The Early Childhood A.A.S. degree prepares students for employment as an assistant or head teacher in a program working with children from birth to Grade 2, as a teaching assistant in a public school, Head Start, family child care provider or nanny. Graduates of the Early Childhood A.A.S. program may also choose to transfer to a four-year teacher transfer institution upon graduation. Students who plan to transfer should consult an advisor in the Human Services and Teacher Education Department.
Completing 9 credit hours in early childhood education (and experience related to caring for children) meets the qualification for head of group for preschoolers and school-aged children required by the New York State Department of Social Services day care Licensing Regulations. Courses within this area also meet the formal training requirement for the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential awarded by the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition in Washington, D.C. Prospective students with a current Child Development Associate (CDA) credential may receive three transfer credits toward the Early Childhood A.A.S. degree.
The program includes one 25-hour field placement and two 100-hour field placements in an approved early childhood program. Students must have a GPA of 2.0 or better to take fieldwork courses and are required to have a medical exam, tuberculin test, background check and fingerprinting before beginning field placements.
Academic and professional competence will be periodically reviewed by the faculty. Students in the Early Childhood A.A.S. program must earn a grade of C or better in EDU, HUM or ASA courses to graduate from the program.
Onondaga Community College also offers a 30-credit hour Early Child Care Certificate. All of the credits earned in the certificate program can be applied to the Early Childhood A.A.S. The Early Childhood A.A.S. and Early Child Care Cerrtificate programs are available for completion online. The Early Childhood A.A.S. degree program at Onondaga Community College is accredited by the Commission on Early Childhood Higher Education Programs of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, 1313 L Street NW, Suite 500, Washington DC 20005. (800) 424- 2460 ext. 8007.
The mission of the Early Childhood AAS is to introduce students to theories of Child Development and Early Childhood Education and the integration of theory and practice.
Program Learning Outcomes
- Use knowledge of child development and of individual children to create healthy, respectful, supportive and challenging learning environments. (NAEYC Standard 1)
- Demonstrate an understanding of culturally diverse children, families and their communities and sensitivity to social justice. (NAEYC Standard 2)
- Observe, document and assess children’s development and learning in partnership with families. (NAEYC Standard 3)
- Use developmentally effective approaches to connect with children and families. (NAEYC Standard 4)
- Use content knowledge to build meaningful curriculum. (NAEYC Standard 5)
- Demonstrate an awareness of the NAEYC Code of Ethics and dispositions of the early childhood profession. (NAEYC Standard 6)
Students in the Early Childhood A.A.S. program must earn a grade of C or better in EDU, HUM or ASA courses to graduate from the program.