EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
Associate of Applied Science
This program provides students with knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with guiding the social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive development of children from birth to age ten in a variety of educational and childcare settings. The program allows for increased marketability for direct entry into the workforce in an entry-level position with an early childhood education provider and affords those currently employed by early childhood education providers with professional growth opportunities.
Major coursework involves studying instructional and classroom design; concepts and methods of instruction; identifying the needs of typical and atypical children; and child development, as well as communication strategies for early learning providers to engage with children and their families, are researched and practiced through the program coursework.
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What You'll Learn
Early Childhood Education
In interactive class sessions, students may be involved in learning experiences that include:
Play! To be able to teach young children, ECE students engage in play with toys, blocks, puppets, and early learning manipulatives to design and model instructional strategies for children.
Art experiences to develop personal creativity and share creative expression with children.
Reading children’s books that have been selected for entertainment and/or instructional goals.
Experimenting with developmentally appropriate science concepts to encourage inquiry and exploration of natural sciences with children.
Practicing skill development in handwriting, reading, counting, and mathematical processes.
Studying child development with sensitivity to the diverse and exceptional needs of children and families.
Role playing parent communication, child behavior management, and scaffolded learning strategies.
Career Outlook in Early Childhood Education
Career opportunities include assistant teacher, paraprofessional (teacher’s aide), group supervisor, school-aged childcare, and community organization staff.
Graduates are eligible to own and operate a home childcare program or serve as a lead teacher in certain settings.
The program establishes a foundation that permits students to prepare for a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.
There are 5,690 projected annual job openings in Pennsylvania for Childcare Workers. (O*Net OnLine)
Child Development Associate
The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential is the most widely recognized credential in the Early Childhood Education field. Students at NPRC can choose a CDA age level for Infant-Toddler, Preschool, Family Child Care, or Home Visitor. The program is offered over a 39-week schedule with scheduled remote class participation.
This program establishes foundational business knowledge, skills, and abilities for increased marketability. Students have the opportunity to select between two specializations: General Business or Business Information Systems. General business courses are designed to go beyond the foundational level of information, while the business information systems track equips students with skills in technology, data, and information systems.
Students in this program study human behavior and the social environment in addition to expanding their world view with courses in psychology, sociology, human development, world religions, and human diversity. Select courses within the program are aligned with the Council on Social Work Education’s Social Work Competencies. Students earning this degree have a competitive advantage for entry-level career opportunities with social and human service agencies.
Early Childhood Education FAQ's
See What Our Students Have to Say
Growing up in rural Potter County, Pennsylvania meant if I wanted good educational and employment opportunities, I would have to move. When NPRC started offering classes less than 30 minutes from my home (almost an hour closer than the next closest college), my future was no longer dependent on living in a more urban area. I received a quality education without spending the tens of thousands of dollars on room and board a traditional school would have required. And now, I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of the team making this story possible for so many other people in rural Pennsylvania. NPRC’s mission is a necessary one, helping serve a part of the population that has lacked affordable and quality higher education for decades. This school helped me avoid debt, find my path in life, and now, I have a job I love and opportunities I never expected.
- Brian, NPRC Graduate
While attending NPRC, I am enrolled in 16 credits and working toward a degree in business administration. This switch is already positively benefitting me as a student. I have been keeping up with classes and shifting out of bad habits that may hinder my success. As someone who is diagnosed with anxiety and ADHD, it sometimes gets hard to effectively communicate. However, NPRC continues to provide opportunities to not only challenge myself, but to help me grow as a student, and more importantly, as a person. NPRC was my second chance. My second chance to help me build myself better, and I feel like my future is already better than what it was before NPRC.
-Noah, Business Administration Student
My time at Northern Pennsylvania Regional College has been a great experience even through the COVID-19 pandemic. Never did I imagine doing a year of college in my own home and still be able to be on the Dean’s List and be extremely proud. I am 39 years of age, and it has taken me this long to attempt college. I have to say that starting college at this age was hard. However, everyone at NPRC has made it easy for me to understand what it means to be studious. You can feel the care that is given to you through the staff at NPRC. The instructors are always willing to help and they will always answer the questions that we have. This college is a great way to get started on your new path through life. There are so many options to pick from if you are undecided.
-Claudia, NPRC Graduate
I started with NPRC right after graduating high school in 2018. I was not sure what I wanted to do career-wise, but the criminal justice field had always piqued my interest. Before finishing my two-year degree with NPRC, I decided to transfer to a four-year university to further my education in both sociology and criminal justice. Without the affordability of NPRC and their knowledgeable staff, I would never have dreamed of being where I am today. I will be graduating from RIT in August of 2022 having majored in Sociology and Criminal Justice, as well as having minored in Criminal Justice. I am excited to start a career in the federal Criminal Justice system or within admissions/counseling in higher education. I plan to put myself through law school while working full time after graduating from RIT.
-Ally, Former NPRC Student
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