Associate in Science – 61 credit hours
Purpose: The Education program at Washington County Community College has a twofold purpose. First, the program is specifically designed to enhance the skills and abilities of educational Para-professionals currently working in schools throughout Maine. Students completing the Associate degree in Education at WCCC will earn the “Highly Qualified” designation called for in the federal “No Child Left Behind” law. Second, the program provides an intensive introduction to the field of Education for those who are considering teaching as a future career.
The Associate in Science degree program has been developed to assist students in meeting the requirements of the Maine Department of Education for certification as Educational Technicians. This is a competency-based program culminating in an evaluation of the student’s skills and abilities using the eight duties of educational technicians as benchmarks. The program is offered through a combination of live and online courses. Students who appreciate the convenience of online coursework will find the entire inventory of courses available in this format.
The curriculum is designed to provide students with a breadth of knowledge regarding human growth and development and provides a strong background in liberal studies, including coursework in English, mathematics, speech, and the social sciences of psychology and sociology. Education courses offer the student the opportunity to gain extensive knowledge about learning styles, instructional techniques, developmentally appropriate practice, behavior management, special education, curriculum development, instructional technology, and a variety of other pertinent educational topics. The curriculum is designed to be flexible and individualized to fit each student’s needs.
WCCC is presently working with institutions of higher education for articulation agreements into a Baccalaureate degree in Education. At present, articulation agreements are in place with the University of Maine at Farmington, University of Maine at Orono, and University of Maine at Augusta for the Associate degree in Early Childhood Education.
Course work is closely integrated with the student’s practical educational experiences. An internship is integral to the program and may be completed at the student’s place of employment, provided the work is in an appropriate educational setting. People with extensive experience working in the schools may be granted up to six credits in lieu of the internship upon review of those experiences by the college and upon recommendation of the supervising Principal. WCCC will evaluate transcripts of prior coursework in accordance with college policy and will award advanced standing on a course for course basis.
Career Opportunities: Graduates who hold an Associate degree in Education will qualify for positions as an Ed. Tech. II and other one-on-one aide positions in schools and childcare facilities, as community aides or behavioral aides. Students completing the first year of education studies will meet all the requirements for certification from the Maine State Department of Education for the position of Ed. Tech. I, which is the minimum credential for employment in public and private preschools and schools. Students who wish to transfer to a Teacher Education program at a four-year college or university will find WCCC to be an affordable starting place. Acceptance of transfer credit varies from college to college. Students should consult with their advisor for details.
Program Education Outcomes: Upon completion of the Associate in Science Degree in Education, the graduate is prepared to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of basic theory regarding human growth and development, students’ developmental needs, learning styles, age-appropriate curriculum and instructional techniques.
- Meet requirements for certification as an Educational Technician II from the Maine Department of Education.
- Understand and apply knowledge regarding the duties of educational technicians through completion of supervised field experience.
- Qualify for positions as a Para-professional in a variety of capacities such as teacher aide, one-on-one aide, and behavioral aide positions in schools and childcare facilities.
- Transfer into baccalaureate programs in Education, Early Childhood Education, Child Development or Mental Health and Human Services.
Early Childhood Education Instructor