty Specialist

Contact Lori