The Early Childhood Education program strives to prepare students with the skills and knowledge recognized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) to be important for all practitioners in the field of early care and education.
All early childhood education associate degree graduates should be able to use skills and knowledge to:
1. Promote Child Development and Learning
- Knowing and understanding young children's characteristics and needs
- Knowing and understanding the multiple influences on development and learning
- Using developmental knowledge to create healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging learning environments
2. Build Family & Community Relationships
- Knowing about and understanding diverse family and community characteristics
- Supporting and engaging families and communities through respectful, reciprocal relationships
- Involving families and communities in their children's development and learning
3. Observe, Document and Assess to Support Young Children and Families
- Understanding the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment
- Knowing about and using observation, documentation, and other appropriate assessment tools and approaches
- Understanding and practicing responsible assessment to promote positive outcomes for each child
- Knowing about assessment partnerships with families and with professional colleagues
4. Use Developmentally Effective Approaches to Connect with Children and Families
- Understanding positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation of their work with children
- Knowing and understanding effective strategies and tools for early education
- Using a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate teaching/learning approaches
- Reflecting on their own practice to promote positive outcomes for each child
5. Use Content Knowledge to Build Meaningful Curriculum
- Understanding content knowledge and resources in academic disciplines: language and literacy; the arts – music, creative movement, dance, drama, visual arts; mathematics; science; physical activity, physical education, health and safety; and social studies.
- Knowing and using the central concepts, inquiry tools, and structures of content areas or academic disciplines
- Using their own knowledge, appropriate early learning standards, and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate meaningful, challenging curricula for each child.
6. Become A Professional
- Identifying and involving oneself with the early childhood field
- Knowing about and upholding ethical standards and other professional guidelines
- Engaging in continuous, collaborative learning to inform practice
- Integrating knowledgeable, reflective, and critical perspectives on early education
- Engaging in informed advocacy for children and the profession
7. Gain Early Childhood Field Experiences
- Opportunities to observe and practice in at least two of the three early childhood age groups (birth - age 3, 3-5, 5-8).
- Opportunities to observe and practice in at least two of the three main types of early education settings (early school grades, child care centers and homes, Head Start programs).
Department Chair of Education Programs