Montessori Teacher Education

Montessori Teacher Education Program provides students with the knowledge, skills, and state requirements to teach in a Montessori early childhood (preschool – ages 2.5 through 6) and infant and toddler (ages birth through 3) setting. Accredited by both American Montessori Society (AMS) and the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE), it is the only Montessori Teacher Education program in Orange County that provides early childhood education units from the University of California, Irvine, and is accepted by the State of California Community Care Licensing for all early childhood programs.

Who Should Enroll

The program is designed to prepare an individual to work in a Montessori early childhood or infant and toddler environment. This program is not designed for international students and does not meet student visa requirements. Individuals looking to expand their teaching skills or parents interested in providing enrichment for their children have also benefited by taking Studies for Infant & Toddler Caregivers or Montessori Philosophy and Pedagogy.

Program Benefits

  • Learn from highly qualified instructors with many years of real Montessori experience and advanced degrees
  • Enjoy limited class sizes that allow for beneficial instructor/student mentoring
  • Earn a prestigious certificate from the American Montessori Society and UCI Division of Continuing Education credits
  • Participate in a hands-on practicum, applying new knowledge immediately and returning to class for support
  • Foster positive relations with families as well as young children
  • Receive exceptional preparation in Montessori techniques and curriculum design to foster individualized learning in young children
  • Acquire in-depth training in teacher presentation skills and extension of conceptual content of materials in Montessori curriculum areas of practical life, sensorial, math, language and cultural studies
  • Use technology to foster and implement professional aspects of teacher resources and classroom documentation
  • Combine observation and documentation techniques through professional portfolio design for students and individual children

Eligibility and Requirements

The Montessori program requires some completion of childhood education and experience. You will be requested to provide the following documentations at the required orientation:

  1. The name of the Practicum/Internship site including the address, phone, and director’s name, director’s contact information, supervising teacher contact information and Montessori diploma, number of children and age range of the children in the class where you plan to do your practicum.
  2. An official hard copy college transcript (non-electronic) reflecting completion of the courses in Child Development and Child, Family, Community (which is the minimum coursework requirement to work in a school for your practicum). If you have a foreign transcript, it will need to be evaluated and certified by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services. Or a certified copy of your high school diploma.
  3. English Proficiency Requirement: All programs at UCI Division of Continuing Education (classroom and online formats) require professional-level English language proficiency in listening and note-taking, reading comprehension and vocabulary, written expression, and oral presentation.

If you are new to the field of early childhood education, it is best to speak to Cheryll Ruszat at (949) 854-6030 or email

Accredited by MACTE and Affiliated with AMS: Requiring the Highest Standards

“MACTE is the international standard setting and accrediting body for Montessori teacher education. MACTE was granted initial recognition by the U.S. Department of Education in 1995, and this recognition extends through the year 2013. The Secretary of Education is required by law to publish a list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies that the Secretary determines to be reliable authorities as to the quality of education or training provided by the institutions of higher education and higher education programs.” For more information, visit Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education.

AMS (American Montessori Society) Teacher Education Programs are required to fulfill not only MACTE requirements but additional AMS standards as well. AMS programs offer authentic, research-based, professional preparation for Montessori teachers at every level. For more information, visit American Montessori Society. This program is designed to ensure your ability to become a teacher with outstanding skills in all areas of Montessori teaching.

Licensure and Certification Disclosures

Review important information from University of California's Office of the President regarding Professional Licensure and Certification.

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Approximate Cost $4,725-$5,150
Format UCI Campus
Duration 10-12 months

Have Questions?

Talk to a program advisor

Call: (949) 824-7945

Course Schedule

Enrollment in the program is limited to a specific start and end date, meaning students cannot join the program at any time. The Early Childhood Program (preschool – ages 2.5 through 6) is a 10-month program that starts in August and ends in June. The Infant & Toddler Caregiving Program (infants and toddlers – ages birth through 3) is a 12-month program that starts in July and ends in June. Course schedules are subject to change.

Early Childhood Program
Preschool - Ages 2.5 through 6
Infant-Toddler Caregiving
Infants/Toddlers - Ages birth through 3


Frequently Asked Questions

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