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 is 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.
P1: Learning Environment
Students will be able to plan a safe, healthy learning environment in diverse educational programs.
P2: Developmental Assessment
Students will be able to appropriately observe, document, and assess the development of cognitive/language skills, physical/motor skills, social/emotional skills& creativity for children ages 3-5.
P3: Curriculum Design
Students will be able to design a developmentally-appropriate curriculum that supports individual differences.
This course provides information and strategies necessary to develop clear academic and professional goals beyond the community college experience. Topics include the CAA, college policies and culture, career exploration, gathering information on senior institutions, strategic planning, critical thinking, and communications skills for a successful academic transition. Upon completion, students should be able to develop an academic plan to transition successfully to senior institutions.
This course introduces the foundations of early childhood education, the diverse educational settings for young children, professionalism and planning intentional developmentally appropriate experiences for each child. Topics include theoretical foundations, national early learning standards, NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development, state regulations, program types, career options, professionalism, ethical conduct, quality inclusive environments, and curriculum responsive to the needs of each child/family. Upon completion, students should be able to design a career/professional development plan, appropriate environments, schedules, and activity plans. Observation/participation is required
This course includes the theories of child development, observation and assessment, milestones, and factors that influence development, from conception through approximately 36 months. Emphasis is placed on knowledge, observation and assessment of developmental sequences in approaches to play/learning, emotional/social, health/physical, language/communication and cognitive domains. Upon completion, students should be able to compare/contrast typical/atypical developmental characteristics, explain biological and environmental factors that impact development, and identify evidence-based strategies for enhancing development for children that are culturally, linguistically, and ability diverse. Observation/participation is required
This course is designed to develop the ability to produce clear writing in a variety of genres and formats using a recursive process. Emphasis includes inquiry, analysis, effective use of rhetorical strategies, thesis development, audience awareness, and revision. Upon completion, students should be able to produce unified, coherent, well-developed essays using standard written English.
This course provides an overview of the scientific study of human behavior. Topics include history, methodology, biopsychology, sensation, perception, learning, motivation, cognition, abnormal behavior, personality theory, social psychology, and other relevant topics. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of the science of psychology.
This course introduces the scientific study of human society, culture, and social interactions. Topics include socialization, research methods, diversity and inequality, cooperation and conflict, social change, social institutions, and organizations. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of sociological concepts as they apply to the interplay among individuals, groups, and societies.
This course covers the development of partnerships among culturally, linguistically and ability diverse families, children, schools and communities through the use of evidence-based strategies. Emphasis is placed on developing skills and identifying benefits for establishing and supporting respectful relationships between diverse families, programs/schools, and community agencies/resources reflective of the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct and the Code of Ethics for North Carolina Educators. Upon completion, students should be able to identify appropriate relationship building strategies between diverse families, children birth through adolescence, schools, and communities and demonstrate a variety of communication skills including appropriate use of technology to support every child. Observation/participation is required
This course includes the theories of child development, observation and assessment, milestones, and factors that influence development, from preschool through middle childhood. Emphasis is placed on knowledge, observation and assessment of developmental sequences in approaches to play/learning, emotional/social, health/physical, language/communication and cognitive domains. Upon completion, students should be able to compare/contrast typical/atypical developmental characteristics, explain biological and environmental factors that impact development, and identify evidence-based strategies for enhancing development for children that are culturally, linguistically, and ability diverse. Observation/participation is required
This course covers promoting and maintaining the health and well-being of every child. Topics include health and nutritional guidelines, common childhood illnesses, maintaining safe and healthy learning environments, health benefits of active play, recognition and reporting of abuse/neglect, and state regulations. Upon completion, students should be able to apply knowledge of NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development for health, safety, nutritional needs and safe learning environments.
This course provides evidence-based strategies for enhancing language and literacy experiences that align with NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development. Topics include developmental sequences for children’s emergent receptive and expressive language, print concepts, appropriate observations/assessments, literacy enriched environments, quality selection of diverse literature, interactive media, and inclusive practices. Upon completion, students should be able to select, plan, implement and evaluate developmentally appropriate language and literacy experiences for children who are culturally, linguistically and ability diverse.
This course provides an activity-based approach that develops measurement skills and mathematical literacy using technology to solve problems for non-math intensive programs. Topics include unit conversions and estimation within a variety of measurement systems; ratio and proportion; basic geometric concepts; financial literacy; and statistics including measures of central tendency, dispersion, and charting of data. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate the use of mathematics and technology to solve practical problems, and to analyze and communicate results.
This course is designed to engage students in complex and realistic situations involving the mathematical phenomena of quantity, change and relationship, and uncertainty through project- and activity-based assessment. Emphasis is placed on authentic contexts which will introduce the concepts of numeracy, proportional reasoning, dimensional analysis, rates of growth, personal finance, consumer statistics, practical probabilities, and mathematics for citizenship. Upon completion, students should be able to utilize quantitative information as consumers and to make personal, professional, and civic decisions by decoding, interpreting, using, and communicating quantitative information found in modern media and encountered in everyday life.
This course introduces developmentally supportive creative learning environments with attention to divergent thinking, creative problem-solving, evidence-based teaching practices, and open-ended learning materials while applying NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development. Emphasis is placed on observation of process driven learning experiences in art, music, creative movement, dance, and dramatics for every young child age birth through eight, integrated through all domains and academic content. Upon completion, students should be able to examine, create, and adapt developmentally creative learning materials, experiences, and environments for children that are culturally, linguistically, and ability diverse.
This course introduces the ethical use of technology to enhance teaching and learning in all educational settings. Emphasis is placed on technology concepts, ethical issues, digital citizenship, instructional strategies, assistive technology, and the use of technology for professional development and communication. Upon completion, students should be able to discuss technology concepts, ethically use a variety of technology resources, demonstrate appropriate technology skills in educational environments, and identify assistive technology. Observation/participation required
This course provides instruction and experience in preparation and delivery of speeches within a public setting and group discussion. Emphasis is placed on research, preparation, delivery, and evaluation of informative, persuasive, and special occasion public speaking. Upon completion, students should be able to prepare and deliver well-organized speeches and participate in group discussion with appropriate audiovisual support.
This course introduces evidence-based strategies to build nurturing relationships with each child by applying principles and practical techniques to facilitate developmentally appropriate guidance. Topics include designing responsive/supportive learning environments, cultural, linguistic and socio-economic influences on behavior, appropriate expectations, the importance of communication with children/families including using technology and the use of formative assessments in establishing intentional strategies for children with unique needs. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate direct/indirect strategies to encourage social skills, self-regulation, emotional expression and positive behaviors while recognizing the relationship between children’s social, emotional and cognitive development. Observation/Participation Required
This course covers atypical patterns of child development, inclusive/diverse settings, evidenced-based educational/family plans, differentiated instruction, adaptive materials, and assistive technology. Emphasis is placed on the characteristics of exceptionalities and delays, early intervention/special education, transitions, observation, developmental screening, formative assessment of children, and collaborating with families and community partners. Upon completion, students should be able to recognize diverse abilities, describe the referral process, identify community resources, explain the importance of collaboration with families/professionals, and develop appropriate strategies/adaptations to support children in all environments with best practices as defined by laws, policies and the NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development. Observation/participation required
This course covers the development of high-quality, individualized, responsive/engaging relationships and experiences for infants, toddlers, and twos. Emphasis is placed on typical and atypical child development, working with diverse families to provide positive, supportive, and engaging early learning activities and interactions through field experiences and the application of the NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate responsive curriculum planning, respectful relationships and exposure to a variety of developmentally appropriate experiences/materials that support a foundation for healthy development and growth of culturally, linguistically and ability diverse children birth to 36 months. Observation/participation is required
This course focuses on practical applications that support the healthy development of children birth to 36 months by applying principles of quality, individualized, responsive/engaging relationships and experiences. Emphasis is placed on typical and atypical child development, positive early learning experiences, supporting and engaging diverse families, providing safe, warm and nurturing interactions, and the application of the NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate the ability to engage in respectful, responsive care to support a foundation for healthy development and growth of children birth to 36 months culturally, linguistically, and ability diverse through responsive planning and positive exposure to a variety of experiences/materials. Observation/participation required
This course introduces the origins and historical development of art. Emphasis is placed on the relationship of design principles to various art forms including but not limited to sculpture, painting, and architecture. Upon completion, students should be able to identify and analyze a variety of artistic styles, periods, and media.
This course is a basic survey of the music of the Western world. Emphasis is placed on the elements of music, terminology, composers, form, and style within a historical perspective. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate skills in basic listening and understanding of the art of music.
This course is designed to focus on using content knowledge to build developmentally effective approaches for culturally/linguistically/ability diverse young children. Topics include components of curriculum, a variety of curriculum models, authentic observation and assessment, and planning developmentally appropriate experiences aligned with the NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development. Upon completion, students should be able to understand, evaluate, and use curriculum to plan for individual/group needs.
This course introduces the research, benefits, goals, and ethical considerations associated with observation and formative assessment in early childhood education. Emphasis is placed on the implementation of multiple observation/assessment strategies including anecdotal records, event samples, rating scales, and portfolios to create appropriate learning experiences. Upon completion, students should be able to practice responsible assessment and effectively use tools to assess the child, teacher practices and indoor and outdoor environments to enhance programming; and explain the importance of assessment partnerships with families and other professionals.
This course introduces principles and practices essential to preparing and supporting child care administrators. Topics include program philosophy, policies and procedures, NC Child Care Law and Rules, business planning, personnel and fiscal management, and NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct Supplement for Early Childhood Program Administration. Upon completion, students should be able to articulate a developmentally appropriate program philosophy, locate current state licensing regulations, analyze a business plan and examine comprehensive program policies and procedures.
This course is designed to allow students to demonstrate acquired skills in a three star (minimum) or NAEYC accredited or equivalent, quality early childhood environment. Emphasis is placed on designing, implementing and evaluating developmentally appropriate activities and environments for all children; supporting/engaging families; and modeling reflective and professional practices based on national and state guidelines. Upon completion, students should be able to apply NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development to demonstrate developmentally appropriate plans/assessments, appropriate guidance techniques and ethical/professional behaviors, including the use of appropriate technology, as indicated by assignments and onsite faculty assessments.