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Minnesota State College Southeast
A Technical & Community College
MSC Southeast

Early Childhood Education Skills Guide

Recommended High School Level Background Courses

• Child Development/Child Growth
• The Family, Parenting
• Family and Consumer Science (FACS)
• Health
• Psychology
• Sociology
• Nutrition (or minimally Biology)
• Algebra

Basic Skills in the Program and on the Job

Reading level of course materials is advanced. Through the online learning program, Early Childhood Education requires students to read and understand various dimensions of the field including theory, development, growth, sequence, philosophy, and family dynamics. You will be expected to read and follow directions. Textbooks are written at a college level. Students are expected to read these as well as supplementary materials, which may include trade publications, journals, news articles, curriculum guides, children’s books, reference books, internet, etc. Within the career field, you can anticipate similar reading.

Expressive (oral, written) and Receptive (listening, reading) language are important in the Early Childhood Education program. All students in the AAS degree will be required to take one 2000 level English course. Students in the AS degree will be required to complete two 2000 level English courses and College Speech. Early Childhood Education practitioners are expected to clearly articulate with children, families, and other professionals. Within the program, students will be expected to communicate effectively with colleagues, community members, and prospective employers.

Mathematic skills are required to obtain an associate degree in early childhood. AAS students will be required to complete a 2000 level math course, while students in the AS degree will be required to complete a college-level transfer mathematics course. Within the program, these skills are incorporated in nutritional analysis and cost effectiveness of food, measurement, budgeting, and other mathematical operations working with progressing skills in young children.

Instruction of the content courses in this program is provided using an online learning management system such as Desire 2 Learn (D2L). Students should be competent in operating a computer system, using a keyboard, and prefaced in basic Office skills (Word, Publisher, Excel, PowerPoint). All courses required assignments are typed and submitted via online learning. These skills are also required upon entering the field.

Critical thinking is a central aspect incorporated in higher education and particularly in this field. Incorporating one’s prior experiences and connecting to further understand new concepts in relation to a changing world is essential. As an online program, students are required to manage time wisely, follow instructions, draw inferences, identify relationships, and explore the field first-hand. Professionalism and ability to listen to experienced professionals is required.

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Minnesota State College Southeast is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. ADA accessible. MSC Southeast is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and education opportunity. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination in employment base on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.


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