Early Childhood Education and Special Education


About This Program

The Early Childhood, Early Childhood Special Education A.A.S. (associate of applied science) degree is a career or technical education program. The purpose of this program is to foster individual growth of the student with conceptualized, advanced training to provide specific and targeted course work to prepare the student to immediately enter the workforce. Forty of the sixty credits required for this degree are specific for this career field. In addition, students spend 105 hours working directly with children in a variety of Early Childhood settings prior to graduation.

Course work has been developed based on the current needs identified by professionals in the field serving on our advisory board. Some of these courses include: Positive Behavior & Guidance Techniques, Trauma Informed Teaching, Teaching Children with Challenging Behavior, Engaging Families in Culturally Responsive Practice as well as special education including Universal Design for Learning.

Instructional Delivery:

Conveniently Offered Online with practicum experiences throughout the community in a variety of early childhood settings. Students have choices in setting up practicum hours that work with his or her schedule.

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Not ready to apply? Request Information or call admissions at 888-223-8068


Degrees & Credits

A.A.S. Degree (60 credits)

Mesabi Range - Virginia
Online (Minnesota North)

Program Features

Benefits of the Program
  • Strong relationship with Early Childhood programs in the community
  • Small class sizes
  • Learning community
T.E.A.C.H. Scholarships

T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® MINNESOTAT.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® MINNESOTA, a project of Child Care Aware of Minnesota, is a scholarship program intended to help early childhood and school-age care professionals increase their levels of education, compensation and commitment to the field. T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education And Compensation Helps) has a history of helping Minnesota child care professionals earn college credits, degrees and credentials.

Benefits vary depending on scholarship type, but for most scholarship recipients, T.E.A.C.H. covers the majority of tuition and textbook purchases while also providing a travel stipend and paid release time. After increasing their education, T.E.A.C.H. recipients often see their wages, opportunities and professional recognition grow.

Meet the Faculty

Dawn Kemppainen-Olson

Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education Instructor

Meet Our Alumni

Patricia Monacelli

A.A. Degree in Liberal Arts + A.A.S. Degree in Education Assistant

Minnesota North - Mesabi Range

“I am a 42 year old non-traditional student who feels so fortunate to be able to complete all of my courses at Mesabi Range online. I started out with one computer course and was immediately hooked on the D2L system. I am a full time in-home child care provider and mother of three children. Each class that I have been fortunate enough to take has been a direct benefit to my child care business. I learn things every day that I can put to practical use and expand my knowledge in all areas relating to working with young children. All of the instructors that I have had online courses with have been exceptional at presenting the material and enhancing my learning experience. I look forward to logging in each course every day and the flexibility online learning allows with my full time job and busy family. At the present time I am working on completing my AA degree in liberal arts and my AAS degree in the area of Education Assistant. Once I have completed these two degrees, I hope to be able to continue my education almost entirely online for a BA in Early Childhood Education.”