Jul 13, 2024  
2017-2018 Catalog 
2017-2018 Catalog [PAST CATALOG]

Early Childhood Development (A.A.S.)

Title of Major: Early Childhood Development, A.A.S.

Award: Associate of Applied Science degree, A.A.S.


Total Credit Hours: A minimum of 60


Purpose: The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Early Childhood Development fulfills the state educational requirements for employment as a director, teacher (senior staff), school-age staff member and/or director. The program emphasizes the study of child development, early childhood curriculum/strategies and administrative responsibilities, as well as requires a field-based experience in the early childhood learning environment. Individuals must meet additional state requirements regarding age and experience for employment.

Range of Occupations

  • Director/teacher of before- and after-school program
  • Director of child care center
  • Teacher in child care center


Graduation Requirements

See Academic Regulations for college-wide Graduation Requirements .

Entrance/Admission Requirements

Criminal Background Check

Participation in the required fieldwork experience is contingent upon satisfactory completion of the criminal background check. For complete details, see the Teacher Education and Childcare Institute  section of this catalog.

General Education Requirements: 23-26 credits

An approved list of general education courses can be found in the General Education Requirements and degree program required courses  section of the catalog. Choose general education courses from the following topics:

English: 3-6 credits

Biological and Physical Sciences: 4 credits

Health/Fitness/Wellness: 3 credits

Mathematics or Biological and Physical Sciences: 3 credits

A 4-credit science course may be substituted. See General Education Requirements for a list of approved courses.

Social and Behavioral Sciences: 3 credits

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Describe a developmentally appropriate educational program for children from birth to eight years of age.
  • Explain the major research methods and assessment techniques used to study children from birth to eight years of age.
  • Discuss the physical development of children from birth through 8 years of age.
  • Describe the social-emotional development of children from birth through eight years of age.
  • Describe the cognitive development of children from birth through 8 years of age.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of key federal, state, and local legislation and court rulings affecting children and at-risk across a range of factors, and their families, and the implications of practice.
  • Discuss the effects of bias (e.g., gender, race, culture, ability levels) on development.
  • Describe how a developing teacher uses a portfolio to aid in becoming a reflective practitioner.
  • Reflect on the experiences of being with children in a learning environment.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of significant issues and current trends in Early Childhood Education.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of Early childhood Professional Code of Ethics by NAEYC.
  • Compare and contrast the variety of curriculum models and programs in Early Childhood.
  • Develop and write their own philosophy of Early childhood Education.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of diverse populations in Early Childhood Education.
  • Identify the principles of developmentally appropriate practice in Early Childhood Education.
  • Begin to develop a Teacher Education portfolio.
  • Discuss the major roles and responsibilities of an Early childhood educator.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of current and emerging research on early brain development and the implications for practice in early childhood programs.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of significant relationships on early brain development, subsequent development across domains, and linkages with later school readiness.
  • Discuss current and emerging research on brain development, and the relationship to language development, emergent literacy, and reading acquisition.
  • Explain the relationship and role of each component of language acquisition to reading development.
  • Discuss the interactive nature of the reading process.
  • Analyze the effects of phonemic awareness and phonics on developing readers.
  • Analyze the essential connection of language development, reading acquisition, and writing.
  • Articulate the historical, philosophical, and legal basis of services for young children with special needs.
  • Explain the similarities and differences among typical and atypical human growth and development.
  • Identify current trends that affect children, families, and programs for children.
  • Apply knowledge of cultural and linguistic diversity and the significance of socio-cultural and political contexts for development and learning, and recognize that children are best understood in the contexts of family, culture, and society.
  • Identify specific disabilities, including the etiology, characteristics, and classification of common disabilities in young children, and describe specific implications for development and learning from birth.
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the concepts, inquiry tools, and structure of content areas to create meaningful, challenging learning experiences and environment for all children.
  • Describe the major and current approaches to theories of child development and learning.
  • Identify the approaches to learning.
  • Describe how culture and diversity influence growth and development.
  • Examine how culture and diversity impact learning and school readiness.
  • Describe the important role of family and community in development and the variety of ways individuals can organize to fulfill these roles.

This program aligns with all the college’s core competencies. For a full list of Core Competencies, click here.

Career and Educational Advancement Resources