The Associate of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education has been drawn from the recommendations of the National Association for Education of Young Children. Accordingly, it is designed to provide the student with many opportunities to work with young children in supervised settings while developing a firm theoretical base to guide classroom decisions. The theoretical philosophies of Vygotsky, Piaget, Erikson, and Maslow undergird early childhood courses, while courses in the liberal arts help the students to become well-rounded and thoughtful practitioners. Students who complete the Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education can complete their Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education/Early Childhood Education.
Graduates from the Early Childhood Education Associate Degree program will:
- have a solid grounding in the liberal arts that enables them to engage in critical and creative thinking in developing programs for young children;
- understand the historical, cultural, and social foundations of early childhood education that influence current practices;
- understand and describe how technology can be used in a developmentally appropriate way as an educational resource and as a learning tool;
- align developmentally appropriate assessment to goals, curriculum design and teaching strategies;
- value play as the foundation for learning in early childhood;
- use teaching strategies that create a sense of community for children, teachers, and family members;
- communicate effectively with children, parents, and other professionals;
- be reflective practitioners whose actions are guided by knowledge of child development, influences on development, and critical analysis;
- demonstrate a commitment to children through continuous, collaborative learning and advocacy;
- demonstrate ethical and professional characteristics of confidentiality, sensitivity and respect for all children and their families; and
- be optimistic, enthusiastic, and caring practitioners who recognize the challenge and pleasure of educating young children;
- use technological skills to develop a digital portfolio that showcases professional knowledge, communication skills and successful work with children.
Students must complete a health form including health history, physical exam and immunization record. (Obtained from Health Services and returned to Health Services where the records are kept confidential.) Health forms are required of all students prior to the start of classes. A completed health form is required prior to any observations or field experiences required in coursework. TB testing (PPD) is required also. CPR and First Aid certification is strongly recommended.
All applicants to the Early Childhood Associate Degree program must submit completed Child Abuse Clearance forms and completed clearance forms from the Pennsylvania State Police (Act 33/151, 24). Copies of these forms will be kept in the student’s file and are required prior to completing any observations or field experiences that are included in coursework. Clearances will be good for one year and must be updated annually until permanent employment is secured.
Students must provide their own transportation to all field sites.