Early Childhood Education (485)

Southern State Education Banner, Early Childhood Education

This program can be completed entirely Online.

Nature of Profession

Early childhood professionals are responsible for planning daily programs, providing caring and nurturing environments and utilizing community resources to enrich programs and to support the needs of young children and their families.

Every year, many people earn their teaching degree and are poised to make a difference in the minds of future generations. According to the National Center for Education Information (NCEI) the number of teachers employed is expected to grow to nearly 4 million. You also may be surprised to learn how competitive teaching salaries are. Generous benefits and extensive vacation time also make getting a teaching degree even better. Sound like something you might be interested in? Let's get started on your Education pathway!

To view current Job Postings related to the Early Childhood Education Program visit:

Careers in Early Childhood Education:

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For more information view the Early Childhood Education Program Outline.

Graduates of this program should be able to:

  • Create an inviting and supportive environment that promotes children's optimal growth and development within the context of a group setting.
  • Demonstrate knowledge about the characteristics, identification and needs of exceptional individuals and how to adapt instruction to meet their needs.
  • Use content knowledge to build meaningful curriculum though the utilization of respectful, responsive, teaching strategies.
  • Take responsibility for professional behavior and professional involvement with young children and their families.
  • Successfully complete onsite observations and practicum experiences with typical, exceptional, and diverse learners to gain experience developing and implementing instructional plans while working effectively with all students and staff.

Preschool teachers use play to teach children about the world.

Preschool teachers educate and care for children younger than age 5 who have not yet entered kindergarten. They teach language, motor, and social skills to young children.

Preschool teachers typically do the following:

  • Teach children basic skills such as identifying colors, shapes, numbers, and letters
  • Work with children in groups or one on one, depending on the needs of children and on the subject matter
  • Plan and carry out a curriculum that focuses on different areas of child development
  • Organize activities so children can learn about the world, explore interests, and develop skills
  • Develop schedules and routines to ensure children have enough physical activity and rest
  • Watch for signs of emotional or developmental problems in each child and bring them to the attention of the child's parents
  • Keep records of the children's progress, routines, and interests, and inform parents about their child's development
  • Communication skills. Preschool teachers need good communication skills to tell parents and colleagues about students' progress...
  • Creativity. Preschool teachers must plan lessons that engage young students...
  • Interpersonal skills...
  • Organizational skills...
  • Patience...
  • Physical stamina.

This program is being offered online through Canvas. Students in the program will meet the course objectives by participating in various learning activities specifically designed for an online environment. These activities include but are not limited to the following: discussion boards, videos, video lectures, chapter writing assignments, work projects, research papers, and group exercises. Online quizzes and exams may be used as appropriate to the course objectives and online supplemental instruction. Course content will be laid out in Canvas using Weekly Modules. Students will have access to faculty through email and phone calls. A minimum of 4 Zoom meetings will be held.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of preschool teachers is projected to grow 18 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. About 59,600 openings for preschool teachers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Quick Facts: Preschool Teachers

2020 Median Pay $31,930 per year / $15.35 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Associate's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2020 469,600
Job Outlook, 2020-30 18% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change, 2020-30 86,400

After obtaining their Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education (Birth to Age 5), graduates may wish to move forward with a bachelor's degree in an educational field. Ohio's new early elementary degree is PK-5th grade. It would take graduates approximately an additional 3 years to obtain this degree.


Fall Semester | First Year

Course # Course Title Credits
EDUC 1140 Introduction to Early Childhood Education 3
EDUC 2234 Technology in Education 3
EDUC 1145 Observation / Assessment of Children 3
EDUC 1000 Introduction to Child Development 3
ENGL 1101 English Composition I 3

Spring Semester | First Year

Course # Course Title Credits
BIOL 1125 Environmental Science 3
EDUC 2230 Children’s Literature with Reading Approaches 3
EDUC 2219 Infant / Toddler Care & Education 3
EDUC 1118 Guiding Children's Behavior & Learning 3
EDUC 2243 Individuals With Exceptionalities 3

Fall Semester | Second Year

Course # Course Title Credits
EDUC 1163 Social Studies for the Young Child 3
EDUC 2217 Science & Math Experiences for the Young Child 3
PSYC 1110 Principles of Psychology 3
EDUC 1110 Creative Arts for the Young Child 3
EDUC 2215 Health, Safety and Nutrition 3
FNAR 1104 Introduction to the Fine Arts 3

Spring Semester | Second Year

Course # Course Title Credits
EDUC 2228 Families, Communities & Schools 3
PSYC 2241 Educational Psychology 3
MATH 1115 Math for the Business & Social Sciences 3
EDUC 2240 Early Childhood Practicum 3
EDUC 2241 Early Childhood Seminar 3
Program Total: 63

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