The Early Childhood Education Major
The Early Childhood Education major (associate degree) provides a theoretical and practical foundation for observing, understanding, and meeting the diverse psychosocial developmental needs of the young child in the classroom. After completing the associate degree, students will have the option of transferring to a four-year college or university or beginning a career in early childhood education.
Through the course of study in the Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education, students will be provided an opportunity to learn how to:
•objectively observe and record young children's behavior and accurately record the observations.
•clearly articulate the connections between child development theory and observed behavior.
•demonstrate a solid understanding of child development and be able to consistently apply this to their interactions with young children within the classroom.
•set up appropriate educational environments for young children, attending to the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical needs of all children in the classroom.
• successfully plan and implement developmentally appropriate, active learning experiences for young children.
• guide young children's behavior while making adaptations for the range of diversity in children's learning styles and abilities.
• develop collaborative relationships with families of young children in their group, essentially linking home and school.
After completing the associate degree, students will have the option of transferring to a four-year college or university or beginning a career in early childhood education.
Students who transfer are well prepared for further studies in early childhood education, child development, educational administration, human services, or children’s recreation. Study in these areas can lead to such positions as: teacher or director in nursery schools or day care programs; early childhood educator; pediatric nurse; recreation leader; social worker; family therapist; health care specialist; child care licensing specialist; researcher; consultant; author; or college instructor. Other positions include working in child-related community, state or federal agencies or organizations. Those who pursue advanced studies after graduation from Dean will find diverse professional opportunities available.
An important, exciting aspect for students in the Early Childhood Education program is working at the Dean College Children’s Center, an on-campus preschool for area youngsters, ages 2.9-6 years. The equipment and curriculum materials in the Center have been designed to encourage maximum development of a child’s social, emotional, physical and cognitive growth. Students work with College faculty and the Children’s Center staff to plan lessons and teach in addition to meeting with parents about their children’s educational development.
The aim of the Children’s Center is threefold: to provide a rich preschool experience for young children, reflecting open educational concepts; to provide a learning laboratory experience for student teachers, increasing their working skills with young children; and to provide a demonstration and resource center for families, assisting them in the joyful and complex task of parenting.
Please click here for more information about the Children's Center.