Early Childhood Education
Purpose: The Early Childhood Education program has been developed around the standards established by the National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the credentialing guidelines for the Child Development Associate (CDA).
The curriculum is designed to provide students with a breadth of knowledge regarding child growth and development. Additionally, students will study age-appropriate curriculum and instructional techniques. A 480-hour field experience is necessary to satisfy the CDA requirement of the Council for Professional Recognition.
The college has articulation agreements with 18 high schools (up to six credits), Maine Roads to Quality (15 credits granted), UMA, UMF, and UMO (61 credits). To obtain six credits for field placement, a high school graduate must demonstrate 85 percent or better on all required competencies and 300 hours of field placement. To articulate into a baccalaureate program, a student must graduate with at least a 2.0 average and some universities require a higher average in College Composition. The student should check the agreements. Additional credits may be granted under portfolio analysis. The Associate in Applied Science degree curriculum differs from the Associate in Science degree in the math requirement only. The Associate in Science degree is intended for those students who wish to start their education in a small college setting and continue on to the baccalaureate program at a four-year college or university.
Career Opportunities: Graduates who hold an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education will qualify for positions as teachers or childcare center directors in a variety of public and private childcare facilities. For persons interested in working in Head Start or other federally supported childcare institutions, the Associate Degree is required for continuing employment. Graduates may also apply to the division of certification, Maine Department of Education, for Educational Technician II certification.
The Associate in Science degree program is designed to transfer into a baccalaureate program in Early Childhood Education, Child Development, or Mental Health and Human Services.
Program Educational Outcomes: Upon completion of the Associate in Applied Science degree or Associate in Science degree in the Early Childhood Education program, the graduate is prepared to:
- Understand and apply theory regarding various topics in Early Childhood Education, Psychology, Sociology and family studies.
- Apply for the national CDA credential through the Council for Professional Recognition.
- Demonstrate how to set up and maintain a healthy, safe environment.
- Understand and demonstrate knowledge of child development and skill in observation.
- Understand and demonstrate knowledge of the diverse manner in which children learn and develop by providing an environment of learning opportunities that supports their cognitive, social, emotional and physical development through developmentally appropriate programming.
- Create a classroom environment which encourages friendship, cooperation, pro-social behavior, self-control, peer problem solving and active listening.
- Demonstrate the ability to engage home, community and collegial resources to support students’ learning and well being.
- Provide classroom practices that foster positive gender identity, positive racial/cultural identity and positive individual identity.
- Demonstrate awareness of business and management practices, maintenance and growth of self and legal issues related to the profession.
- Meet standards established by the National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the credentialing guidelines for the child development associate (CDA), and DHHS licensing.
- Transfer credits earned through completion of the Associate in Applied Science Degree or Associate in Science Degree in the Early Childhood Education program to a baccalaureate degree program offered by a four-year institution.
Early Childhood Education Instructor
The Early Childhood Education program requires completion of the Student Disclosure of Criminal Convictions, Pending Criminal Charges and Certain Disqualifications. Completion of this form does not automatically deny admission to the program. Prospective applicants will meet with the Dean of Enrollment Management and Student Services to review information.