The Associate in Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education is designed to meet the Washington State Career Lattice guidelines for people interested in becoming lead teachers, program supervisors, program directors or family support specialists in early childhood settings, caring for and educating young children. Emphasis is placed on active student involvement, observation, participation, and practical experience. Classes help adults increase their understanding of the physical, intellectual, emotional and social development of children and to apply developmentally appropriate guidance and curriculum methods to meet the individual and group needs of children and their families. Students also complete general education requirements. Credits earned may be applied to the 90 credit AAS-T Early Childhood Education Transfer Degree .
Degree recipients should possess the skills & abilities described below:
- Promote child development and learning by using their understanding of young children’s characteristics and needs to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for children of all abilities.
- Build and value diverse family and community relationships and support by demonstrating their understanding of the importance and complex characteristics of children’s families and communities.
- Observe, document and assess young children and use systematic observations, documentation, and other effective assessment strategies in a responsible way, in partnership with families and other professionals, to positively influence children’s development.
- Connect with children and families by knowing, understanding, and using positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation for their work with young children.
- Use developmentally effective approaches by knowing, understanding, and using a wide array of approaches, strategies, and tools to positively influence children’s development and learning.
- Utilize content knowledge in early education by applying the essential concepts, inquiry tools, and academic subjects; and use resources to deepen their understanding.
- Design, implement, and evaluate relevant, challenging, and responsive curriculum that promotes comprehensive developmental and learning outcomes for young children of all cultures.
- Identify, explain, and apply appropriate guidance techniques and theories as an important classroom management tool.
- Identify, explain, and apply nutrition, health and safety practices and procedures appropriate for use when teaching young children.
- Write clearly and effectively for varied audiences and purposes.
- Use, analyze and draw inferences from numerical and symbolic modes of communication.
- Graduates will be engaged as members of the Early Childhood profession and use ethical guidelines and other professional standards related to early childhood practice.