The education of the young child, birth to age 8, is a rapidly growing field. The students in this degree program develop professional knowledge, skills and abilities needed to successfully work in private or public early childhood educational settings and continue on for a baccalaureate degree by transferring to a four-year institution. Our students apply foundational concepts from general education coursework to early childhood practice: learn to self-assess and to advocate for themselves as students and as professionals, strengthen skills in written and verbal communication, learn to identify and use professional resources, and make connections between these "college skills" and lifelong professional practice. These options provide the student with the knowledge to apply general education and early childhood education theory and practice to create effective learning environments and interactions for all children birth through grade 4.
The program objectives for this degree will follow the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Transfer and Articulation Oversight Committee (TAOC) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) standards as follows:
- Standard 1: Promoting Child Development and Learning
- Standard 2: Building Family and Community Relationships
- Standard 3: Observing, Documenting and Assessing to Support Young Children and Families
- Standard 4: Using Developmentally Effective Approaches to Connect with Children and Families
- Standard 5: Using Content Knowledge to Build Meaningful Curriculum
- Standard 6: Becoming a Professional
A student should consider these factors before enrolling into this program:
- This degree program requires that all students obtain a current Pennsylvania Criminal Record Check (Act 34), Child Abuse History Clearance (Act 151), and Federal Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) (ACT 114). Students are REQUIRED to have these clearances submitted to the Registrar's Office by the final day of their first semester. If students fail to have clearances submitted by that time, they will be removed from the program.
- Student must have completed ALL developmental work prior to being accepted into Early Childhood Education Associate of Arts Degree or have passed all sections of the Compass Entrance Exam.
- Once admitted, students must maintain a 3.0 average. Students who fall below a 3.0 will be notified by e-mail that their major has automatically been changed to Child Development AAS. If a student wishes to change to another degree or certificate, they must notify their advisor and complete the appropriate paperwork.
- Students may not receive any grade lower than a C in any general education or major course that is required by this degree.
This degree follows the curriculum set by the Pennsylvania Department of Education Transfer and Articulation Oversight Committee (TAOC) on November 11, 2011, and is transferable to all Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education colleges. However, in planning to transfer, please remember to check with the transfer institution to make sure that you meet all requirements. Universities and colleges that are not in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, such as the University of Pittsburgh, Mt. Aloysius College, and Carlow University may have different requirements.
Obtaining the Degree
Students must be able to meet all of the following requirements in order to graduate from this program:
- Matriculate into the program,
- Satisfactorily complete all degree requirements, including General Education and Major Requirements of the degree.