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Early Childhood Professional

Certificate

Degree Type

Certificate

Department

Education Department

In the Early Childhood Professional certificate, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills needed to be an effective, attentive and developmentally-aware caregiver to children ages eight and under. You’ll gain an understanding of the psychological, emotional and physical needs of young children as well as an in-depth understanding of how to apply this knowledge in practical settings.

Program Overview

Student teacher at Gunnison Elementary School helps the children with tasks.

Make a lasting impact in the lives of children.

Working with young children requires a unique and specialized skillset to ensure you’re providing care to meet their needs. The Early Childhood Professional certificate is designed to help you gain a holistic awareness of children’s needs at a variety of developmental checkpoints as well as engage with them in ways that help them progress interpersonally and intellectually. This 9-credit certificate provides coursework for students wishing to become Early Childhood Teacher Qualified and enables students to meet the educational qualifications established by the Colorado’s Department of Early Childhood.

This program is available to both students enrolled in Western’s undergraduate and graduate education programs, as well as non-degree seeking students who wish to bolster their resume and/or professionally develop in their career path.

Develop young minds

The Early Childhood Professional certificate will help learn how to teach and mentor children from ages eight and under.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

Early Childhood Professional Certificate 

The Early Childhood Professional Certificate is designed to prepare students to work with young children (birth to age eight in a variety of settings). This 9-credit certificate provides the coursework for students wishing to become Early Childhood Teacher Qualified. Students who wish to work in licensed early childhood care and education programs may complete the sequence of courses for the Early Childhood Professional Certificate. The certificate enables students to meet the educational qualifications established by the Colorado's Department of Early Childhood. Please note that additional experience hours may be necessary for full qualification. 

Admission Requirements: 

The minimum requirement for students seeking credits/courses is a high school diploma or GED.  There are no additional admission requirements to earn this certificate. It is available to admitted undergraduate students, but also to non-degree seeking students.  Anyone who is aspiring to or currently working in the field of ECE, can take these courses and earn a certificate.  Admittance and registration take place through the Teacher Institute and the Center for Learning & Innovation. 

Those seeking to take early childhood education courses can visit https://western.edu/academics/teacher-institute/ or email teacherinstitute@western.edu for specific information and further clarification on schedule of courses, and also registration. 

Course Requirements

Course List
Code Title Credits
Required courses:
EDUC 101Introduction to Early Childhood Education3
EDUC 103Positive Guidance and Social Emotional Support3
EDUC 268Curriculum Methods and Techniques in Early Childhood Education3
Optional Course:
EDUC 111Infant and Toddler Theory and Practice3

Careers


Top Skills

  • Child Development
  • Health & Safety Awareness
  • Observation & Assessment
  • Patience and Empathy
  • Play-Based Learning Facilitation
  • Reflective Practice



Career Pathways

  • Childcare Center Owner
  • Early Childhood Education Policy Advocate
  • Early Childhood Education Trainer
  • Education & Childcare Administrator
  • Education Curriculum Developer
  • Special Education Teacher

Take the first steps toward your academic and personal growth.

Fostering your intellectual development is the primary focus of every academic program at Western. Our professors and Office of Career Services will help you identify your strengths, hone your skills, define your goals, and prepare for a fulfilling and enriched life after graduation. Wondering how you can apply your program of choice to your intellectual and personal journey? Check out our “What Can I Do With This Major?” tool to explore the diverse opportunities and pathways within any degree program.

Scholarships

Western’s Scholarship Application portal allows you to search for, apply to and manage your scholarship opportunities. This platform houses over 300+ departmental and privately funded scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through the scholarship portal, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic program, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions.

Find your scholarships!

Western’s Scholarship Application portal allows you to search for, apply to and manage your scholarship opportunities. This platform houses over 300+ departmental and privately funded scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through the scholarship portal, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic program, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions.

Find your scholarships!

Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 30 for 2024. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Council, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.

Apply

Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming first-year student or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found below. Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.

Apply

Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

A student teacher reads a book to a classroom of kindergarten students.

Make your time at Western a transformative experience.

  • Community Partnerships: Many classes involve working with children and teachers in the various schools around the Gunnison Valley.
  • Future Educators of America: Students in this club engage in volunteer work and professional development opportunities with other like-minded students.
  • Residency Year: Students may choose to student teach in an elementary (K-6) classroom anywhere in the world.

Hands-on learning

This certificate program encourages practical learning to ensure you have the skills needed to apply your classroom knowledge to real-world settings.

Department Information

Education Department

Department Chair

Brooke Hanks, M.A.

Senior Lecturer

Contact Information

970.943.2030

khinze@western.edu

Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Crawford Hall 101
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

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