Early Childhood Education

Associate of Science

About This Program


The Associate of Science degree program in Early Childhood Education prepares students to work primarily as paraprofessionals (instructional aides, teaching associates, teaching assistants) in the public schools, or as teachers in private preschool and child care settings. Upon completion of the Associate of Science degree, a student may elect to continue studies to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Care and Education.

Program of Study

The program begins with courses designed to introduce students to basic principles of child growth and development and psychology. Courses follow in the area of language development and literacy, methods of teaching, and assessment. The centrality of the family and community in the life of the child is emphasized throughout the program. Classroom management and assessment strategies are studied in separate courses and are also integrated into courses and fieldwork. As a final course in the program, an internship in an approved setting is required. A minimum of sixty (60) total credits is required for degree completion.

Program Competencies

  1. Create learning experiences that make content meaningful to students and reflect an understanding of the core concepts and structures of early childhood education.
  2. Provide learning opportunities that support the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development of students based on an understanding of childhood development and learning.
  3. Adapt instruction for diverse learners based on an understanding of how students differ.
  4. Demonstrate proficiency in oral and written communication.
  5. Create a learning environment that fosters active engagement, self-motivation, and positive social interaction by understanding individual and group behavior.
  6. Apply a variety of instructional approaches that promote student thinking, understanding, and application of knowledge.
  7. Use multiple assessment strategies for the continuous development of students.
  8. Pursue opportunities to improve teaching and thereby enhance professional growth.
  9. Collaborate with colleagues, parents/guardians, and other members of the community to support student learning and well-being and demonstrate knowledge of the role of the school in the community.
  10. Understand and maintain standards of professional conduct guided by legal and ethical principles.
  11. Demonstrate dispositions expected of beginning teachers.

Clinical Requirements

Internship placements for students must be arranged and approved through the College of Education, Office of Clinical Studies. Applications for placements must be submitted electronically and are due in the Office of Clinical Studies by August 1 for spring semester placements and February 1 for fall semester placements.

A criminal background check and Child Protection Registry clearance are required for ECE 216, Internship in Early Childhood Education.

This information applies to students who enter this degree program during the 2016-2017 Academic Year. If you entered this degree program before the Fall 2016 semester, please refer to the academic catalog for the year you began your degree program.