I recently was on the question and answer forum Quora and someone who was looking into getting their Early Childhood Education degree wanted to know what you learn about. So, in today’s post I’m breaking down the 4 super semesters you will study for your Associate’s in Early Childhood Education. First off you should know, it’s not all fun classes about children. There are other subjects you have to take as well, just like any other major. As I have said before, it’s not a hard degree to study for but it is a lot of work.
The 4 Super Semesters of an Early Childhood Education Degree.
As I have mentioned, I graduated from Penn Foster College, so therefore I am going through the classes for their ECE degree program. Other colleges may have different requirements for their Early Childhood Degrees. Please check with whatever college you apply to.
Basic Skills Assessment-I took two assessments, one in reading and one in math.
Orientation to Early Childhood Education-This course teaches you how to use your program and how to be an effective childcare teacher.
Information Literacy-This class teaches you how to use the internet more effectively so you can be efficient in your research.
Health, Safety and Nutrition for the Young Child– You will learn about how to be a positive influence on children’s eating and exercising habits.
Essentials of Psychology-I enjoyed learning about how children think and process information as well as why they behave the way they do.
General Education Elective-Choose an elective that most interests you.
Early Childhood Site Selection 1-Choose an approved ECE site to observe and write your first paper.
Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education-In this course you learn the importance of Early Childhood Education and its benefits.
Early Childhood Education Site Selection 2: As long as you filed paperwork and received the proper clearances, you can use the same site from semester one for your on site work.
Child Growth and Development-Learn about child development and growth.
Curriculum of Early Childhood Education-In this class you learn how to design curriculum.
Early Childhood Education Elective-Choose another elective that interests you.
English Composition-Get those writing skills in tip top shape. (Note: If you have transcripts from another college, you may not need to take some basic classes.)
Computer Applications-Learn better ways to use the computer.
More Super Semesters.
ECE Selection Site 3-More onsite course work.
Working with Preschoolers-Learn about preschoolers and the activities and experiences they need.
Infant and Toddler Care-Learn about what babies and toddlers need.
Science Elective-Choose a science elective. I took Biology.
Interpersonal Communication-Learn how to forge relationships and communicate in the workplace.
Play in the Lives of Young Children-This class was interesting, learning about the power and importance of play in development and growth.
Working with Children with Special Needs-This class is crucially important, as special needs children are integrated more and more into the everyday classroom.
ECE Site Selection-Final onsite work.
Guidance in Early Childhood Education-You will learn guidelines and ideas for working with children.
Mathematics for Business and Finance-Basic and foundational math principals.
Child, Family and Community-Learn to be an advocate for children and learn what best practices are when working with kids.
ECE Elective-Choose one last elective that appeals to you. I chose to submit a children’s story I had wrote. This led me to publish my first children’s book, Don’t Eat Your Boogers (You’ll Turn Green).
Field Experience-Spend 300 hours in a early childhood center. You have a minimum of 12 weeks, maximum six months to get it done.
***Note: A proctored exam was required to complete each semester.***
Other Things to Consider.
The subjects covered in getting your Early Childhood Degree aren’t much different than the classes required for other degrees. I found learning about children to be a lot of fun. Overall, it was a pretty easy degree to attain with the exception of all the work you have to do. You have to have a passion for children. You have to want to make a difference. However, that is not all you will need beyond your teaching degree.
Other skills you will need as an Early Childhood Education teacher include:
- Logic and Reasoning
- The ability to discipline
You can read more about the many roles you will have here.
As I mentioned in last week’s post, getting my degree online was the best decision I ever made. You can read more about my journey here.
Options Through Penn Foster.
If getting your degree online is still appealing to you, here are the various programs Penn Foster offers in Early Childhood Education.
There are all kinds of rewards you will get working with children. Hugs in the morning when they first come in. Loving, laughing, and playing all day. You will teach them and they will teach you. I think one of my biggest rewards was getting the validity and courage to publish my first children’s book, Don’t Eat Your Boogers (You’ll Turn Green). If I hadn’t worked in daycare, I never would have had that pure audience to gauge weather it was something kids would like or not. I truly couldn’t have done it without the kids in the school age room.
If you are on the fence, I hope last week’s post combined with today’s post will help you make an informed decision. The classes are easy, the tuition is low, and you don’t have to take time off work. You can study at your own pace and on your own time. You can still have time for family and friends on the weekends. This is because you take one class at a time. You can still have a work/study/life balance. It is truly a win-win for all involved. Enroll today and you will be on your way to days filled with sun, fun, and play.