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Early Childhood Education

Curriculum Description

The Early Childhood Education curriculum prepares individuals to work with children from birth through eight in diverse learning environments. Students will combine learned theories with practice in actual settings with young children under the supervision of qualified teachers. Course work includes child growth and development; physical/nutritional needs of children; care and guidance of children; and communication skills with families and children. Students will foster the cognitive/language, physical/motor, social/emotional, and creative development of young children. Graduates are prepared to plan and implement developmentally appropriate programs in early childhood settings. Employment opportunities include child development and child care programs, preschools, public and private schools, recreational centers, Head Start Programs, and school-age programs.
Early Childhood Education: A program that prepares individuals to promote child development and learning, work with diverse families and children, observe, document and assess to support young children and families, use content knowledge to build meaningful curriculum, and use developmentally effective approaches in collaboration with other early childhood professionals. Potential course work includes instruction in all areas of child development such as emotional/social/health/physical/language/communication, approaches to play and learning, working with diverse families, and related observations/student teaching experiences. Portfolio: Students who graduate from the program must complete a portfolio to show competence in the program learning outcomes. Students will receive additional information about the portfolio when they enroll in the degree program.
This curriculum complies with the standard approved by the State Board of Community Colleges. Students may be required to take one or more developmental courses as a result of pre-enrollment placement tests; therefore, the student may need more than the minimum number of semester hours listed for graduation.If a student plans to transfer to a four-year institution in the licensure track, students must earn acceptable scores on PRAXIS I before enrolling in a bachelor’s degree program. There are three pathways for the Early Childhood degree. See your advisor for guidance on which pathway is best for your career goals.

Graduates will be able to:

  • Create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging to all children
  • Design and implement developmentally effective curriculum that addresses all domains of learning
  • Support and empower all children, families, and communities through trusting and respectful reciprocal relationships
  • Use authentic assessment responsibility to make informed decisions to guide all children's learning
  • Communicate effectively using standard written and verbal skills
  • Utilize technology to enhance learning for all children
  • Serve as a leader, advocate, and professional in the field of early education

After Graduation

What jobs are available for graduates?

  • After-school Program
  • Early Childhood Education Director
  • Early Childhood Education Lead Teacher
  • Early Childhood Education Teacher
  • Family Child Care Center Home Providers
  • Preschool/Early Education Programs
  • Teacher Assistant

Potential employers for graduates:

  • Head Start and Even Start, NC Pre-K
  • Private Early Childhood Education Centers
  • Public Schools
  • Religiously Sponsored Early Childhood Education Centers

Preparing for a career in Early Childhood Education:

Individuals in early childhood education need to have a knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects. They should also be prepared in principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. Early childhood educators should also have a solid knowledge of child development.

Contact for information

Health and Public Services
Health and Public Services

Office: 828-395-1668
Department Directory

Office hours

8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Subject to change depending on availability.

Dr. Alice McCluney
Early Childhood Education Instructor