Early Childhood Education Non-Transfer AAS

Program Description

The Associate in Applied Science degree program in Early Childhood Education prepares individuals to work with children birth through age 8 in diverse learning environments. The curriculum is designed to lead to responsible and effective employment in positions ranging from aide to head teacher in a variety of early childhood settings. Students combine learning theories with practice in actual settings with young children under the supervision of qualified teachers.

Craven Community College’s Early Childhood Education program is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

The full-time program is taught in a Saturday cohort or online. The program provides theory, practical information and extensive supervised experience concerning normal early human development, developmental difficulties, caring for and educating young children, methods for fostering child development, and the operation and management of early childhood facilities. Coursework in the 67 SHC program includes child growth and development, physical/nutritional needs of children; care and guidance of children, and communication skills with families and children. Students will foster the cognitive/language, physical/motor, social/emotional, and creative development of young children.

Because current research shows that the early years are among the most vital in human development, professional and appropriate educational experiences will develop the Early Childhood Associate student’s thinking, practical and personal skills necessary to teach and care for young children. These activities take place in college classes and seminars, and also in local area field sites. In the field, extensive “hands on” observation and participation give opportunities to apply education principles, receive individual guidance and feedback, and be involved first-hand, with day-to-day activities in diverse learning environments. The program offers first-year and capstone practicum opportunities for students.

Graduates of the program are prepared to plan and implement developmentally appropriate programs in early childhood settings.

Admission Criteria

Admission to this program requires that students be high school graduates or have a recognized equivalency.  In addition, students must have satisfactory placement test scores or coursework verifying that they have completed ENG-002 in order to begin EDU courses. Requirements for select courses are subject to change depending on state of North Carolina agency requirements. Select courses have attendance/additional requirements mandated by state agencies.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  • Observe, document and assess child behavior and developmental characteristics to support young children and families.
  • Use developmentally effective approaches to connect with families and children.
  • Use content knowledge to build meaningful curriculum.

Career Opportunities

Employment opportunities include:

  • child development and child care programs
  • preschools
  • public and private schools
  • recreational centers
  • Head Start programs
  • school-age programs

Contact Information

Executive Director of Career Programs
252-638-7372

Admissions Office
252-638-7430

Degree Requirements

The following suggested schedule is based on full-time enrollment. Part-Time Students begin with ACA-111, EDU 119, EDU 131. Continue with sequence of required courses. General education courses may be taken at any time. For information about prerequisites and corequisites, please refer to the catalog.

Courses in this program

First Semester

Semester Credit Hours: 15

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course introduces the college's physical, academic, and social environment and promotes the personal development essential for success. Topics include campus facilities and resources; policies, procedures, and programs; study skills; and life management issues such as health, self-esteem, motivation, goal-setting, diversity, and communication. Upon completion, students should be able to function effectively within the college environment to meet their educational objectives.

Lecture Hours: 1  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 1 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course introduces basic computer usage for non-computer majors. Emphasis is placed on developing basic personal computer skills. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate competence in basic computer applications.

Lecture Hours: 0  Lab Hours: 2  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 1 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course introduces the foundations of early childhood education, the diverse educational settings for young children, professionalism and planning intentional developmentally appropriate experiences for each child.

Lecture Hours: 4  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 4 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course covers the development of partnerships among culturally, linguistically and ability diverse families, children, schools and communities through the use of evidence-based strategies. Emphasis is placed on developing skills and identifying benefits for establishing and supporting respectful relationships between diverse families, programs/schools, and community agencies/resources reflective of the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct and the Code of Ethics for North Carolina Educators.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course covers promoting and maintaining the health and well-being of every child. Topics include health and nutritional guidelines, common childhood illnesses, maintaining safe and healthy, learning environments, health benefits of active play, recognition and reporting of abuse/neglect, and state regulations. Upon completion, students should be able to apply knowledge of NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development for health, safety, nutritional needs and safe learning environments.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course is designed to develop the ability to produce clear writing in a variety of genres and formats using a recursive process. Emphasis includes inquiry, analysis, effective use of rhetorical strategies, thesis development, audience awareness, and revision. Upon completion, students should be able to produce unified, coherent, well-developed essays using standard written English.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take One Set:,Set 1: DRE-097,Set 2: ENG-002,Set 3: BSP-4002
  • Corequisites:
    Take ENG-011

Second Semester

Semester Credit Hours: 12

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course includes the theories of child development, observation and assessment, milestones, and factors that influence development, from conception through approximately 36 months.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course includes the theories of child development, observation and assessment, milestones, and factors that influence development, from preschool through middle childhood.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course introduces evidence-based strategies to build nurturing relationships with each child by applying principles and practical techniques to facilitate developmentally appropriate guidance. Topics include designing responsive/supportive learning environments, cultural, linguistic and socio-economic influences on behavior, appropriate expectations, the importance of communication with children/families including using technology and the use of formative assessments in establishing intentional strategies for children with unique needs.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    Take EDU-145

This course covers the development of high-quality, individualized, responsive/engaging relationships and experiences for infants, toddlers, and twos. Emphasis is placed on typical and atypical child development, working with diverse families to provide positive, supportive, and engaging early learning activities and interactions through field experiences and the application of the NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take EDU-119
  • Corequisites:
    Take EDU-144

Third Semester

Semester Credit Hours: 9

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course provides an overview of the scientific study of human behavior. Topics include history, methodology, biopsychology, sensation, perception, learning, motivation, cognition, abnormal behavior, personality theory, social psychology, and other relevant topics. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of the science of psychology.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take One from:, DRE-097, ENG-002, BSP-4002
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course is a basic survey of the music of the Western world. Emphasis is placed on the elements of music, terminology, composers, form, and style within a historical perspective. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate skills in basic listening and understanding of the art of music.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take One: DRE-097, ENG-002, BSP-4002, ENG-111
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course, the second in a series of two, introduces research techniques, documentation, styles, and writing strategies. Emphasis is placed on analyzing information and ideas and incorporating research findings into documented writing and research projects. Upon completion, students should be able to evaluate and synthesize information from primary and secondary sources using documentation appropriate to various disciplines.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take ENG-111
  • Corequisites:
    None

Fourth Semester

Semester Credit Hours: 14

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course introduces developmentally supportive creative learning environments with attention to divergent thinking, creative problem-solving, evidence-based teaching practices, and open-ended learning materials while applying NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development. Emphasis is placed on observation of process driven learning experiences in art, music, creative movement, dance, and dramatics for every young child age, birth through eight, integrated through all domains and academic content.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course introduces students to early childhood settings and applying skills in a three star (minimum) or NAEYC accredited or equivalent quality early childhood environment. Emphasis is placed on observing children and assisting in the implementation of developmentally appropriate activities/environments for all children; and modeling reflective/professional practices. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate developmentally appropriate interactions with children and ethical/professional behaviors as indicated by assignments and onsite faculty visits.

Lecture Hours: 1  Lab Hours: 1  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 2 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take EDU-119
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course covers atypical patterns of child development, inclusive/diverse settings, evidenced-based educational/family plans, differentiated instruction, adaptive materials, and assistive technology. Emphasis is placed on the characteristics of exceptionalities and delays, early intervention/special education, transitions, observation, developmental screening, formative assessment of children, and collaborating with families and community partners.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take one set:, Set 1: EDU-144 and EDU-145, Set 2: PSY-244 and PSY-245
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course is designed to focus on using content knowledge to build developmentally effective approaches for culturally/linguistically/ability diverse young children. Topics include components of curriculum, a variety of curriculum models, authentic observation and assessment, and planning developmentally appropriate experiences aligned with the NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development. Upon completion, students should be able to understand, evaluate, and use curriculum to plan for individual/group needs.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take EDU-119
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course provides evidence-based strategies for enhancing language and literacy experiences that align with NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development. Topics include developmental sequences for children's emergent receptive and expressive language, print concepts, appropriate observations/assessments, literacy enriched, environments, quality selection of diverse literature, interactive media, and inclusive practices.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

Fifth Semester

Semester Credit Hours: 16

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course introduces physical activities to promote the development of the whole child, birth through middle childhood. Topics include active play, outdoor learning, design of the environment, development of play skills, loose parts play, nature play, risk benefit assessment, advocacy, and family/community connection. Upon completion, students should be able to discuss the stages of play, the role of teachers in play, active play environments, advocate for the child's right to play, and plan and assess appropriate experiences using NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development.

Lecture Hours: 2  Lab Hours: 2  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course is designed to allow students to demonstrate acquired skills in a three star (minimum) or NAEYC accredited or equivalent quality early childhood environment. Emphasis is placed on designing, implementing and evaluating developmentally appropriate activities and environments for all children; supporting/engaging families; and modeling reflective and professional practices based on national and state guidelines.

Lecture Hours: 1  Lab Hours: 1  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 4 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take One Set:, Set 1: EDU-119, EDU-144, EDU-145, EDU-146, and EDU-151, Set 2: EDU-119, PSY-244, PSY-245, EDU-146, and EDU-151, Set 3: EDU-119, EDU-144, PSY-245, EDU-146, and EDU-151, Set 4: EDU-119, PSY-244, EDU-145, EDU-146, and EDU-151
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course covers advanced topics and issues in early childhood. Emphasis is placed on current advocacy issues, emerging technology, professional, growth experiences, and other related topics. Upon completion, students should be able to list, discuss, and explain advanced current topics and issues in early childhood education.

Lecture Hours: 2  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 2 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course is designed to engage students in complex and realistic situations involving the mathematical phenomena of quantity, change and relationship, and uncertainty through project- and activity-based assessment.

Lecture Hours: 2  Lab Hours: 2  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take One Set:,Set 1: DMA-010, DMA-020, DMA-030, and DRE-098,Set 2: DMA-010, DMA-020, DMA-030, and ENG-002,Set 3: DMA-010, DMA-020, DMA-030, and BSP-4002,Set 4: DMA-025, and DRE-098,Set 5: DMA-025, and ENG-002,Set 6: DMA-025, and BSP-4002,Set 7: MAT-003 and DRE-098,Set 8: MAT-003 and ENG-002,Set 9: MAT-003 and BSP-4002,Set 10: BSP-4003 and DRE-098 ,Set 11: BSP-4003 and ENG-002,Set 12: BSP-4003 and BSP-4002
  • Corequisites:
    Take MAT-043

This course introduces the examination of the American educational systems and the teaching profession. Topics include the historical and philosophical influences on education, various perspectives on educational issues, and experiences in birth through grade 12 classrooms. Upon completion, students should be able to reflect on classroom observations, analyze the different educational approaches, including classical/traditional and progressive, and have knowledge of the various roles of educational systems at the federal, state and local level.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

Major Elective

Students must select four credits from the following options. Contact an advisor for information on work based learning courses.

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course provides a survey of the business world. Topics include the basic principles and practices of contemporary business. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of business concepts as a foundation for studying other business subjects.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course is designed to provide students an introduction to sign language systems and technology in educational environments. Topics include receptive and expressive sign language usage including English-based systems, American Language, deaf culture and identity, assistive technology, and use of sign language as a classroom management strategy. Upon completion, students should be able to communicate at an introductory level using sign language, describe aspects of deaf culture and identity, and identify assistive technology for children with hearing loss in the education system.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course introduces the examination of the American educational systems and the teaching profession. Topics include the historical and philosophical influences on education, various perspectives on educational issues, and experiences in birth through grade 12 classrooms. Upon completion, students should be able to reflect on classroom observations, analyze the different educational approaches, including classical/traditional and progressive, and have knowledge of the various roles of educational systems at the federal, state and local level.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course focuses on practical applications that support the healthy development of children birth to 36 months by applying principles of quality, individualized, responsive/engaging relationships and experiences. Emphasis is placed on typical and atypical child development, positive early learning experiences, supporting and engaging diverse families, providing safe, warm and nurturing interactions, and the application of the NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development.

Lecture Hours: 0  Lab Hours: 2  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 1 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    Take EDU-234

This course includes developmentally appropriate practices in group settings for school-age children. Emphasis is placed on principles of development, environmental planning, and positive guidance techniques and program development. Upon completion, students should be able to discuss developmental principles for culturally, linguistically, and ability diverse children ages five to twelve and plan and implement developmentally appropriate programs and activities.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course introduces principles and practices essential to preparing and supporting child care administrators. Topics include program philosophy, policies and procedures, NC Child Care Law and Rules, business planning, personnel and fiscal management, and NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct Supplement for Early Childhood Program Administration. Upon completion, students should be able to articulate a developmentally appropriate program philosophy, locate current state licensing regulations, analyze a business plan and examine comprehensive program policies and procedures.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    Take EDU-119

This course focuses on advocacy/leadership, public relations/community outreach and program quality/evaluation for diverse early childhood programs. Topics include program evaluation/accreditation, involvement in early childhood professional organizations, leadership/mentoring, family, volunteer and, community involvement and early childhood advocacy. Upon completion, students should be able to define and evaluate all components of early childhood programs, develop strategies for advocacy and integrate community into programs.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take All: EDU-119 and EDU-261
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course introduces the fundamental elements of the Spanish language within a cultural context. Emphasis is placed on the development of basic listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills., Upon completion, students should be able to comprehend and respond with grammatical accuracy to spoken and written Spanish and demonstrate cultural awareness.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take One: DRE-097, ENG-002, BSP-4002, ENG-111
  • Corequisites:
    Take SPA-181

This course provides an opportunity to enhance acquisition of the fundamental elements of the Spanish language. Emphasis is placed on the progressive development of basic listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills through the use of various supplementary learning media and materials. Upon completion, students should be able to comprehend and respond with grammatical accuracy to spoken and written Spanish and demonstrate cultural awareness.

Lecture Hours: 0  Lab Hours: 2  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 1 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take SPA-111
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course provides a work-based learning experience with a college-approved employer in an area related to the student's program of study. Emphasis is placed on integrating classroom learning with related work experience. Upon completion, students should be able to evaluate career selection, demonstrate employability skills, and satisfactorily perform work-related competencies.

Lecture Hours: 0  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 10  Credit Hours: 1 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course provides a work-based learning experience with a college-approved employer in an area related to the student's program of study. Emphasis is placed on integrating classroom learning with related work experience. Upon completion, students should be able to evaluate career selection, demonstrate employability skills, and satisfactorily perform work-related competencies.

Lecture Hours: 0  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 20  Credit Hours: 2 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course provides a work-based learning experience with a college-approved employer in an area related to the student's program of study. Emphasis is placed on integrating classroom learning with related work experience. Upon completion, students should be able to evaluate career selection, demonstrate employability skills, and satisfactorily perform work-related competencies.

Lecture Hours: 0  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 30  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course provides a work-based learning experience with a college-approved employer in an area related to the student's program of study. Emphasis is placed on integrating classroom learning with related work experience. Upon completion, students should be able to evaluate career selection, demonstrate employability skills, and satisfactorily perform work-related competencies.

Lecture Hours: 0  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 10  Credit Hours: 1 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course provides a work-based learning experience with a college-approved employer in an area related to the student's program of study. Emphasis is placed on integrating classroom learning with related work experience. Upon completion, students should be able to evaluate career selection, demonstrate employability skills, and satisfactorily perform work-related competencies.

Lecture Hours: 0  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 20  Credit Hours: 2 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course provides a work-based learning experience with a college-approved employer in an area related to the student's program of study. Emphasis is placed on integrating classroom learning with related work experience. Upon completion, students should be able to evaluate career selection, demonstrate employability skills, and satisfactorily perform work-related competencies.

Lecture Hours: 0  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 10  Credit Hours: 1 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None