The Associate of Applied Science degree program in Early Childhood Education prepares students to be education assistants and teachers aides in schools, child care centers and similar institutions. Individuals currently holding paraprofessional positions in education may use this program to enhance classroom and related skills. Several graduates have become owners of their own child care centers.
Although the degree is not designed as a transfer program, graduates of this program have transferred to four-year colleges and universities, including The College of New Jersey, The College of Saint Elizabeth, Kean University and Rutgers University. Some loss of credit may occur depending upon the transfer institution and the intended program of baccalaureate study.
Courses are based on theoretical and experimental knowledge. Most courses provide field experiences where students prepare reports and perform specific tasks with children. Opportunities for learning about various program models and methodology are a part of the program.
Students participate in Cooperative Education, a program which offers supervised off-campus jobs where they receive academic credit in most situations, and a salary. Students may choose to satisfy this requirement by working at the College’s Childcare Center or in a community-based program. Students gain hands-on experience related to the theoretical applications learned in the classroom.
Graduates are able to:
- identify and interpret child development principles in preschool children
- demonstrate a teaching style that incorporates a wide range of curricula activities and competence in teaching methods appropriate for preschool children
- obtain the competencies required to meet state regulations
This curriculum does not lead to New Jersey State Teacher certification.