Early Childhood Education, AS
This path is designed for students who plan to transfer to a four year institution for further study towards the ECE Teacher Certification. It also prepares you with the appropriate academics and practicum necessary for a career in Early Childhood. Since the amount of transfer credit varies from one institution to another, students are advised to consult the catalog from the four year colleges under consideration.
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“The 2010 National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standards for Initial and Advanced Early Childhood Professional Preparation Programs describe what early childhood professionals are expected to know and do”. These Standards provide the basis for the Early Childhood Education Program at. Gateway Community College. Upon successful completion of the program requirements, students are prepared to:
Standard 1: Promoting Child Development and Learning
Students prepared in early childhood degree programs are grounded in a child development knowledge base. They use their understanding of a) young children’s characteristics and needs, and b) multiple interacting influences on children’s development and learning, to c) create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for each child.
Standard 2: Building Family and Community Relationships
Students prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that successful early childhood education depends upon partnerships with children’s families and communities. They a) know about, understand, and value the importance and complex characteristics of children’s families and communities. They use this understanding to b) create respectful, reciprocal relationships that support and empower families, and c) to involve all families in their children’s development and learning.
Standard 3: Observing, Documenting, and Assessing to Support Young Children and Families
Students prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that child observation, documentation, and other forms of assessment are central to the practice of all early childhood professionals. They a) know about and understand the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment. They b) know about and use systematic observations, documentation, and other effective assessment strategies c) in a responsible way, d) in partnership with families and other professionals, to positively influence the development of every child.
Standard 4: Using Developmentally Effective Approaches
Students prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that teaching and learning with young children is a complex enterprise, and its details vary depending on children’s ages, characteristics, and the settings within which teaching and learning occur. They a) understand and use positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation for their work with young children and families. Candidates b, c) know, understand, and use a wide array of developmentally appropriate approaches, instructional strategies, and tools to connect with children and families and d) positively influence each child’s development and learning.
Standard 5: Using Content Knowledge to Build Meaningful Curriculum
Students prepared in early childhood degree programs a) use their knowledge of academic disciplines to design, implement, and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for each and every young child. Candidates understand the importance of developmental domains and academic (or content) disciplines in early childhood curriculum. They b) know the essential concepts, inquiry tools, and structure of content areas, including academic subjects, and can identify resources to deepen their understanding. Candidates c) use their own knowledge and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate meaningful, challenging curriculum that promotes comprehensive developmental and learning outcomes for every young child.
Standard 6: Becoming a Professional
Students prepared in early childhood degree programs a) identify and conduct themselves as members of the early childhood profession. They b) know and use ethical guidelines and other professional standards related to early childhood practice. They c) are continuous, collaborative learners who demonstrate knowledgeable, reflective and critical perspectives on their work, making informed decisions that d) integrate knowledge from a variety of sources. They are e) informed advocates for sound educational practices and policies.
Standard 7: Early Childhood Field Experiences
Students have field experiences and clinical practice in a) at least two of the three early childhood age groups (birth – age 3, 3 through 5, 5 through 8 years) and in b) the variety of settings that offer early education (early school grades, child care centers and homes, Head Start programs).
In addition, “the Supportive Skills support associate degree students’ ability to gain competence in relation to the core standards. With these skills, students are better able to make use of learning opportunities provided by the program and progress in a career as an early childhood professional.”
SUPPORTIVE SKILL 1: Self-assessment and self-advocacy
SUPPORTIVE SKILL 2: Mastering and applying foundational concepts from general education
SUPPORTIVE SKILL 3: Written and verbal skills
SUPPORTIVE SKILL 4: Making connections between prior knowledge/ experience and new learning
SUPPORTIVE SKILL 5: Identifying and using professional resources