Education: Early Childhood

Program Description

Bachelor of Arts

The Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education program provides teacher education candidates with a broad content knowledge and prepares them as teachers for early childhood including preschool through second/third grade (birth to age 8) in an inclusive setting. Graduates from the bachelor's program are qualified to receive a Colorado Initial Teaching License in Early Childhood (EC-Age 8) and an endorsement in Early Childhood Special Education (EC-Age 8). As a student, you will gradually accumulate over 200 hours of classroom experience before beginning student teaching. School districts throughout western Colorado provide opportunities to gain experience with children of all ages and backgrounds in a variety of school settings. A minimum of 60 credit hours of essential learning and foundation coursework must be completed with a minimum GPA of 2.80 before a candidate may apply for admission to the Center for Teacher Education program. Please see the Teacher Education Admission Packet for further information on admissions criteria.

Associate of Arts

The early childhood certificate program prepares students for careers in licensed early childhood care and education programs and enables students to meet the educational qualifications of the Colorado Department of Human Services. Students who wish to work in licensed early childhood classrooms may complete the director or teacher sequence and then continue on to earn an Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education. Career options include opportunities in childcare centers and preschools.

The Associate of Arts (AA) with an early childhood education emphasis provides students with a foundation for working with children from birth to age eight in a variety of settings. Our faculty offer one-on-one guidance for course selection, field placements, student teaching and employment. With an increasing focus on quality early education, many organizations are requiring their employees to demonstrate a level of expertise provided by the AA degree. Our students complete their degree with a culminating student teaching experience, giving them an opportunity to teach in a preschool classroom for a semester. Graduates of the early childhood program are employed in large and small child care centers, operate their own home care centers, work in other school settings, or use coursework as a foundation to continue into elementary education. In addition, the program aligns with state requirements for early childhood teacher certification and large center director qualification.

Special Requirements

Study directed toward the Associate of Arts degree may serve as a basis for the Bachelor of Arts degree with elementary education licensure. Programs of study are sequential and advanced planning is necessary for an efficient transition from an associate program to a baccalaureate program. Faculty advisors assist students in planning programs to meet requirements. Students seeking childcare center director qualification should meet with an advisor in order to meet specific certification requirements.

Contact Information

Office of Student Services
WCCC, Bishop B102
2508 Blichmann Avenue
970.255.2670

--or--

Center for Teacher Education
Dominguez Hall 109L
970.248.1786

EDEC 100A Parent Education and Infants1 Credit

Parenting skills in a child care setting. Introduction to stages of child development, best practices in parenting, and resources for children 1 to 18 months old. Emphasis on development, effective communication, discipline, age appropriate learning activities, and school readiness. Requirement: Enrollment of child in campus early childhood program. Parents spend 30 minutes a week in their child's classroom.

Terms Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer.

Course may be taken 2 times for credit.

EDEC 100B Parent Education and Toddlers1 Credit

Parenting skills in a child care setting. Introduction to stages of child development, best practices in parenting, and resources for children 18 to 36 months old. Emphasis on development, effective communication, discipline, age appropriate learning activities, and school readiness. Requirement: Enrollment of child in campus early childhood program. Parents spend 30 minutes a week in their child's classroom.

Terms Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer.

Course may be taken 2 times for credit.

EDEC 100C Parent Education and Early Preschool1 Credit

Parenting skills in a child care setting. Introduction to stages of child development, best practices in parenting, and resources for children 3 to 4 years old. Emphasis on development, effective communication, discipline, age appropriate learning activities, and school readiness. Requirement: Enrollment of child in campus early childhood program. Parents spend 30 minutes a week in their child's classroom.

Terms Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer.

Course may be taken 2 times for credit.

EDEC 100D Parent Education and School Readiness1 Credit

Parenting skills in a child care setting. Introduction to stages of child development, best practices in parenting, and resources for children entering Kindergarten. Emphasis on development, effective communication, discipline, age appropriate learning activities, and school readiness. Requirement: Enrollment of child in campus early childhood program. Parents spend 30 minutes a week in their child's classroom.

Terms Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer.

Course may be taken 2 times for credit.

EDEC 101 Introduction to Early Childhood3 Credits

Includes the eight key areas of professional knowledge: Child Growth and Development; Health, Nutrition, and Safety; Developmentally Appropriate Practices; Guidance; Family and Community Relationships; Diversity; Professionalism; Administration and Supervision. Overview of history and philosophy. Focuses on ages birth through age 8. Assignments require 3 hours of field experience and may include observation/participation in an early childhood setting.

Fees: Yes.

EDEC 102 Introduction to Early Childhood Professions Lab Experiences3 Credits

Field experience. Demonstrate knowledge of child growth and development, guidance techniques, planning and implementation of curriculum, assessment techniques and application of laws and standards. Supervised placement provides opportunity to observe, to practice appropriate interactions and to develop effective guidance and nurturing techniques. Addresses ages birth through 8. Assignments include a required field experience of 60 hours.

Prerequisites: EDEC 101.

EDEC 103 Guidance Strategies3 Credits

Explores guidance theories and techniques, real world applications, goals, and factors influencing expectations, classroom management issues. Techniques for prosocial skills, violence prevention, anger management and providing families with community resources discussed. Focus on birth through age 8. Assignments require 3 hours of field experience and may include observation/participation in an early childhood setting.

EDEC 113 Infant and Toddler Theory and Practice3 Credits

Introduction to children from birth through age 3. Includes the eight key areas of professional knowledge: Child Growth and Development; Health, Nutrition and Safety; Developmentally Appropriate Practices; Guidance; Family and Community Relationships; Diversity; Professionalism; Administration and Supervision. Overview of history and philosophy of early childhood education. Assignments require 3 hours of field experience and may include observation/participation in an early childhood setting.

EDEC 114 Introduction to Infant/Toddler Lab Techniques3 Credits

Field experience. Demonstrate knowledge of child growth and development, guidance techniques, planning and implementation of curriculum, assessment techniques, and application of laws and standards. Supervised placement provides opportunity to observe, to practice appropriate interactions and to develop effective guidance and nurturing techniques. Addresses ages birth through age 3 years. Assignments include a required field experience of 60 hours.

Prerequisites: EDEC 101 or EDEC 113.

EDEC 122 Ethics in Early Childhood Education1 Credit

Practical approach to recognizing, understanding, and resolving issues confronting professionals in education and business. Emphasizes historical development of ethics. Application of critical thinking and decision-making skills to ethical dilemmas in classroom, business, community and governmental settings. Exploration of methods of resolution through ethical reasoning and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) professional codes. Emphasizes logical analysis, critical thinking, and responsible ethical decision making.

EDEC 125 Science/Math and the Young Child3 Credits

Examination of theories of cognitive development as a framework for conceptualizing the way young children acquire scientific and mathematical skills, concepts, and abilities. Enables students to research and develop appropriate individual and group scientific/mathematical activities for young children. Assignments require 3 hours of field experience and may include observation/participation in an early childhood setting.

Terms Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer.

EDEC 126 Art and the Young Child2 Credits

Preparation to plan and implement a comprehensive and developmentally-appropriate art program for young children. Investigates the development of self-taught art techniques in young children. Assignments require 2 hours of field experience and may include observation/participation in an early childhood setting.

Terms Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer.

EDEC 127 Music/Movement for the Young Children1 Credit

Focus on incorporating music and movement into the early childhood curriculum. Through active participation with hands-on experiences, students work with the concepts of age and developmental appropriateness when designing fun activities with both subjects. Assignments require 1 hour of field experience and may include observation/participation in an early childhood setting.

Terms Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer.

EDEC 195 Independent Study1-3 Credits

Course may be taken multiple times up to maximum of 6 credit hours.

EDEC 196 Topics1-3 Credits

Course may be taken multiple times up to maximum of 15 credit hours.

EDEC 200 Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood Education2 Credits

Developmentally appropriate observation and assessment strategies to document child development, play, and learning to support families and professionals in promoting children’s success; and to document quality indicators in early childhood programs. A variety of formal and authentic assessment methods are explored in this course. This course addresses children ages birth to eight years.

Terms Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

EDEC 201 Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood Techniques1 Credit

Supervised placement in licensed early childhood setting. Formal and authentic assessment methods are explored within early care and education settings, including practicing developmentally appropriate observation and assessment techniques to document child development, play, and learning to help families and professionals promote children’s success. Program evaluation assessment tools are covered. This course addresses children ages birth to eight years.

Terms Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

EDEC 205 Nutrition, Health, Safety3 Credits

Focus on nutrition, health, and safety as key factors for optimal growth and development of young children. Includes nutrient knowledge, menu planning, food program participation, health practices, management and safety, appropriate activities, and communication with families. Addresses birth through age 8. Assignments require 3 hours of field experience and may include observation/participation in an early childhood setting.

EDEC 230 Curriculum and Development: Infant/Toddler3 Credits

Curriculum for the age group birth to 3 years. Emphasis on maintaining healthy, safe environmental activities developmentally appropriate to stimulate language, social emotional, cognitive, and physical development. Assignments require 3 hours of field experience and may include observation/participation in an early childhood setting.

EDEC 237 Theories and Techniques of Social and Emotional Growth3 Credits

Incorporates student specific techniques and strategies for guiding and enhancing social and emotional growth in children 0-8 years. Introduces and compares the theories underlying quality interactions and patterns of social and emotional progression.

EDEC 238 Early Childhood Development 0-8 Years3 Credits

Theories, current research and developmental ages and stages of children, conception to 8 years. Emphasizes physical, cognitive, language, social and emotional domains, concept of the whole child and how adults can provide a supportive environment. Assignments require 3 hours of field experience and may include observation/participation in an early childhood setting.

EDEC 240 Curriculum and Development: Early Childhood3 Credits

Methods of creating and implementing curriculum based on understanding of developmentally appropriate practice for children, birth to age 8. Application of the teaching/learning process, and of managing the learning environment, will draw from research and practical application. Assignments require 3 hours of field experience and may include observation/participation in an early childhood setting.

Prerequisites: EDEC 101 or permission of instructor.

EDEC 241 Early Childhood Administration: Human Relations3 Credits

Roles and relationships among children, families, early childhood professionals, and community resources. Exploration of family structures, communication skills, roles of support organizations, team building, evaluation tools, self-reflection, and advocacy. Assignments require 3 hours field experience and may include observation/participation in an early childhood setting.

EDEC 250 Exceptionalities in Early Education3 Credits

Presents an overview of critical elements related to educating young children who may have learning challenges and/or be advanced in the early childhood setting. Topics include the following: typical and atypical development, legal requirements, research based practices related to inclusion, teaming and collaboration, and accommodations and adaptations. Student will learn how different cognitive/social/physical abilities impact a young child's learning process. Includes conception to age 8. Assignments require 3 hours of field experience and may include observation/participation in an early childhood setting.

Prerequisites: EDEC 101 or permission of instructor.

EDEC 256 Working with Parents, Families, and Community Systems3 Credits

Exploration of personal attitudes regarding families, family values systems, and how personal attitudes affect parent-professional partnerships in the early childhood education program. This course covers communication, problem-solving, and conflict resolution strategies with respect to children ages birth through 8 years. Effective activities and resources to support family involvement in the classroom will be created.

EDEC 264 Administration in Early Education3 Credits

Overview of management concepts applicable in a variety of early education settings. Focuses on management of programs and personnel, program and staff development, fiscal administration, and evaluation. Assignments require 3 hours field experience and may include observation/participation in an early childhood setting.

EDEC 290 Early Literacy for the Young Child2 Credits

In-depth view of early literacy development in a changing, diverse society. Intended for the prospective early childhood teacher. Includes research about the language and literacy of young children. Explores how learners develop the ability to communicate and interact from birth to age 8. Assignments require 3 hours field experience and may include observation/participation in an early childhood setting.

EDEC 296 Topics1-3 Credits

Course may be taken multiple times up to maximum of 15 credit hours.

EDEC 297 Practicum1-2 Credits

Supervised experience working with children and families in early care and education settings. Accepted by the State Department of Child Care Services for licensing purposes. Scheduling is flexible.

Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.

Course may be taken multiple times up to maximum of 15 credit hours.

EDEC 299 Student Teaching in Early Education3 Credits

Supervised teaching experience. Allows the student teacher the opportunity to apply developmentally appropriate, standards-based practices, theories and philosophies acquired in prior coursework. Provides incremental responsibility for teaching, supervision, and guidance of young children birth to 8 years. 300 field experience hours in an approved child care facility or school.

Prerequisites: EDEC 101, EDEC 122, EDEC 240, EDEC 250, and permission of instructor.

Course may be taken multiple times up to maximum of 6 credit hours.