The mission of the Early Childhood Education Program is to graduate students who demonstrate competency in professional knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values concerning: child development and the learning process; curriculum development and implementation; family and community relationships; assessment; and professionalism in order to effectively teach young children while involving the child’s family and community. Students who graduate with an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education are qualified to teach in programs for young children including Early Head Start, Head Start, child care centers, family child care homes, and in public schools as paraprofessionals. A.A. graduates may continue on to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education preparing them to be professionals in the early childhood education field in such positions as lead educator, director or manager, and adult educator or trainer. After meeting specified requirements, students may enroll in the Early Childhood Teacher Education Program (ECTEP) for third and fourth year courses.
Early Childhood Education Associate of Arts Degree and Bachelor of Science Degree candidates will demonstrate skills, dispositions and knowledge in relationship to the below listed National Association for the Education of Young Children Professional Standards for Preparing Early Childhood Practitioners. Bachelor of Science candidates will build upon the foundation skills, dispositions and knowledge developed during participation in the Associate of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education.
Standard 1. Promoting Child Development and
Learning. Candidates use their understanding of young children’s characteristics and needs, and multiple interacting influences on children’s development and learning, to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for all children.
Standard 2. Building Family and Community
Relationships. Candidates know about, understand, and value the importance of complex characteristics of children’s families and communities. They use this understanding to create respectful, reciprocal relationships that support and empower families, and to involve all families in their children’s development and learning.
Standard 3. Observing, Documenting, and Assessing to Support Young Children and Families.
Candidates know about and understand the goals, benefits, documentation, and othern effective assessment strategies in a responsible way, in partnership with families and other professionals, to positively influence children’s development and learning.
Standard 4. Teaching and Learning.
Candidates integrate their understanding of and relationshipswith children and families; their understanding of developmentally effective approaches to teaching and learning; and their knowledge of academic disciplines to design, implement, and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for all children.
Standard 5. Becoming a Professional.
Candidates identify and conduct themselves as members of the early childhood profession. They know and use ethical guidelines and other professional standards related to early childhood practice. They are continuous, collaborative learners who demonstrate knowledgeable, reflective, and critical perspectives on their work, making informed decisions that integrate knowledge from a variety of sources. They are informed advocates for sound educational practices and policies.