Early Childhood Education | NorthWest Arkansas Community College

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Pursue a Career in Early Childhood Education

The Early Childhood Education program is designed for early childhood educators interested in developing the skills necessary to effectively empower, engage and educate learners in a variety of urban education settings within the private and public sectors.

As an early childhood education student, you'll learn about the social, emotional, physical, cognitive, communicative and creative development of young children from birth to eight years of age.

Program Outcomes:

  • Understand the underlying continuity of human development
  • Understand the relationship between child development, later development, and success in life
  • Value critical thinking when analyzing current trends and issues affecting children and their families
  • Develop a sociocultural view of child development
  • Critically evaluate research as it pertains to children and their families
  • Draw sound conclusions from research in order to make informed professional decisions
  • Communicate with colleagues, families and the broader community about children's issues

Although there is not a specific order for courses, it is highly recommended that early childhood majors contact the program coordinator for advising each semester to ensure that they are progressing toward obtaining the desired certificate or degree and know the most current information about transfer options.

Required Courses for the Associate of Applied Science Degree:

CHED 1003 Foundations of Early Childhood
CHED 1033 Creative Experiences
CHED 1201 Field Experience I
CHED 1203 Environment for Young Children
CHED 2033 Child Growth and Development
CHED 2053 Administration of Child Care
ECTC 2303 Literacy and Lang Arts Early Childhood Edu
ECTC 2403 Math and Science Early Childhood
ECTC 2503 Child Guidance
ECTC 2403 Child Development Practicum
ECTC 2703 Preschool Curriculum
ECTC 2703 Preschool Curriculum
ECTC 2803 Infant Toddler Curriculum
ECTC 2903 Future Perspective Early Childhood - Hybrid

Technical Certificate in Early Childhood Education


AAS Early Childhood Education

For the certificate of proficiency in Child Development Associate (CDA), students must be employed in an approved early childhood program and working at least 30 hours per week with children of the appropriate age for CDA credential sought.

The Associate of Applied Science degree is designed for employment purposes and it should not be assumed that the degree or the courses in the degree can be transferred to another institution. While a few institutions accept some courses in A.A.S. programs, the general rule is that courses in A.A.S. degrees are not accepted in transfer toward bachelor's degrees. Students to whom transfer is important should get assurances in writing, in advance from the institution to which they wish to transfer.

With a degree in early childhood education, students may find career opportunities in the following occupations:

  • Preschool workforce - median pay $28,990
  • Teachers
  • Assistant teachers
  • Paraprofessional at childcare centers/preschools
  • Administrator at childcare centers/preschools - median pay $46,890

  • Discover Early Childhood: A great resource for students who want to explore continuing their education in the field of early childhood.

  • The National Association for the Education of Young Children: The largest non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of young children and their families. View valuable resources for early childhood professionals and parents on their website. 

  • Early Childhood Initiatives Center: A local organization committed to increasing the quality of early care and education throughout our community.

  • Arkansas Early Childhood Association: A local organization whose commitment is to increase the quality of early care and education throughout our community. Find out what our state Early Childhood Association is doing!  And this is the time to become a member!

  • Northwest Arkansas Head Start: The local affiliate of the state-wide Early Childhood Association. Get involved locally!

  • Teachstone: The home of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System, but it is much more than that. They have great resources for early childhood students and professionals.

  • EdDPrograms.org: The Ed.D. in early childhood education focuses on education at the preschool/pre-K, kindergarten and early elementary levels. This website offers a detailed guide to the EdD in early childhood education, a comprehensive directory of EdD programs, and advice for students.