Early Childhood Education Degree

You always remember your first teacher  

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  • Early childhood education teacher
  • Kindergarten prep teacher
  • Preschool teacher

Prepare for work in a variety of facilities for young children with this 60-credit-hour Early Childhood Education degree. You’ll develop the skills and knowledge needed to launch a successful teaching career.

Focus areas of study include promoting child development and learning, building family and community relationships, using developmentally effective approaches to connect with children and families and using content knowledge to develop meaningful curriculum. You’ll also get hands-on experience working with children at Harper’s Child Care Learning Center, an on-site preschool facility where you’ll receive guidance and feedback from certified teaching professionals.

A.A.S. degree program plans and outcomes

The Associate in Applied Science in Early Childhood Education offers specializations in Director and Teacher. Students may complete ONE specialization (click to expand):

Program learning outcomes

Standard 1: PROMOTING CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND LEARNING

  • 1a: Know and understand young children's characteristics and needs
  • 1b: Know and understand the multiple influences on development and learning
  • 1c: Use developmental knowledge to create healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging learning environments

Standard2: BUILDING FAMILY AND COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS

  • 2a: Know about and understand diverse family and community characteristics
  • 2b: Support and empower families and communities through respectful, reciprocal relationships
  • 2c: Involve families and communities in their children's development and learning

Standard 3: OBSERVING, DOCUMENTING, AND ASSESSING TO SUPPORT YOUNGCHILDREN AND FAMILIES

  • 3a: Understand the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment
  • 3b: Know about and use observation, documentation, and other appropriate assessment tools and approaches
  • 3c: Understand and practice responsible assessment to promote positive outcomes for each child
  • 3d: Know about assessment partnerships with families and with other professionals

Standard 4: USING DEVELOPMENTALLY EFFECTIVE APPROACHES TO CONNECT WITH CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

  • 4a: Understand positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation of their work with children
  • 4b: Know and understand effective strategies and tools for early education
  • 4c: Use a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate teaching/learning practices
  • 4d: Reflect on their own practice to promote positive outcomes for each child.

Standard 5: USING CONTENT KNOWLEDGE TO BUILD MEANINGFUL CURRICULUM

  • 5a: Understand content knowledge and resources in academic disciplines
  • 5b: Know and use the central concepts, inquiry tools, and structures of content areas or academic disciplines
  • 5c: Use their own knowledge, appropriate early learning standards, and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate meaningful, challenging curricula for each child.

Standard 6: BECOMING A PROFESSIONAL

  • 6a: Identify and involve oneself with the early childhood field
  • 6b: Know about and uphold ethical standards and other professional guidelines
  • 6c: Engage in continuous, collaborative learning to inform practice
  • 6d: Integrate knowledgeable, reflective, and critical perspectives on early education
  • 6e: Engage in informed advocacy for children and the profession

NAEYC Supportive Skills

  • NAEYC Supportive Skill 1: Students will assess their own goals, strengths and needs and know how to advocate for their own professional needs.
  • NAEYC Supportive Skill 2: Students will understand foundational concepts from areas such as science, mathematics, literature and the behavioral and social sciences. They can apply these concepts in their work as early childhood professionals.
  • NAEYC Supportive Skill 3: Students have effective skills in written and verbal communication and are technologically literate.
  • NAEYC Supportive Skill 4: Students respect and draw upon their past or current work experience. They are able to reflect critically upon their experience.
  • NAEYC Supportive Skill 5: Students know how to identify and use credible professional resources from multiple sources. They use these resources to better serve children and families with a wide range of cultures, languages, needs and abilities.

Program learning outcomes

Standard 1: PROMOTING CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND LEARNING

  • 1a: Know and understand young childrens characteristics and needs
  • 1b: Know and understand the multiple influences on development and learning
  • 1c: Use developmental knowledge to create healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging learning environments

Standard2: BUILDING FAMILY AND COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS

  • 2a: Know about and understand diverse family and community characteristics
  • 2b: Support and empower families and communities through respectful, reciprocal relationships
  • 2c: Involve families and communities in their children's development and learning

Standard 3: OBSERVING, DOCUMENTING, AND ASSESSING TO SUPPORT YOUNGCHILDREN AND FAMILIES

  • 3a: Understand the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment
  • 3b: Know about and use observation, documentation, and other appropriate assessment tools and approaches
  • 3c: Understand and practice responsible assessment to promote positive outcomes for each child
  • 3d: Know about assessment partnerships with families and with other professionals

Standard 4: USING DEVELOPMENTALLY EFFECTIVE APPROACHES TO CONNECT WITH CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

  • 4a: Understand positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation of their work with children
  • 4b: Know and understand effective strategies and tools for early education
  • 4c: Use a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate teaching/learning practices
  • 4d: Reflect on their own practice to promote positive outcomes for each child.

Standard 5: USING CONTENT KNOWLEDGE TO BUILD MEANINGFUL CURRICULUM

  • 5a: Understand content knowledge and resources in academic disciplines
  • 5b: Know and use the central concepts, inquiry tools, and structures of content areas or academic disciplines
  • 5c: Use their own knowledge, appropriate early learning standards, and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate meaningful, challenging curricula for each child.

Standard 6: BECOMING A PROFESSIONAL

  • 6a: Identify and involve oneself with the early childhood field
  • 6b: Know about and uphold ethical standards and other professional guidelines
  • 6c: Engage in continuous, collaborative learning to inform practice
  • 6d: Integrate knowledgeable, reflective, and critical perspectives on early education
  • 6e: Engage in informed advocacy for children and the profession

NAEYC Supportive Skills

  • NAEYC Supportive Skill 1: Students will assess their own goals, strengths and needs and know how to advocate for their own professional needs.
  • NAEYC Supportive Skill 2: Students will understand foundational concepts from areas such as science, mathematics, literature and the behavioral and social sciences. They can apply these concepts in their work as early childhood professionals.
  • NAEYC Supportive Skill 3: Students have effective skills in written and verbal communication and are technologically literate.
  • NAEYC Supportive Skill 4: Students respect and draw upon their past or current work experience. They are able to reflect critically upon their experience.
  • NAEYC Supportive Skill 5: Students know how to identify and use credible professional resources from multiple sources. They use these resources to better serve children and families with a wide range of cultures, languages, needs and abilities.

 

Related programs

Students interested in early childhood education may also be interested in:

Next steps

For more information about teaching courses at Harper College, contact Admission Outreach at 847.925.6700, or submit a request information form. You can also apply online.