Early Childhood and Paraprofessional Education

M State's AS degree in Early Childhood and Paraprofessional Education prepares students to work as highly skilled early childhood professionals who are qualified for numerous career opportunities within the field.

The 60-credit AS program includes a range of coursework that focuses on children from birth through age 8, along with behavior guidance, children with special needs and the development of curriculum for infant/toddler, preschool and primary school-age children.

Observations and internships are a valuable part of M State's program, which is offered on the Detroit Lakes campus, and the on-campus child care facility provides excellent opportunities for hands-on learning.

The program meets educational requirements for assistant teacher and paraprofessional in an educational setting, and for assistant teacher and teacher in a child care setting or in a family or group child care setting.


Here’s what you’ll learn

  • Developmentally appropriate learning experiencesfor children
  • Professional behavior that meets the child care professional code of ethics
  • Developmentally appropriate guidance strategies
  • utrition requirements for child care programs
  • Effective communication with parents
  • Care and planning for children with special needs
  • Typical and atypical development in children ages birth through 8
  • Physical, emotional and safety issues related to child care


Why M State

  • Exceptional educational value
  • Hands-on instruction and learning opportunities
  • Small class sizes with personalized instruction
  • On-campus child care center provides direct care experience
  • Students who earn the Early Childhood and Paraprofessional Education AS degree have the options of transferring seamlessly to the online the bachelor's degree program in Early Childhood Education at Southwestern Minnesota State University

Programs & Majors » Early Childhood And Paraprofessional Education Back to program list »

Degrees Offered Click on a degree below to view details

Early Childhood & Paraprofessional Education Associate in Science (AS)
Locations: Detroit Lakes

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M State's Early Childhood and Paraprofessional Education program has an articulation agreement with Southwest Minnesota State University.

Graduates from M State's program can transfer into SMSU's bachelor's degree program in Early Childhood Education.

Articulation agreements ensure that students completing specified coursework or degree programs at M State will transfer into designated programs at partner universities or colleges according to the terms of the agreement. This cooperative effort eliminates or minimizes the questions and confusion that sometimes accompany transfer and allows our students to be confident that their degree from M State will satisfy a substantive portion of the completion requirements for the bachelor's degree at the university or college they will be attending.


Meet the faculty

Susan TenEyck-Stafki
Early Childhood Instructor
Detroit Lakes
Contact Susan
Anna Tietz
Early Childhood Instructor
Detroit Lakes
Contact Anna

Apply Now

Preschool teacher regional wage

Preschool teacher regional wage


Career opportunities

Graduates will find career opportunities as preschool teacher or assistant, child care provider, Head Start teacher or assistant, school district aide, and child care resource and referral representative.

Description: Instruct preschool-aged children in activities designed to promote social, physical, and intellectual growth needed for primary school in preschool, day care center, or other child development facility. May be required to hold State certification.

Typical education level:Vocational Certificate

For more information visit Career Coach.

All career data is set to your current geographical area: up to 100 miles away from Detroit Lakes


Preschool Teacher Employment

1,322 Employed in your area

85 Estimated annual job openings

174 Approaching retirement age

The average retirement age in the U.S. is 65 years old. Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education in the 55-64 and the 65+ categories are 1-10 years away from retirement. When older workers retire, there will likely be a demand for new workers.

Age Group # of Workers % of Workers*
under 25 284 21%
25-34 375 28%
35-44 256 19%
45-54 233 18%
55-64 137 10%
65+ 37 3%

* Based on county-level occupational demographics


Required Child Development courses

  • Development/Guidance
  • Introduction to Early Education
  • Integrating Play
  • Imaginative Learning
  • Occupational Experience
  • Integrating Children with Special Needs
  • Observing and Assessing
  • Infant/Toddler Relations
  • Foundations in Literacy
  • Internship

Learn More

· Visit minnesota.edu/programs

· Call 877.450.3322

Last modified: July 1st, 2015 at 10:12am