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Why Earn an Early Childhood Education Associate Degree?
If you have a passion for working with young children and want to positively impact their lives, pursuing an Early Childhood Education Associate Degree could be the perfect fit for you. This degree provides a solid foundation in child development, education and care — preparing you for a variety of rewarding career paths.
We will explore what an Early Childhood Education Associate Degree is, who needs it, what you can do with it, how to earn it, and what you will learn — as well as why Clackamas Community College is an excellent place to pursue this degree.
What is an Early Childhood Education Associate Degree?
An Early Childhood Education Associate Degree is a two-year degree program that provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to work with young children in a variety of settings. This degree program covers topics such as child development, curriculum planning, teaching strategies, behavior management and family engagement.
Who Needs an Early Childhood Education Associate Degree?
Anyone who wants to work with young children in a professional capacity can benefit from earning an Early Childhood Education Associate Degree. This degree is especially beneficial for individuals who wish to pursue careers in early childhood education, such as preschool teachers, child care center directors or early intervention specialists.
What Can You Do with an Early Childhood Education Associate Degree?
An Early Childhood Education Associate Degree can open doors to a variety of career paths.
Some popular career options for individuals with this degree include:
- Preschool teacher: A preschool teacher is responsible for planning and implementing age-appropriate activities and lessons for young children. They may work in public or private preschools, Head Start programs or other early childhood education settings
- Child care center director: A childcare center director is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of a childcare center. They may manage staff, develop policies and procedures, and ensure that the center provides high-quality care and education for young children
- Early intervention specialist: An early intervention specialist works with young children who have developmental delays or disabilities. They may provide therapy, support, and resources to help children reach their full potential
- Lead teacher: A lead teacher works in private and public early learning programs serving infants, toddlers and preschoolers
- Teacher assistant: Teacher assistants work in kindergarten to third-grade classrooms
Additionally, students will be prepared to work as family support personnel (e.g., family advocates, parent practitioners, family life paraprofessionals, etc.) in various education settings or child and family support agencies.
What Is the Job Outlook For Careers in Early Childhood Education?
You can search related careers, regional data on wages and job outlooks on the Career Coach website.
How Do You Get an Early Childhood Education Associate Degree?
To earn an Early Childhood Education Associate Degree, you will need to complete a two-year program at a community college or other higher education institution. Most programs require students to complete a combination of coursework, fieldwork and practical experience working with young children.
What Will I Learn When Studying for an Early Childhood Education Associate Degree?
When studying for an Early Childhood Education Associate Degree, you will gain a deep understanding of child development and how to create a nurturing and supportive environment for young children. Some of the topics you may study include:
- Child development: You will learn about the physical, social, emotional and cognitive development of young children
- Curriculum planning: You will learn how to create developmentally appropriate curricula and activities for young children
- Teaching strategies: You will learn how to use effective teaching strategies to engage young children and promote their learning
- Behavior management: You will learn how to create positive and supportive behavior management strategies that help young children develop self-regulation and social skills
- Family engagement: You will learn how to work with families to support young children's learning and development
- Respect, support and communicate with families
- Design and implement experiences that promote positive development for children
- Promote children's development and learning to create a healthy, respectful and supportive environment
Why You Should Earn Your Early Childhood Education Degree at Clackamas Community College
Clackamas Community College offers two early childhood education associate degrees and an early childhood education certificate.
We provide highly skilled early childhood professionals to work in early childhood classroom settings, in support roles with families and young children, and in other capacities that interact, lead and advocate for young children and families.
Early childhood education is a rewarding field that is vital in shaping the social, emotional, cognitive, linguistic and physical development of children. At Clackamas Community College, get the skills you need to succeed in a career working with children.
Our early childhood education programs provide one-on-one advising and faculty support, as well as site placement assistance where you'll get real-world training in the field. In fact, many of our students go on to full-time employment at their work experience sites after graduation.
Clackamas Community College's Early Childhood Education Associate Degree program provides students with a comprehensive education in child development, education and care. Some of the benefits of earning your degree at Clackamas Community College include:
- Experienced faculty: Our faculty members have years of experience working in the field of early childhood education and are passionate about helping students succeed
- Hands-on experience: Our program includes a practicum where students gain practical experience working with young children in a real-world setting
Is Clackamas Community College's Early Childhood Education Program Accredited?
The early childhood education degrees and certificate at Clackamas Community College are accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
What are the Early Childhood Education Program Outcomes at Clackamas Community College?
These program learning outcomes were adopted from the National Association for the Education of Young Children early childhood teacher preparation standards and competencies. These standards represent what students should know and be able to do as a result of graduating from our program.
- Child development and learning in context
- Family-teacher partnerships and community connections
- Child observation, documentation and assessment
- Developmentally, culturally and linguistically appropriate teaching practices
Knowledge, application and integration of academic content in the early childhood curriculum
- Professionalism as an early childhood educator
Want to Learn More?
Starting at Clackamas Community College is an affordable first step in transferring to a four-year university.