Mission and Conceptual Framework

JCC Early Childhood EducationThe Johnston Community College Early Childhood Education program prepares students for careers in Early Care and Education fields or future study at a four-year college/university.

We celebrate the challenges and opportunities of serving both potential (pre-service) professionals and early educators with many years of experience working in the field.

Obtaining knowledge and skills through learned theory, observation and practical application, the program prepares individuals to work with young children (birth through age 8) in diverse learning environments. The program values reciprocal relationships with community stakeholders to best serve student and community needs.

Course work includes:

  • Ways to promote child growth and development.
  • Establishing safe, age appropriate learning environments for all young children.
  • Build positive, respectful and supportive relationships with children and their families.
  • Use authentic assessment to guide teaching and learning.
  • Plan activities based on the children’s needs, interests and developmental goals.
  • Demonstrate effective teaching and guidance strategies.
  • Build meaningful learning experiences for the children that align with NC Early Learning Standards. 

Students will foster the cognitive, language, physical, social, emotional, and creative development of young children through play based activities.

Our ultimate goal is to help our students become intentional and reflective practitioners that work collaboratively to appropriately support the children and their families.

Conceptual Framework

Our JCC ECE program has established a conceptual framework which highlights the central themes and values that represent who we are as a program and why we do what we do. 

  • Linking research and theory to practice through the process of coursework, observation and practice in actual settings with young children under the supervision of qualified mentors and faculty instructors. (Representation: Linked parts of the star)
  • Exposing students to and helping students combine: best practice, local, state and national standards and initiatives, state rules and regulations, and the realities of most ECE programs for young children, by staying closely connected to community stakeholders and national efforts.(Representation: Star- NC Star Rated License)
  • Developmental approach to teaching and learning that recognizes skills and abilities of students and celebrates diversity, equity and personal and professional experiences.(Representation: Different colors of the star)
  • Creating reflective, collaborative and intentional professionals that are sensitive to the needs of families and all young children with varying needs, cultures, and communities.(Representation: Child-like finger paintings/fingerprints of the star)
  • Providing an AAS program that focuses on the national and state early learning standards and professional standards for what early childhood professional educators should know and be able to do.


Tonia Padrick
Department Chair of Education Programs
(919) 209-2500