The Early Childhood Education-Associate program is designed to extend and expand on those skills developed in the Early Childhood Education diploma program and to broaden the student's background in general education. Required coursework includes participation in the DMACC Child Development Center. Essential skills needed to successfully complete the required lab courses include the ability to maintain awareness of active children in a group setting, to demonstrate stamina while engaging in multiple tasks and activities with children, to respond quickly and appropriately to children's changing needs and to keep children safe. Further competence in early childhood education is developed through coursework in building relationships between home, program and community, administration of programs for children and a community-based internship.
Students completing the Early Childhood Education-Associate in Applied Science degree may take one of the many jobs available in early childhood education working with infants and toddlers, preschoolers or school-age children, such as lead, assistant or associate teaching in child care centers, preschools, child development homes and public and private schools, home visiting or program coordination and management in early childhood programs. Students who intend to teach in a Pre-K through third-grade setting will need to transfer to a teacher licensure institution and should contact the Early Childhood Education program chair or program counselor regarding transfer agreements with four-year institutions.
Current health and immunization records are required for each student. In addition, DHS criminal history record checks and fingerprinting are required. Criminal convictions or documented history of abuse will prevent students from participating in lab and field experiences and internship. Students unable to complete these classes will not receive a degree in Early Childhood Education.