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About this Program

MSU Denver student Idalee Nunez reading a book to young children in a classroom.As an MSU Denver Early Childhood Education major, you will learn to care for, teach and work with children, birth through age eight. In this program, you will explore child development, language and literacy, science, technology, creativity, math, trauma-informed and equity-focused teaching alongside other future teachers from diverse socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds.

Here you will work with faculty made up of experienced preschool and early-elementary teachers, leaders and directors who remain active on federal, national, state and local boards and with agencies. Your faculty are helping to inform the current trends, policies and practices in the ECE profession by conducting research, speaking nationally and locally, and partnering with districts and centers. This excellent faculty bring all of that knowledge and experience to your class content.

Small class sizes enable you to develop lasting support networks of peers and receive the individual attention you deserve while gaining practical experience and relevant real-world knowledge to become a professional, knowledgeable, and agentic early childhood educator.

Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver

As an Early Childhood Education major, you can choose from two concentrations: one that leads to recommendation for Colorado Department of Education Teacher Licensure for birth through age 8, and one that leads to an Early Learning Specialization.

By graduation (in either concentration), you will meet Colorado Department of Human Services Office of Early childhood requirements for Early Childhood Teacher, Childcare Center Director, and COShines Professional Level II or III. You will also receive an MSU Denver certificate of completion in Trauma-Informed and Equity Practices. In the licensure concentration, you will complete student teaching and the Praxis exams to also qualify to teach in public schools pre-kindergarten through third grade.

Additionally, in our School of Education programs, you will experience:

  • A diverse student population
  • Engaging, topical coursework
  • Supportive faculty and staff who value diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Clinical experiences in partnership schools across the Denver metro area throughout your program
  • Incredible value

Career Opportunities for Our Graduates

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Early Childhood Education majors at Metropolitan State University of Denver are prepared to teach and work in a wide variety of environments. These settings include urban, rural, public, private and charter schools and centers; informal education settings; and state-licensing, policy-advocacy and nonprofit organizations.

Most MSU Denver Early Childhood Education students graduate to become public school teachers at the level of pre-kindergarten through third grade. Others go to work as teachers or directors in childcare centers, become licensing agents, or work in government agencies, nonprofit organizations.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2018, the median childcare and teaching pay in Colorado varied widely. For childcare workers, the average was $28,700/year, about $2,000 more than the national average. For preschool teachers, the average was $33,140/year, and for elementary school kindergarten teachers was $50,020/year.  Preschool and Childcare Administrators earned an average salary of $52,160/year.

According to the Colorado Department of Education, the average of all teacher salaries in the state in 2020 was $58,219.

Featured Faculty

Headshot photo of Dr. Rosemarie AllenDr. Rosemarie Allen

Dr. Rosemarie Allen has served as a leader in early childhood education for over 30 years. Her life’s work is centered on ensuring children have access to high quality early childhood programs that are developmentally and culturally appropriate. Her classes are focused on ensuring teachers are aware of how issues of equity, privilege, and power impact teaching practices. Rosemarie has also served as the Director of the Division of Child Care for Colorado Department of Human Services.

Rosemarie is a respected keynote speaker, presenting on Racial Equity, Culturally Responsive Practices, Cultural Competence, Micro-Aggressions, Racial Disproportionality, Privilege, Power and Intersectionality, etc. She also has the distinct honor of being appointed as a “Global Leader” to represent the United States at World Conferences across the globe. Rosemarie earned her B. A. from California State University, Master’s of Education from Lesley University, and Doctorate in Leadership for Equity in Education at the University of Colorado, Denver.


Headshot of Dr. Brandon GilbertDr. Brandon Gilbert

Dr. Brandon Gilbert received his doctorate in education from DePaul University with a concentration in early childhood studies. His research examines how preschoolers articulate learning through various art mediums. Dr. Gilbert’s service as an early childhood lead teacher spans over sixteen years, teaching in urban communities of Chicago, Brooklyn and Harlem, New York. He understands that early childhood education is one of the most intellectually demanding fields of service. Being able to provide the individual needs of an entire early childhood classroom is an enormous responsibility. Dr. Gilbert promotes a holistic philosophy that acknowledged children’s sense of self, voices, and creative abilities.


All School of Education teacher licensure programs are authorized by the Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Department of Higher Education.

ECE coursework is also aligned with the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) most recent professional development standards and the Colorado Early Childhood Educators and Administrators Competencies.

Contact the Department of Special Education, Early Childhood & CLD

West Classroom: 132, 136, 162

Advising Appointments:
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(303) 615-1777

[email protected]