Early childhood education in a mobile society (ECEMS) will prepare you to work in early childhood settings with young children whose family members are highly mobile. When you complete the program, you will be qualified to work in a variety of programs that offer early care and education for children birth to age 8 and particularly those with highly mobile populations such as military installations.

This is an online program offered as part of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (IDEA). The Great Plains IDEA is a consortium of universities collaborating in the delivery of programs. As a student in this program, you will enroll for all your coursework through the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and you will graduate from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, but your online courses will be taught by faculty at each of the participating universities. Core courses (45 credits; identified under the heading ECEMS Requirements below) in this program are subject to differential tuition at the common Great Plains IDEA rate. The Great Plains IDEA rate does not apply to tuition and fees for any remaining credit hours needed to complete the bachelors degree (i.e., ACE requirements, minor and elective requirements).


Criminal History Background Check

The College of Education and Human Sciences (CEHS) has the responsibility to ensure that all students who are in placements where they interact with children of all ages, served by schools or other public or private agencies, meet a high level of personal, professional, and ethical behavior. These students must complete an official criminal history background check through the CEHS vendor prior to participating in a field experience or internship. Students are responsible for the cost of any required criminal history background checks. A background check is required prior to the first practicum placement or as part of a program’s application program. A second background check is required before a student teaching or culminating internship placement. 

Students with felony or misdemeanor charges or convictions, as reported on the background check, may be contacted by the College. Depending upon the frequency and severity of the charges and/or convictions, students may be required to meet with the Director of Field Experiences. If any new charges or convictions are acquired after a background check has been completed, students are required to report those to the Director of Field Experiences immediately after the event occurs. Failure to disclose any new information concerning one’s criminal history can lead to removal from the program. Continued participation in school or community field experiences in the College will be based on the type and number of convictions, the recency of those occurrences, and whether they violate the requirements of the Nebraska Department of Education and/or the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. If the convictions are deemed to be serious in nature, a student may be prohibited from participating in a field experience in a pre-school, school, or public agency setting. The student may then be referred to the department chair for further disciplinary action.

Professional and Ethical Behavior: Avoiding Risky Behaviors

Students planning to enter professions in education or the human sciences must be able to demonstrate that they are individuals of strong moral character who can make mature decisions for themselves and others. Therefore, the College of Education and Human Sciences requires that its students show a high degree of moral character and the ability to act in a responsible manner. Students must consider how the College, the profession, an employer, or the community perceives or evaluates the impact of any questionable behavior. Students’ success in their profession is impaired by taking risks that are unacceptable for children, demonstrating a lack of professionalism and good judgment, and showing disregard for one’s personal reputation or the integrity of the College.

The College of Education and Human Sciences reserves the right to evaluate student fitness for the profession and deny entry to or dismiss a student from any program if, through the reasonable exercise of the judgment of its Certification Officer or the Director of Field Experiences, the College determines that the student’s behavior represents a lack of integrity, questionable moral/ethical character, or represents a risk to young persons. Such behaviors shall be adequate foundation to deny the student’s participation in any practicum or field experience to protect the interests and safety of children. The consequences of unprofessional, unethical, or risky behavior will depend upon the unique circumstances involved.

Appeal to the Dean

Should a student object to the determination made by the Certification Officer or the Director of Field Experiences with respect to a criminal behavior or unprofessional behavior, the student may appeal to the Dean of the College, in writing, within ten days of the determination, requesting the Dean of the College to investigate and review the determination. The student’s written appeal shall clearly explain the basis for the appeal. The Dean will review the student’s basis for appeal and is authorized but not required to look into related concerns, whether or not such concerns are contained in the student’s written appeal. The Dean shall render a decision on the appeal as soon as reasonably possible, but in no case longer than 20 days following the initiation of the appeal. Once the Dean has completed the review and investigation, he or she shall deliver to the student and the Certification Officer or the Director of Field Experiences a written decision, which shall be final and not subject to further appeal or review with the University of Nebraska.

College Requirements

College Admission

Students accepted by the University must have an ACT of 20 or SAT of 950, or rank in the upper half of their high school graduating class and have the following high school preparation to be eligible for guaranteed admission to the College of Education and Human Sciences:

  • Four years of English that include intensive reading and writing experience.
  • Two years of one foreign language.
  • Four years of mathematics that include Algebra I, II, geometry, and one year that builds on a knowledge of algebra.
  • Three years of natural sciences that include at least two years selected from biology, physics, chemistry, and earth science and one year of laboratory instruction.
  • Three years of social studies that include at least one year of American and/or world history and one year of history, American government, and/or geography.

Transfer and Readmitted Students

Transfer students from universities or colleges outside of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and readmitted students seeking admission to the College of Education and Human Sciences must have an accumulated average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale or above and no high school deficiencies. Students who do not meet these requirements must enroll as deciding students in the Exploratory and Pre-Professional Advising Center or in another college. Once they have completed 12 graded hours at Nebraska with a minimum 2.0 grade point average and have removed any high school deficiencies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln students may apply for admission to the College.

Transfer and readmitted students must meet the graduation requirements for the College of Education and Human Sciences as stated in the current catalog in effect at the time they enter or reenter the College.

Students who left the College on probation, or who were dismissed, may seek readmission to the College after two semesters by applying to the university’s Admissions Office. Readmission is not assured. However, the admissions committee is receptive to giving students a second opportunity to be successful. The committee is interested in knowing what the student has done in the intervening period that would suggest the student will be successful when readmitted. Successfully completing correspondence courses and/or community college courses is an effective way to demonstrate one’s commitment to academic success.

Transferring from Other Colleges within the University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Students transferring to the College of Education and Human Sciences from another University of Nebraska–Lincoln college or from the Exploratory and Pre-Professional Advising Center must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0, be in good academic standing, and meet the freshman entrance requirements that exist at the time of their admission to the College of Education and Human Sciences. Students must fulfill degree requirements that exist at the time of their admission to the college, not at the time they enter the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

To remain current, College of Education and Human Sciences students must enroll in, and complete, at least one university course that will apply toward degree requirements during a 12-month period. Students who readmit following an absence of one year or more must meet all requirements in the Undergraduate Catalog in effect at the time of readmission and enrollment. Students who transfer to another University of Nebraska–Lincoln college and later return to the College of Education and Human Sciences will be considered readmitted students. Students who transfer out of a teacher education program, but continue their certification program while seeking a degree in another University of Nebraska–Lincoln college, are exempt from this policy.

International Students

The College of Education and Human Sciences welcomes undergraduate international students. As a part of admission to the College, international students must present a TOEFL score of 550 or higher and TSE score of 230 or higher.

Students seeking teacher education and state certification must meet the same requirements as any other undergraduate students, including the CORE examination or other basic skills test approved by the Nebraska Department of Education. Students who have received a degree outside of the United States and are interested in teacher certification are required to have a transcript review completed by an approved agency not directly associated with the University of Nebraska. For more information, please contact the Student Services Center.

Removal of Deficiencies

Students admitted to the University with core deficiencies are expected to remove those deficiencies in a timely manner. Students with deficiencies are not eligible for graduation. The courses that students use to clear core deficiencies may also be used to meet ACE requirements or other graduation requirements. The Dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences will make the final decision concerning any problems or questions that may arise in satisfying requirements to remove deficiencies.

College Degree Requirements

Grade Rules

Minimum Grade Requirements

Grade requirements vary from major to major. Please see the appropriate major listing or check with your advisor regarding minimum grade requirements.

Pass/No Pass Option

CEHS students are allowed to take up to 12 hours of Pass/No Pass (P/N) credit. The college departments vary on P/N policies. Students should check with their advisor to be certain they qualify for the Pass/No Pass option.

Grade Appeals

Any student enrolled in a course in the College of Education and Human Sciences who wishes to appeal alleged unfair and prejudicial treatment by a faculty member shall present their appeal in writing to the Dean’s Office no later than 30 days after notice of the student’s final course grade has been mailed from campus.

Students may use and are encouraged to use the following sequential procedures to appeal the grade. The problem may be solved at any of the levels of the appeal procedure.

  1. Contact the instructor. Frequently, the problems can be solved at this point.
  2. Submit a request to the chair of the department.
  3. Take the case to the departmental Grading Appeals Committee. The Committee is contacted by the department chair.
  4. Take the case to the College Appeals, Retention and Certification Committee by contacting the Dean’s Office.

The complaint will be forwarded to a committee consisting of faculty and student representatives. After a hearing, the Committee will make a written recommendation regarding the appeal. The Committee’s recommendation is binding on the appealing student and faculty member.

Transfer Credit Rules

Acceptance of Transfer Grades

  • Grades earned at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, UNO, UNK
  • Grades of D-, D, D+, and C- satisfy requirements in all programs in the College unless specified otherwise. Students who receive a grade of D-, D, D+, C-, however, are encouraged to retake the course.
  • Grades earned outside the University of Nebraska system

The college will accept no more than 9 credit hours of grades less than a C from any program outside the University of Nebraska system. Grades below a C can only be applied to general education requirements and elective classes.

Maximum Number of Hours for Transfer

Transfer courses are evaluated by the University and by the College to determine University of Nebraska–Lincoln and College course equivalencies. The College determines which courses will be accepted and how they will apply toward degree requirements. Sixty (60) is the maximum number of hours that will be accepted on transfer from a two-year college. Ninety (90) is the maximum number of hours that will be accepted on transfer from accredited four-year colleges and universities.

Courses taken 10 years before admission or readmission to the College will be evaluated by the major department to determine if it is appropriate to accept those courses for transfer credit and for application to degree requirements. Specific courses will be reviewed in keeping with the guidelines specified by each department.

Transfer Credit from Technical, Non-Accredited and Foreign Institutions

Students who desire to transfer from these institutions must have each course evaluated by the appropriate departmental representative. All rules stated above in reference to grades and maximum credit hours apply. For additional information and guidance in this process, contact the Dean’s Office.

Transfer Agreements with UNO and UNK

Transfer agreements between the three institutions within the University System allow for a smooth transition for students interested in taking courses from UNO, UNK, and/or the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Although restrictions noted above on grades and maximum transfer hours still apply, there are some exceptions. For purposes of residency, courses from UNO and UNK fulfill these requirements. Students planning to major in a program in the college should read the specific requirements noted with individual programs. Questions about academic transfer should be addressed to the Advising Office.

Transfer Agreements with Community Colleges

Articulation agreements and “Transfer with Ease Programs” with Nebraska community colleges indicate how courses and programs will transfer to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the College of Education and Human Sciences. The same guidelines noted above on the acceptance of courses, grades, and hours also apply to these institutions. Students interested in transferring from a community college should consult with their school or the Student Services Center to determine which courses will transfer to fulfill specific College of Education and Human Sciences requirements.

Courses from accredited two-year institutions will generally not be substituted for 400-level human sciences classes in the College. The 300-level courses will be considered on an individual basis by the respective departments in the College of Education and Human Sciences.

Courses taken prior to course articulation agreements will be accepted contingent upon departmental validation of the credit.

Residency Rules

Students must earn a minimum of 120 credit hours to earn a degree.

All students are expected to complete at least 30 of their final 36 hours of credit at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Degree Application Process

Graduation Requirements

Students are expected to develop a clear understanding of degree requirements and to plan their course of study with a College advisor. Students requiring clarification of outstanding degree requirements should visit with a College advisor promptly.

Students should access their Degree Audit via MyRED at least once each term to review degree requirements and progress toward graduation. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure their Degree Audit accurately reflects their current College and program of study.

Students who believe their Degree Audit has errors or omissions should visit with a College advisor promptly. It is important that you resolve these matters as soon as practicable to avoid a delay in graduation.

Each student with MyRED access must submit an online Application for Graduation via MyRED for each degree to be received by:

  • The fourth Friday in January for May graduation
  • The second Friday in June for August graduation
  • The second Friday in September for December graduation

Students submitting an electronic Application for Graduation via MyRED will be billed a $25.00 per degree fee on their student account. Students without MyRED access may apply for graduation in person at Husker Hub in the Canfield Administration Building, or by mail. Applications for graduation submitted in person or by mail must be accompanied by a check or money order in the amount of $25.00 payable to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Failure to submit a timely Application for Graduation may preclude the awarding of a degree in the intended term.

Your Application for Graduation and required $25.00 fee are good only for the term marked on your application. Neither your application nor your fee are transferrable to another term. If you submit an Application for Graduation and pay the $25.00 fee for a specified term but do not complete your degree requirements in that term, you will need to reapply to graduate in a future term and incur another $25.00 fee.

Commencement ceremony information will be emailed to all degree applicants approximately one month before graduation. Each student who has applied for graduation must submit an online Commencement Attendance Form via MyRED, which will be available when the informational email is distributed.

Only those students who have applied for graduation, had the application accepted, and fulfilled all degree requirements as of the last day of the academic term may participate in the commencement ceremony for that term. Because the University of Nebraska–Lincoln has a commencement for each term, ceremony participation is allowed only in the term during which the student has properly and timely applied for graduation and fulfilled degree requirements.

Catalog Rule

Students are responsible for following the rules, policies, and requirements found in the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Undergraduate Catalog for the academic year in which they were last admitted to a program in the College of Education and Human Sciences. Students must complete all program requirements from a single catalog year. In consultation with their advisor, a student may choose to move to and follow a subsequent catalog if it is in their best interest.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of early childhood education in a mobile society will be able to:

  1. Use the understanding of young children’s characteristics and needs, and of multiple interacting influences on children’s development and learning, to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for each child.
  2. Understand how successful early childhood education depends upon partnerships with children’s families and communities and value the importance and complex characteristics of children’s families and communities.
  3. Use child observation, documentation, and other forms of assessment, in partnership with families and other professionals, to positively influence the development of every child.
  4. Use the knowledge of academic disciplines to design, implement, and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for every child.
  5. Identify and conduct self as a member of the early childhood profession using ethical guidelines and other professional standards related to early childhood practice.
  6. Demonstrate through sequential practicum experiences and clinical practice the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to promote the development and learning of children across the entire developmental period of early childhood.

Major Requirements

Endorsement Requirements

ACE Requirements
ENGL 151Writing and Argument (Suggested online course)3
COMM 286Business and Professional Communication (Suggested online course)3
Select one of the following:3
Fundamentals of Computer Science (Suggested online course)
Statistics (Suggested online course)
Applied Calculus (Suggested online course)
Select one of the following:3
Biotechnology: Food, Health and Environment (Suggested online course)
Plant Science (Suggested online course)
Insect Biology (Suggested online course)
Select one of the following:3
Women of the Great Plains (Suggested online course)
People of Great Plains (Suggested online course)
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Anthropology (Suggested online course)
Survey of Criminal Justice (Suggested online course)
Principles of Macroeconomics (Suggested online course)
Sociology of Crime (Suggested online course)
Families and Society (Suggested online course)
AHIS 101Cave Paintings to Cathedrals (Suggested online course)3
ACE 83
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Anthropology (Suggested online course)
Introduction to International Economics (Suggested online course)
Women of the Great Plains (Suggested online course)
International Relations (Suggested online course)
Gender in Contemporary Society (Suggested online course)
Families and Society (Suggested online course)
Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies (Suggested online course)
ACE 103
Credit Hours Subtotal: 30
ECEMS Requirements 1
CYAF 203ECEMS: Child Development, Birth to 33
CYAF 204ECEMS - Child Development, 4 to 83
CYAF 205ECEMS - Child Guidance and Classroom Environments3
CYAF 301ECEMS-Assessing Young Children and their Environments to Enhance Development3
CYAF 302ECEMS - Development of Curriculum for Children ages Birth to 33
CYAF 303ECEMS - Development of Curriculum for Children ages 4 to 83
CYAF 304ECEMS - Understanding and Adapting for Developmental Differences3
CYAF 305ECEMS - Practicum II3
CYAF 306ECEMS: Introduction to Early Childhood Education3
CYAF 307ECEMS - Practicum I3
CYAF 405ECEMS - Administration and Supervision in Early Childhood Settings3
CYAF 406ECEMS - Diversity in the Lives of Young Children and Families3
CYAF 407ECEMS - Health, Safety, and Nutrition3
CYAF 408ECEMS - Technology and Young Children3
CYAF 409Working with Families3
CYAF 410ECEMS - Practicum III, Capstone Experience (counted as ACE 10 credit)6
Credit Hours Subtotal: 45
Select 45 hours of Electives/Minor45
Credit Hours Subtotal: 45
Total Credit Hours120

Additional Major/Endorsement Requirements

Grade Rules

C- and D Grades

Only grades of C or above will count toward graduation requirements for CYAF courses.

Pass/No Pass

All CYAF courses must be taken for a grade (not Pass/No Pass).

This document represents a sample 4-year plan for degree completion with this major. Actual course selection and sequence may vary and should be discussed individually with your college or department academic advisor. Advisors also can help you plan other experiences to enrich your undergraduate education such as internships, education abroad, undergraduate research, learning communities, and service learning and community-based learning.


Icon Legend: CriticalCritical
15 HR TERM 1
ACE 1 Written Texts
complete 1 from ACE1

ACE 2 Communication Skill
complete 1 from ACE2

ACE 6 Social Sciences

complete Any Course*
15 HR TERM 2
ACE 3 Math/Statistics
complete 1 from ACE3

ACE 4 Sciences
complete 1 from ACE4

ACE 5 Humanities
complete 1 from ACE5

complete Any Course*
15 HR TERM 3
ECEMS Core ReqtCritical
complete CYAF 203
CYAF 203 becomes critical to your success in the major if not completed by the third term of enrollment.

ACE 7 Arts
complete 1 from ACE7

ACE 8 Ethical Principles
complete 1 from ACE8

complete Any Course*
15 HR TERM 4
ECEMS Core ReqtCritical
complete CYAF 306

ECEMS Core ReqtCritical
complete CYAF 204, CYAF 406
CYAF 204 becomes critical to your success in the major if not completed by the fourth term of enrollment.

ACE 9 Global/Human Divers
complete 1 from ACE9

complete Any Course*
12 HR TERM 5
ECEMS Core ReqtCritical

complete Any Course*
15 HR TERM 6
ECEMS Core ReqtCritical

complete Any Course*
12 HR TERM 7
ECEMS Core ReqtCritical
complete CYAF 305, CYAF 408

complete Any Course*
ECEMS Core ReqtCritical
complete CYAF 409
12 HR TERM 9
ECEMS Core ReqtCritical
complete CYAF 407

complete Any Course*
6 HR TERM 10
ECEMS Core ReqtCritical
CYAF 410 also fulfills the ACE 10 requirement.
Graduation Requirements
  1. 2.00 cumulative GPA required for graduation.
  2. 30 of the last 36 hours must be taken at UNL, UNO, or UNK.
  3. ***Total Credits Applying Toward 120 Total Hours***