Education: Early Childhood Education (AAS)

Degree: Associate of Applied Science
Major: Early Childhood Education
Emphasis: Early Childhood Education
Program Code: 1394

About This Major . . .

This degree is designed for students who intend to enter the workforce upon completion. This degree also supports students who intend to continue their education and obtain a Baccalaureate in Applied Science Degree.  The program aligns with state requirements for early childhood teacher certification and childcare center director qualifications. This degree includes 15 hours of the Colorado Statewide General Education Core and meets 15 hours of the lower division general education requirements at most public institutions in Colorado.

Important information about this program:

  • Students must pass a background check.
  • Students must possess current First Aid/CPR cards.
  • Students must create a portfolio following department requirements.

For more information on what you can do with this major, visit WCCC's Programs of Study page.

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

Institutional Degree Requirements

The following institutional degree requirements apply to all CMU and WCCC Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • 60 semester hours minimum.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 15 of the final 30 semester hours of credit at CMU/WCCC.
  • 2.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU/WCCC coursework.
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • No more than six semester hours of independent study courses can be used toward the degree.
  • Non-traditional credit, such as advanced placement, credit by examination, credit for prior learning, cooperative education and internships, cannot exceed 20 semester credit hours for an AAS degree.
  • Pre-collegiate courses (usually numbered below 100) cannot be used for graduation.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Degree Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and degree requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees and Certificates” in the catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements.

Specific to this degree:

  • Students must pass a background check.
  • Students must possess current First Aid/CPR cards.
  • Students must create a portfolio following department requirements.

Essential Learning Requirements

(18-19 semester hours)

See the current catalog for a list of courses that fulfill the requirements below. If a course is an Essential Learning option and a requirement for your major, you must use it to fulfill the major requirement and make a different selection for the Essential Learning requirement.

ENGL 111English Composition I-GTCO13
ENGL 112English Composition II-GTCO23
SPCH 102Speechmaking3
MATH 107Career Math (or higher) 13
Other Essential Learning Core Courses
PSYC 150General Psychology-GTSS33
or PSYC 233 Human Growth and Development-GTSS3
Essential Learning Natural Science with/without lab3-4
Total Semester Credit Hours18-19

Math 110 or higher is suggested if the student plans on pursing a four-year degree.

Other Lower Division Requirements

Wellness Requirements
KINE 100Health and Wellness1
Select one Activity course1
Total Semester Credit Hours2

Program Specific Degree Requirements

(40 Hours - Must maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA or higher in all coursework in the major content area.)

EDEC 101Introduction to Early Childhood3
EDEC 103Guidance Strategies3
EDEC 113Infant and Toddler Theory and Practice3
EDEC 122Ethics in Early Childhood Education1
EDEC 125Science/Math and the Young Child3
EDEC 205Nutrition, Health, Safety3
EDEC 238Early Childhood Development 0-8 Years3
EDEC 240Curriculum and Development: Early Childhood3
EDEC 241Early Childhood Administration: Human Relations3
EDEC 250Exceptionalities in Early Education3
EDEC 256Working with Parents, Families, and Community Systems3
EDEC 264Administration in Early Education3
EDEC 299Student Teaching in Early Education3
Restricted Electives
Choose three credits from the following list of courses:3
Parent Education and Infants
Parent Education and Toddlers
Parent Education and Early Preschool
Parent Education and School Readiness
Introduction to Early Childhood Professions Lab Experiences
Introduction to Infant/Toddler Lab Techniques
Art and the Young Child
Music/Movement for the Young Children
Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood Education
Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood Techniques
Curriculum and Development: Infant/Toddler
Theories and Techniques of Social and Emotional Growth
Early Literacy for the Young Child
Total Semester Credit Hours40
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterSemester Credit Hours
ENGL 111 English Composition I-GTCO1 3
EDEC 101 Introduction to Early Childhood 3
EDEC 103 Guidance Strategies 3
EDEC 241 Early Childhood Administration: Human Relations 3
Essential Learning - Natural Science with/without lab 3-4
 Semester Credit Hours15-16
Spring Semester
ENGL 112 English Composition II-GTCO2 3
EDEC 125 Science/Math and the Young Child 3
EDEC 238 Early Childhood Development 0-8 Years 3
EDEC 264 Administration in Early Education 3
PSYC 150
General Psychology-GTSS3
or Human Growth and Development-GTSS3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Second Year
Fall Semester
EDEC 205 Nutrition, Health, Safety 3
EDEC 240 Curriculum and Development: Early Childhood 3
MATH 107 Career Math 3
SPCH 102 Speechmaking 3
EDEC Restricted Elective 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
EDEC 113 Infant and Toddler Theory and Practice 3
EDEC 122 Ethics in Early Childhood Education 1
EDEC 250 Exceptionalities in Early Education 3
EDEC 256 Working with Parents, Families, and Community Systems 3
EDEC 299 Student Teaching in Early Education 3
KINE 100 Health and Wellness 1
KINA Activity Course 1
 Semester Credit Hours15
 Total Semester Credit Hours60-61

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a degree. The suggested course sequencing outlines how students could finish degree requirements. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters, while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and altering the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for her/his intended degree(s).

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a degree and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their degree requirements:

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found at

If a student’s petition for graduation is denied, it will be her/his responsibility to consult the Registrar’s Office regarding next steps.