If you see yourself in a different type of role within the early childhood field, look to this track for the most flexibility. Our individualized studies program prepares you to work with young children and families in settings where a teaching license is not required. Develop a course plan that blends early childhood classes with your other areas of interest. Examples include languages, healthcare, cultural studies, or performing arts.
Our curriculum will help you build a strong foundation in child development. Complete our general early childhood education coursework alongside the classes you and your advisor plan specifically for your interests in the individualized studies track.
Our pedagogical courses are grounded in the latest child development research. As a teaching student in the Institute of Child Development (ICD), the number one-ranked developmental psychology program in the nation, you’ll put groundbreaking discoveries in brain development into immediate practice with young children.
As an individualized studies student you have multiple options to choose from for your senior year student teaching experience. Many students choose to complete a semester-long experience in the Child Development Laboratory School (CDLS), a preschool located in the Como neighborhood close to the Twin Cities campus and one of the longest-running laboratory schools in the nation.
Others take a course and teaching practicum in Trauma-Informed Care to achieve a particular focus on more vulnerable populations. Still others work individually with early childhood staff and instructors to plan something more suited to their unique career interests and goals, such as a learning abroad experience or teaching in a language immersion school.
Consider studying abroad as part of your early childhood major. As a learning abroad student, you’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in a different culture, advance your education, and gain the experience of a lifetime.
Students have many opportunities to choose from to fulfill general degree or major requirements, and our Individualized Track students have the most flexibility as you may design your supporting curriculum to specifically incorporate these classes!
Visit our learning abroad page to explore program options. We highlight three applicable programs in Brazil, France, and Scandinavia, but many additional options are available.
I am so excited to work with our early educators who are preparing to do such important and meaningful work with young people and families. I am here to help guide our students through their degrees, which includes understanding program requirements and planning for post-college goals. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions!
Visit OneStop Student Services to learn more about tuition and financing.
Visit the College of Education and Human Development’s (CEHD) undergraduate costs, aid and scholarships page to find out about CEHD-specific opportunities.
Incoming first-year students who are interested in early childhood education are automatically considered for the Campbell Scholarship for Education. Visit the Office of Admissions scholarships page for more information on this and additional CEHD scholarships available to incoming first-year students.
The Institute of Child Development’s early childhood education programs recognize that all children deserve equitable learning experiences so they can achieve their full potential. Our academic programs are rooted in the science of child development, which tells us that high-quality early childhood education occurs in the context of positive relationships among teachers, children, and their families. We are committed to training educators who build strong relationships, embrace diversity, value full inclusion, and work to eliminate structural inequities that limit children’s educational opportunities.