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Minnesota State College Southeast
A Technical & Community College

Early Childhood Education - AAS


Career Area: Education & Human Services
Program: Early Childhood Education
Campus(es): Online

Children are our future. As an early childhood educator, you can help build a better future for them and all of us!

Being an early childhood educator is more than a job -- it's a calling. But it takes more than love of children for a person to be an effective early childhood educator. Working with very young children is a complex job that requires competency and skill.

Early childhood teachers create a healthy, supportive and safe learning environment where children can flourish. Research has shown that quality education and training of childcare professionals is directly related to the increased social, cognitive, and emotional growth of children.

With a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education from Minnesota State College Southeast, you will be prepared to practice professional, ethical, and high-quality caregiving strategies within a variety of early childhood education settings.

This 100% online program offers a supportive distance learning environment for new and experienced early childhood educators. And because coursework can be completed online with local field experiences, the program is an ideal option for practitioners who are beginning their careers or already caring for children.

The courses require field experience in a licensed early childhood setting, working with children between the ages of 0-8. Students are directly evaluated during their field experiences throughout the program.

The development of a professional portfolio is a component of the Early Childhood Education program for students to demonstrate competence, based on standards from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The completed portfolio will be presented at the completion of the associate degree.

Upon graduation, you will be well prepared to enter the field of early childhood education and advance in your profession. Having an associate degree will prepare you to continue onward in your own lifelong learning by pursuing further education.

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Cluster/Pathway
Career Field: Human Services
Cluster: Education & Training & Human Services
Pathway: Teaching & Training & Early Childhood Development & Services
Recommended high school classes and basic job/program skills

Download the Program Plan

Courses

1) Must complete a minimum of 3 different MnTC goals in Liberal Arts and Sciences

2) 1100 or higher Liberal Arts and Sciences courses required unless specified


GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
3 cr
Math Requirement
Choose one 2 credit (or greater) 1000 level or above Math course
2 cr
 
17 crs
TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS
Technical electives (see advisor for approved electives)
Choose one or more Technical electives.
9 cr
ECED1020
Child Health, Safety, and Nutrition
This course provides guidance for how to establish and maintain a physically and psychologically safe and healthy learning environment for young children. Topics include preventing illness and accidents; handling emergencies; providing health, safety, and nutrition educational experiences; meeting children's basic nutritional needs; child abuse and current health-related issues. This course does not include CPR or first aid certification. Students are required to pass a Minnesota DHS background study and complete field experience hours during ECED coursework. (Corequisite: ECED1101, ECED1102) (3 credits: 3 lecture/0 lab)

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3 cr
ECED1101
Early Childhood Field Experience
This course requires student experience in a licensed early childhood setting working with children between the ages of 0-8 (documented, licensed experience will be reviewed for advance placement). Students will be required to apply knowledge of child development and developmentally appropriate practice, understanding of the characteristics of children and families, and demonstrate respect for colleagues, children, and families. Students will observe, plan small group activities, and build relationships with children and classroom adults. Students are required to pass a Minnesota DHS background study and complete field experience hours during ECED coursework. (Corequisite: ECED1102) (6 credits: 0 lecture/0 lab/300 OJT hours)

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6 cr
ECED1102
Orientation to Childcare Licensing
This course will review the Minnesota requirements for orientation to childcare for Minnesota Child Care Rule 2 (Family Childcare) and Rule 3 (Center Childcare). Learners will be guided in completing and/or creating a plan for completion to meet the orientation requirements prior to beginning the Early Childhood Education course sequence. Students are required to pass a Minnesota DHS background study and complete field experience hours during ECED coursework. (Corequisite: ECED1101) (1 credits: 1 lecture/0 lab)

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1 cr
ECED1132
Behavior & Emotional-Social Development of the Young Child
This course helps students explore physical and social environments that promote learning and development for young children. It includes an introduction to basic child guidance techniques for individual and group situations. Emphasis is on problem-prevention and positive guidance strategies including recognition, communication, limit-setting, problem-solving, behavior modification, and visuals. Students are required to pass a Minnesota DHS background study and complete field experience hours during ECED coursework. (Corequisite: ECED1101, ECED1102) (3 credits: 3 lecture/0 lab)

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3 cr
ECED1136
Interpersonal Relationships & Diversity in Early Childhood
This course focuses on the role of early childhood staff in developing positive relationships with parents that enhance children's healthy growth and development. Working with children and families of varied racial, ethnic, economic, and cultural backgrounds within diverse communities is emphasized. Students compare child rearing practices and family structure of different cultures, explore parenting styles, family stress, building relationships between family, community, and schools, and identify methods of parent education. Students are required to pass a Minnesota DHS background study and complete field experience hours during ECED coursework. (Corequisite: ECED1101, ECED1102) (3 credits: 3 lecture/0 lab)

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3 cr
ECED1150
Child Growth and Development
This course provides an overview of child development from prenatal through age eight, including physical, social, emotional, language, cognitive, and creative development. Emphasis is placed on understanding the needs of the whole child and applying developmentally appropriate practices while reviewing a range of early childhood models and settings. The course will examine variations across cultures and interactions between genetic and environmental factors. Students are required to pass a Minnesota DHS background study and complete field experience hours during ECED coursework. (Corequisite: ECED1101, ECED1102) (3 credits: 3 lecture/0 lab)

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3 cr
ECED1231
Developmentally Appropriate Environments and Experiences for Young Children
This course provides an overview of applying knowledge to promote child development and learning in early childhood settings. Students will integrate knowledge of developmental needs, developmentally appropriate environments, effective care giving and teaching strategies, and observation methods. Curriculum projects will be designed to incorporate activities for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children in large and small groups. Emphasis will integrate the unique abilities of the child while inspiring learning through play, curiosity, and active inquiry. Students are required to pass a Minnesota DHS background study and complete field experience hours during ECED coursework. (Prerequisite: ECED1150; Corequisite: ECED1101, ECED1102) (3 credits: 3 lecture/0 lab)

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3 cr
ECED1475
History and Professions in Early Childhood
This course introduces students to the early childhood field including history of and career opportunities. The course also examines job requirements, licensing regulations, characteristics of quality programs, types of early childhood programs, and the current issues in the field. Students are required to pass a Minnesota DHS background study and complete field experience hours during ECED coursework. (Corequisite: ECED1101, ECED1102) (3 credits: 3 lecture/0 lab)

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3 cr
ECED2215
Supporting Infant and Toddler Development
Through this course, the student will explore the well-being, competence, and developmental outcomes of prenatal, infant, toddler development in the context of their families. Students will be required to observe infant and toddler caregivers. Students are required to pass a Minnesota DHS background study and complete field experience hours during ECED coursework. (Co-requisite:ECED1101, ECED1102, ECED1150) (3 credits: 3 lecture/0 lab)

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3 cr
ECED2350
Foundations of Language and Literacy
This course explores language arts development from birth through age 8, including reading, writing, listening, speaking and viewing. Learners will explore the process of language development, basic language constructs and appropriate strategies to stimulate and encourage the continuation of oral language and emerging literacy skills. Instructional emphasis is placed upon communication development, phonological awareness, early identification/intervention for struggling readers and matching learner capabilities with appropriate instructional strategies. Students are required to pass a Minnesota DHS background study and complete field experience hours during ECED coursework. (Co-requisite: ECED1150) (3 credits: 3 lecture/0 lab)

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3 cr
ECED2440
Intro to Early Childhood Special Education
This course examines the development of children with differing abilities and emphasizes the inclusive classroom. Course content includes early intervention and public policy, comparisons of typical and exceptional development, planning for inclusion, implementing inclusive early childhood programs, and applying legal and ethical educational requirements. Students are required to pass a Minnesota DHS background study and complete field experience hours during ECED coursework. (Prerequisite: ECED1101, ECED1102ECED1230) (3 credits: 3 lecture/0 lab)

Download the Course Outline

3 cr
 
43 crs

Total Credits Required for this Major: 60 Credits


Estimated Costs for this Major

Approximate Tuition/Fees:$13,175
Minimum Tool Cost:N/A
Books/Supplies:$2,400
Estimated Total:$15,575
 

 


Career Opportunities

  • Nanny
  • Family Child Care Provider
  • Child Care Center Teacher
  • Child Care Center Director
  • Nanny Placement Agency Owner
  • Paraprofessional
  • Substitute Teacher
  • Child Advocate

Career Information

Outcomes

Program graduates will be able to:
  1. Utilize their understanding of developmentally appropriate practice respective to the characteristics and needs of young children.
  2. Understand and value the importance and complex characteristics of families and communities.
  3. Develop partnerships with families, community, and educational professionals as well as additional service providers
  4. Design and implement outcome-based learning experiences through application of the knowledge in relation to goals, benefits, and uses of assessment.
  5. Use systematic, critical, and creative processes to apply ethical and professional decision-making.
  6. Demonstrate proficiency in gathering, analyzing, and synthesizing information for the professional portfolio.

Highlights

  • Possible transfer opportunities for students to continue for a bachelor’s degree
  • Online program offers supportive distance learning environment for new and experienced early childhood educators
  • Combination of child development, professional development, and career application courses
  • Huge national demand for highly trained early childhood educators

Instructors

  • Rachel Daley has earned her M.A. in Education from Concordia University. After obtaining an A.S. degree at MSC Southeast, Rachel proceeded to SMSU to obtain a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education. In addition to teaching at MSC Southeast since 2010, her career experiences include family childcare, nanny, director of religious education, childcare trainer, preschool teacher, foster parent, and substitute.

 

Other Majors in the Early Childhood Education program

Child Care Assistant CERT

Early Childhood Development DIP

 
 

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WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987 | 507-453-2700

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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