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Urban Early Childhood Education BS for Birth-Grade 3 Licensure

About The Program

Share your passion for learning and teaching with young children in diverse, urban settings. Prepare for a career as a licensed, Birth-Grade 3 early childhood educator who is committed to working with children and their families in urban settings. Make a difference in the lives of young children by setting a strong education foundation that will last a lifetime. Empower yourself with the content knowledge, teaching skills, urban field experiences, and professional poise you need to give urban students a high-quality education. You will accomplish these goals with a degree in Urban Early Childhood Education.

The Urban Early Childhood Education major in the School of Urban Education (UED) is designed to meet the needs of urban early learning settings for teachers who can promote young children's development from birth to age 8 and improve their educational achievement up to grade 3 with positive impact lasting a lifetime. Our approach to teacher education focuses on preparing diverse, reflective, and resilient teachers who are outstanding in their commitment to teaching urban youth and creating equitable educational opportunities. More than any other program in Minnesota, we attract more teacher candidates who are of color, multilingual, low-income or "first generation" into teaching careers who can relate to the experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse urban youth and their communities.

Career Opportunities

The Urban Early Childhood Education BS is designed for students seeking career enhancements in the field of early childhood education within urban settings. The Urban Early Childhood Education degree designed for MN Birth-Grade 3 teaching licensure gives students the flexibility to demonstrate their commitment to young children’s development through work in a variety of early childhood settings as teachers in child care centers, Head Starts, school district pre-K programs, and Kindergarten to Grade 3 classrooms.

Program Highlights

  • Designed to provide flexibility for working adult students
  • Create a flexible schedule to take classes at your pace given your other life and work responsibilities
  • Courses meet once per week, often in the evening
  • Courses are offered in-person, online with synchronous meetings and in hybrid formats
  • Participate in direct field experience in urban classrooms and courses focusing on urban education
  • The curriculum has a strong focus on cultural relevance and education equity throughout the program
  • Instructors integrate and build upon the rich, diverse cultural knowledge and professional experience of students in program courses
  • Learn with the most diverse student and faculty population of any teacher preparation unit in Minnesota; a majority of our students, faculty and staff in the School of Urban Education are from BIPOC communities
  • Learn in small, friendly classes that allow you to know instructors and fellow students well
  • Get a high-quality education at the most affordable cost of any university in Minnesota

Career Opportunities

The Urban Early Childhood Education BS is designed for students seeking career enhancements in the field of early childhood education within urban settings. The Urban Early Childhood Education degree designed for MN Birth-Grade 3 teaching licensure gives students the flexibility to demonstrate their commitment to young children’s development through work in a variety of early childhood settings as teachers in child care centers, Head Starts, school district pre-K programs, and Kindergarten to Grade 3 classrooms.

Transfer Students

This major is an excellent option for students transferring from a Minnesota State 2-year institution with an associate degree or some coursework in child development or early childhood education who seek a baccalaureate degree. The School of Urban Education develops agreements with local community and technical colleges to identify which courses offered for Associate degrees should be taken to meet requirements for the BS in Urban Early Childhood Education so that students don’t take courses unneeded for the major. Completion of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) 10 Goal Areas is always advised but not necessary to transfer to Metro State.

Because the Minnesota State Transfer Pathway for Early Childhood Education includes coursework not required for the BS in Urban Early Childhood Education, students interested in transferring to Metro State should either not complete all the courses in that Pathway or know that completing the bachelor’s degree will take more than 120 credits. Consult with an Urban Education advisor to know which transfer courses meet major requirements, or visit www.transferology.com.

Program accreditation

This program is accredited by the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB).

How to enroll

Current students: Declare this program

Once you’re admitted as an undergraduate student and have met any further admission requirements your chosen program may have, you may declare a major or declare an optional minor.

Future students: Apply now

Apply to Metropolitan State: Start the journey toward your Urban Early Childhood Education BS for Birth-Grade 3 Licensure now. Learn about the steps to enroll or, if you have questions about what Metropolitan State can offer you, request information, visit campus or chat with an admissions counselor.

Get started on your Urban Early Childhood Education BS for Birth-Grade 3 Licensure

Program eligibility requirements

To be eligible for acceptance to the Urban Early Childhood Education major and Birth-Grade 3 licensure program, students must complete the Urban Early Childhood Education pre-major and apply for admission to the Urban Teacher Program.

To be admitted in the Urban Teacher Program, students need to meet the requirements and criteria stated in the Undergraduate Admission Requirements in the Urban Teacher Program. 

Contact urban.education@metrostate.edu or meet with an advisor to learn more.

Courses and Requirements

SKIP TO COURSE REQUIREMENTS

In addition to completing required coursework for the major and University graduation requirements, the following are among the requirements for program completion and birth-grade 3 licensure:

• Completion of at least 120 hours of practicum experiences urban Infant-Toddler, Pre-K-Kindergarten, and Primary Grades 1-3 classrooms are required prior to student teaching.

• Completion of total 15 weeks of full-time student teaching done in two placements (i.e. PreK-K and either Infant-Toddler or Primary Grades 1-3).

• Passing all required licensure exams and performance assessments.

• Background check and licensure application with fee.

Students are strongly encouraged to work with their advisor to be strategic in selecting GELS and major courses needed for the BS degree and licensure in order to maximize opportunities to have courses meet more than one requirement when possible. (Ex: PYSC 308 and PSYC 417 meet GELS, program admission and major requirements)

Pre-Requisite and CORE Courses for the Major and Licensure (70+ credits)

+ Pre - Requisite EDU and PSYC Courses Needed for Admission to the Major and Urban Teacher Program

These courses are open to all students and are among the requirements for admission to the Urban Teacher Program. In addition to the below list, students must complete an Ethnic Studies (ETHS) course, the University General Education or Minnesota Transfer Curriculum Requirements (All 10 Goal Areas completed, 40 cr). See link to other program admission requirements under section titled Program Eligibility Requirements.

This course provides an introduction to urban learners, urban teaching, and urban school systems using case studies and first-person accounts of teaching and learning in an urban environment. Current issues facing urban P-12 students, teachers, schools, districts, and communities will be discussed. Society's responsibility to urban schools will be examined along with the roles that teachers and schools play in increasing student achievement and leading school improvement. Key concepts of the Urban Teacher Program will be introduced including the importance of high expectations, student and teacher resiliency, educational equity, using the community as a resource, and reflection. Various perspectives and dimensions of the achievement gap will be examined, including causes due to discrimination and perspectives on what constitutes high educational achievement for culturally and linguistically diverse youth. Students in this course are expected to explore and express their own…

Full course description for Introduction to Urban Education and Reflective Teaching

This course introduces prospective urban teacher candidates to core concepts and approaches of multicultural education including issues related to student, family and community diversity based on race, culture, language, class, gender, sexual orientation and disability. Issues of oppression, privilege and equity in relation to schools and society are also addressed as students use their life experiences as a multicultural reference point to begin to understand the life experiences of the diverse students who attend urban public schools. Emphasis is placed on demonstrating the multicultural competence required of all successful teachers working with diverse urban youth. Clinical field experience hours are part of the course requirements.

Full course description for Multicultural Education

This course provides an overview of the science of child psychology. Major theories and research related to a child's perceptual, motor, emotional, social and cognitive development are reviewed, and their practical applications are explored. Overlap: PSYC 308T Child Psychology Theory Seminar.

Full course description for Child Psychology

This course provides students with foundational knowledge of the development of the communication skills in young children from birth through age eight. Topics include: hearing and speaking, speech and language development, vision and visual motor skills, and emergent literacy and small motor skills development. The process of learning more than one language is addressed as well as strategies for working with children for whom English is not the first language. The application of knowledge in the areas of assessment, individualization and referral are addressed and practiced.

Full course description for Language and Communication Development in Early Childhood Education

+ CORE ONE: Foundation Courses (14 cr, Prerequisites: All courses required to complete the pre - major for Urban Teacher Program admission)

Core One courses include 25 hours of documented urban field experiences

Developmentally appropriate curriculum, materials, and environmental design for infants and toddlers are the focus of this course. Students will review infant and toddler development and connect development to the practices used to design programs for infants and toddlers in urban early childhood settings. The importance of integrating the values, language, and cultural practices of the child's family into the daily curriculum will be a topic. The course will focus on strategies for communication with urban families and the current issues around infant and toddler care. Students will consider the appropriate practices for a program serving infants and toddlers in a diverse urban community. This course requires a practicum designed to provide urban field experiences for students to practice meeting the individual developmental needs of infants and toddlers. Using the basic strategies and techniques of child study, the student will learn to critically observe and assess the general…

Full course description for Urban Infant-Toddler Curriculum and Practicum

The spectrum of physical and motor development of children from conception to age 8 will be covered in this course. Students will also be introduced to foundations of good nutrition and health maintenance for young children. There will be opportunities to develop nutritional plans for yearly childhood programs that respect cultural and religious diversity. Students will consider health policies for schools and child care centers as well as assess and plan large and small motor activities for groups and individual children. The effects of drugs will be addressed, from the prenatal period through the use of medication to treat behavior and emotional conditions in early childhood.

Full course description for Physical Development, Health, Nutrition, Effects of Drugs in Birth-Grade 6

Theories and realities of diverse family structure and function will be the foundation of this course. The students will examine the unique roles of parents, family, and community in the lives of children who live in urban settings with particular focus on the racial, cultural and ethnic groups that reside in the metropolitan Twin Cities. Opportunities will be available for students to compare their own life and family experiences to those of children living in today's urban communities through primary research experiences. The role of the urban teacher in effectively working with diverse urban families, and strategies for building effective home-school partnerships will be discussed. Clinical field experience hours are part of the course requirements.

Full course description for The Child and the Family in an Urban Setting

This course will provide the prospective teacher with opportunities to plan and implement developmentally and culturally appropriate activities in the arts for young urban children. The students in this course will be introduced to the basic theories of teaching the visual arts, creative movement, music and creative dramatics within a developmental program for young children. Integration of the arts into the regular daily curriculum of urban early childhood settings will be a major focus of this course. Clinical field experience hours are part of the course requirements.

Full course description for The Arts in Early Childhood and Elementary Education

This course is an introduction to the use of information technology (IT) devices and applications to promote teaching and learning in k-12 educational settings for students with and without disabilities. Teacher candidates will learn primary tools and software applications to promote teacher productivity and integration of IT to promote curriculum, instruction, assessment, and family/educator communication. In addition to instruction and productivity for k-12 general education settings, the course will include introduction to accessibility issues and the "digital divide" that impact urban learners and educators. Students in this course will demonstrate their competence using technology by developing an electronic, standards-based portfolio.

Full course description for Information Technology for K-12 Education

+ CORE TWO: Professional Education Courses (15cr, Prerequisites: All Core One courses)

Core Two courses include 25 hours of documented urban field experiences

This course is an introduction to formal and informal assessment strategies and their application to work with young children. The emphasis is on observing, recording and using authentic performance-based assessment, communicating assessment results to colleagues and parents, and applying assessment data to curriculum planning.

Full course description for Observing and Assessing Young Children: Birth Through Age Five

This course addresses the developmentally appropriate strategies to support learning of socially appropriate classroom behaviors for young children. Strategies examined for the course support social development, personal values and citizenship. The developmental and philosophical rationale for selection of behavior guidance strategies and practices are the foundational focus of the course. Students address the differences between discipline, classroom management and positive behavior guidance with particular focus on the cultural and contextual experiences of children in urban communities.

Full course description for Positive Behavior Guidance

This course will review the development of children ages three to five, and connect development to the practices used to design appropriate learning experiences for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten children in urban settings. Students will learn curriculum and instructional strategies which integrate development, skills and content knowledge in individualized, culturally respectful manners. As prospective urban teachers, students in this course will be introduced to the concepts and criteria for determining school readiness as well as learning the rationale and strategies for developmentally appropriate guidance. This course will help students develop holistic, child centered approaches to pre-kindergarten and kindergarten curricula. Students also complete a field experience practicum in an urban pre-kindergarten or kindergarten settings to integrate knowledge gained in class with experiences working with urban three to five year-olds.

Full course description for Urban Pre-K and Kindergarten Curriculum and Practicum

This practicum is designed to give urban teacher candidates the opportunity to document and reflect upon at least 40 hours practical clinical experience working with diverse youth in an urban middle school or high school. Most of the field experience hours will be determined by field-based assignments required in other Education courses. Included with these experiences, urban teacher candidates practice using diagnostic assessment to guide their instructional planning of at least three lessons for a small group of 1-5 students needing help to improve their reading or mathematics literacy. Successful completion of this practicum is a prerequisite for student teaching. Requirements include attendance and participation in periodic seminars to help prospective urban teacher candidates reflect upon their field experiences, and prepare for future clinical field experiences including student teaching. Co-requisites: EDU 306, OR EDU 606, OR EDU 323, OR EDU 481.

Full course description for Urban Teaching Practicum and Seminar

This course will cover the normal development of skills and understandings necessary for a young child to learn to read and write. The individual nature of readiness and the differences in children's approaches to learning to read and write will be a focus of the course. The instructional strategies and materials that constitute a developmentally and culturally appropriate reading and language arts program for young urban children will be presented and used in practice sessions. The important role of multicultural literature in an emergent literacy curriculum for diverse urban children from a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and families will be emphasized. Clinical field experience hours are part of the course requirements.

Full course description for Emergent Literacy in Urban Early Childhood Education

Students will learn to use formal and informal assessment and evaluation strategies to plan and individualize curriculum and instructional practices in diverse, urban Early Childhood and Elementary classrooms. The foundations of assessment theory and practice will be presented, including the integration of performance standards for grades K-6, standardized testing requirements, and developmentally appropriate practice for diverse learning needs in urban settings. Students will have opportunities to develop and practice authentic assessment tools and strategies with the goal of using assessment to guide instruction. Clinical field experience hours are part of the course requirements.

Full course description for Assessment of Learning in Urban Grades K-6

+ CORE THREE: Professional Education Courses (13 cr, Prerequisites: All Core Two requirements)

Core Three courses include 30 hours of documented urban field experiences

This course provides pre-service Early Childhood and Elementary teachers with the theoretical foundations and practical skills necessary to become reflective professionals who can analyze and select high quality and developmentally appropriate literature for children. Student will develop skills needed to guide children's selection of books, understand how to use literature with children, design age appropriate lessons and activities to stimulate and extend children's literary experiences and reading enjoyment throughout the elementary curriculum for economically, academically, culturally, racially and linguistically diverse children. Session topics will focus on student motivation, classroom organization , and teaching with children's literature. Central to all topics is the use /inclusion of literature that is multicultural/multiethnic.

Full course description for Teaching Children's Literature in Urban Grades K-6

This course will review development of children grades 1-6 and connect development to the practices used to design programs for grade 1-6 children in urban classrooms. Urban teacher candidates will learn appropriate curriculum and instructional strategies for the presentation of a program which integrates development, skills, and content knowledge in individualized, culturally respectful manners for diverse urban learners. Prospective urban teachers will develop learning plans for grades 1-6 language arts, mathematics, social studies and science and have opportunities to assess their plans as part of a holistic, child-centered curriculum. The rationale and strategies for developmentally appropriate guidance will also be learned. Clinical field experience hours are part of the course requirements.

Full course description for Urban Grades 1-6 Curriculum and Practicum

This course explores the fundamentals of reading instruction. The course provides Early Childhood and pre service k-6 teachers with knowledge of the foundations of the reading and writing process, strategies and curriculum materials to support reading and writing instruction, assessment tools and practices to plan and evaluate effective reading instruction, and create a literate environment that fosters reading and writing.

Full course description for Foundations of Teaching Reading in Urban Grades K-6

This course is designed to prepare prospective early childhood education and elementary teachers to teach and assess young children with disabilities in urban settings. Teacher candidates are introduced to the nature and type of young children with disabilities in the context of urban schools. Formal and informal assessment strategies are addressed as well as strategies for integrating children with disabilities into the early childhood and elementary classroom. Specific areas of focus include the nature of disabilities among culturally and linguistically diverse exceptional learners, instructional individualization, and communication with parents. Issues discussed include funding, professional ethics, and legal implications for professionals, students, and family. Clinical field experience hours are part of the course requirements.

Full course description for Teaching and Assessing Children with Disabilities Birth-Grade 6

+ CORE FOUR: Professional Context and Methods Courses (13 cr, Prerequisites: All Core Three requirements)

Core Four courses include 40 hours of documented urban field experiences

This course will focus on strategies to excite and extend math and science experiences for primary age children. Students will review developmentally appropriate mathematics and science pedagogy and connect development to the practices used to design appropriate programs for primary age children in urban early childhood settings. Students will consider the appropriate practices for a program serving primary age children in a diverse urban community. Field experience hours in urban primary grades classrooms are part of the course requirements.

Full course description for Teaching Math and Science In Urban Grades 1-3

This course presents an in-depth study of the predominant current philosophies and methodologies of Early Childhood and Elementary reading instruction. Emphasis will be placed on the critical elements in literacy development. These elements are: phonemic awareness, phonic instruction, vocabulary development, fluency, and comprehension. Current organizational procedures and foundations of reading instruction will be presented. Special consideration is given to effective practices and adapting instruction for culturally and linguistically diverse students.

Full course description for Methods of Teaching Reading in Urban Grades K-6

This advanced pre-student teaching practicum is designed to give urban teacher candidates the opportunity to document and reflect upon at least 60 hours practical clinical experience in an urban middle school or high school classroom within their subject area of licensure. Requirements include teaching at least 3 lessons in their licensure area to a whole class of students, but most of the clinical field experience hours and active classroom involvement will be determined by field-based assignments required in other Education courses and the cooperating urban school teacher hosting the practicum. Successful completion of this practicum is a prerequisite for student teaching. Requirements include attendance and participation in periodic seminars to help prospective urban teacher candidates reflect upon their field experiences, and prepare for student teaching.

Full course description for Advanced Urban Teaching Practicum and Seminar

This course provides pre-service Early Childhood and Elementary teachers with the theoretical foundations and practical skills necessary to become reflective professionals who can design and implement effective language arts instruction for economically, academically, culturally, racially and linguistically diverse children. The course emphasizes the social constructivist perspective of reading and writing development which includes the importance of the total learning environment - school, home and community.

Full course description for Methods of Teaching Language Arts in Urban Grades K-6

Choose one

This course explores historical, cultural, and sociological foundations of urban education in the United States. Core concepts include democracy and education, educational equity for all students and historical as well as contemporary relationships between school and society. Emphasis is on issues of power and the educational segregation and attempted deculturalization of historically marginalized groups. Resilience and persistent struggles for equal educational opportunity in the face of oppression are also emphasized from diverse cultural perspectives. Philosophical, legal, cultural and ethical perspectives about education are explored as students develop critical awareness of issues to further develop their own philosophies of urban education. The community is a resource for cross-cultural inquiry and learning about the educational strengths and challenges faced by diverse groups living in urban areas. Students gain understanding of the contributions and lifestyles of various…

Full course description for Historical and Cultural Foundations of Urban Education

This course explores the social, cultural, and historical contexts which impact child development. Students learn how children have been perceived during historical periods as well as the roles that children play in a variety of cultures. Emphasis is on racism, classism, sexism, ethnocentrism, ableism and heterosexism. Strategies for reducing the negative impact on children's lives and promoting healthy development of children within the social-political context are explored. The roles of parents, family and the community are considered as they relate to current policies affecting the needs of young children.

Full course description for Early Childhood Development within a Social/Cultural and Historical Context

+ Student Teaching (9 credits, Prerequisites: All Core Four requirements)

Two of the following three student teaching courses are required for licensure, for a total of 9 credits and a total of 15 weeks: EDU 485 Student Teaching in Urban Pre-K and Kindergarten Classroom (3 or 6 cr) AND EITHER EDU 475 Student Teaching in the Urban Infant-Toddler Classroom (3 cr) OR EDU 490 Student Teaching in Urban Primary Grades 1–3 Classroom (3 or 6 cr)

Teacher Candidates must notify the Field Experience Director two semesters prior to doing their student teaching. They must also submit a draft student teaching application to their advisor by September 1st for spring placements and February 1st for fall placements. MTLE Content and Pedagogy exams must be taken before student teaching.

Supervised student teaching with children ages 3-5 within an urban preschool and kindergarten classrooms required for teacher candidates seeking early childhood licensure (Birth-Grade 3). Placement is for a minimum of three full-time weeks (2 credits) in combination with other student teaching placements to a maximum of fifteen full-time weeks (9 credits) in a single placement depending on the teacher candidate's Individualized Student Teaching Plan that is developed with and approved by the teacher candidate's advisor and the Field Experience Coordinator. Weekly reflections, periodic seminars with other student teachers, and the development of a standards-based portfolio are also required.

Full course description for Student Teaching in the Urban PreK-Kindergarten Classroom

Choose one

Supervised student teaching with children ages 0-3 within an urban child care center for teacher candidates seeking early childhood licensure (Birth-Grade 3). Placement is for a minimum of three full-time weeks (2 credits) in combination with other student teaching placements to a maximum of fifteen full-time weeks (9 credits) in a single placement depending on the teacher candidate's Individualized Student Teaching Plan that is developed with and approved by the teacher candidate's advisor and the Field Experience Coordinator. Weekly reflections, periodic seminars with other student teachers, and the development of a standards-based portfolio are also required.

Full course description for Student Teaching in the Urban Infant-Toddler Classroom

Supervised student teaching with children in urban primary grades (1-3) classrooms for required for teacher candidates seeking early childhood licensure (Birth-Grade 3). Placement is for a minimum of three full-time weeks (2 credits) in combination with other student teaching placements to a maximum of fifteen full-time weeks (9 credits) in a single placement depending on the teacher candidate's Individualized Student Teaching Plan that is developed with and approved by the teacher candidate's advisor and the Field Experience Coordinator. Weekly reflections, periodic seminars with other student teachers, and the development of a standards-based portfolio are also required.

Full course description for Student Teaching in the Urban Primary Grades 1-3