Early Childhood Education

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The Early Childhood Education curriculum prepares individuals to work with children from birth through eight in diverse learning environments. Students will combine learned theories with practice in actual settings with young children under the supervision of qualified teachers.

Course work 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.

Graduates are prepared to plan and implement developmentally appropriate programs in early childhood settings. Employment opportunities include child development and child care programs, preschools, public and private schools, recreational centers, Head Start Programs, and school-age programs.

Learning Outcomes

  • Create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging based on their knowledge of child development.
  • Create respectful, reciprocal relationships that support and empower families, and involve all families in their children’s development and learning.
  • Use systematic observations, documentation, and other effective assessment strategies in a partnership with families and other professionals to positively influence children’s development.

Contact Information

Image of Melissa Holt
Melissa Holt, MA
Lead Instructor - Early Childhood
Phone: 336-838-6587
mgholt993@wilkescc.edu

Pathways

Course Requirements

    First Year - Fall Semester
    • ACA 122 College Transfer Success

      This course provides information and strategies necessary to develop clear academic and professional goals beyond the community college experience. Topics include the CAA, college policies and culture, career exploration, gathering information on senior institutions, strategic planning, critical thinking, and communications skills for a successful academic transition. Upon completion, students should be able to develop an academic plan to transition successfully to senior institutions.

    • EDU 119

    • EDU 131 Child, Family, and Community

      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. Upon completion, students should be able to identify appropriate relationship building strategies between diverse families, children birth through adolescence, schools, and communities and demonstrate a variety of communication skills including appropriate use of technology to support every child.

    • EDU 144 Child Development I

      This course includes the theories of child development, observation and assessment, milestones, and factors that influence development, from conception through approximately 36 months. Emphasis is placed on knowledge, observation and assessment of developmental sequences in approaches to play/learning, emotional/social, health/physical, language/communication and cognitive domains. Upon completion, students should be able to compare/contrast typical/atypical developmental characteristics, explain biological and environmental factors that impact development, and identify evidence-based strategies for enhancing development for children that are culturally, linguistically, and ability diverse.

    • ENG 111 Writing and Inquiry

      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.

    • PSY 150 General Psychology

      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.

    First Year - Spring Semester
    • EDU 145 Child Development II

      This course includes the theories of child development, observation and assessment, milestones, and factors that influence development, from preschool through middle childhood. Emphasis is placed on knowledge, observation and assessment of developmental sequences in approaches to play/learning, emotional/social, health/physical, language/communication and cognitive domains. Upon completion, students should be able to compare/contrast typical/atypical developmental characteristics, explain biological and environmental factors that impact development, and identify evidence-based strategies for enhancing development for children that are culturally, linguistically, and ability diverse.

    • EDU 146 Child Guidance

      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. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate direct/indirect strategies to encourage social skills, self-regulation, emotional expression and positive behaviors while recognizing the relationship between children's social, emotional and cognitive development.

    • EDU 151

    • EDU 216 Foundations of Education

      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.

    • ENG 112 Writing and Research in the Disciplines

      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.

    • MAT 143 Quantitative Literacy

      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. Emphasis is placed on authentic contexts which will introduce the concepts of numeracy, proportional reasoning, dimensional analysis, rates of growth, personal finance, consumer statistics, practical probabilities, and mathematics for citizenship. Upon completion, students should be able to utilize quantitative information as consumers and to make personal, professional, and civic decisions by decoding, interpreting, using, and communicating quantitative information found in modern media and encountered in everyday life.

    Second Year - Fall Semester
    • BIO 110 Principles of Biology

      This course provides a survey of fundamental biological principles for non-science majors. Emphasis is placed on basic chemistry, cell biology, metabolism, genetics, evolution, ecology, diversity, and other related topics. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate increased knowledge and better understanding of biology as it applies to everyday life.

    • EDU 153 Health, Safety and Nutrition

      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.

    • EDU 221 Children With Exceptionalities

      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. Upon completion, students should be able to recognize diverse abilities, describe the referral process, identify community resources, explain the importance of collaboration with families/professionals, and develop appropriate strategies/adaptations to support children in all environments with best practices as defined by laws, policies and the NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development.

    • EDU 234 Infants, Toddlers, and Twos

      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. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate responsive curriculum planning, respectful relationships and exposure to a variety of developmentally appropriate experiences/materials that support a foundation for healthy development and growth of culturally, linguistically and ability diverse children birth to 36 months.

    • EDU 250 Teacher Licensure Preparation

      This course provides information and strategies necessary for transfer to a teacher licensure program at a senior institution. Topics include entry level teacher licensure exam preparation, performance based assessment systems, requirements for entry into teacher education programs, the process to become a licensed teacher in North Carolina, and professionalism including expectations within the field of education. Upon completion, students should be able to utilize educational terminology and demonstrate knowledge of teacher licensure processes including exam preparation, technology based portfolio assessment, and secondary admissions processes to the school of education at a senior institution.

    • PHY 110 Conceptual Physics

      This course provides a conceptually-based exposure to the fundamental principles and processes of the physical world. Topics include basic concepts of motion, forces, energy, heat, electricity, magnetism, and the structure of matter and the universe. Upon completion, students should be able to describe examples and applications of the principles studied.

    • PHY 110A Conceptual Physics Lab

      This course is a laboratory for PHY 110. Emphasis is placed on laboratory experiences that enhance materials presented in PHY 110. Upon completion, students should be able to apply the laboratory experiences to the concepts presented in PHY 110.

    Second Year - Spring Semester
    • COM 231 Public Speaking

      This course provides instruction and experience in preparation and delivery of speeches within a public setting and group discussion. Emphasis is placed on research, preparation, delivery, and evaluation of informative, persuasive, and special occasion public speaking. Upon completion, students should be able to prepare and deliver well-organized speeches and participate in group discussion with appropriate audiovisual support.

    • EDU 280 Language and Literacy Experiences

      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. Upon completion, students should be able to select, plan, implement and evaluate developmentally appropriate language and literacy experiences for children who are culturally, linguistically and ability diverse.

    • EDU 284 Early Childhood Capstone Practicum

      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. Upon completion, students should be able to apply NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development to demonstrate developmentally appropriate plans/assessments, appropriate guidance techniques and ethical/professional behaviors, including the use of appropriate technology, as indicated by assignments and onsite faculty assessments.

    • Humanities and Fine Arts Elective

      Following are humanities and fine arts elective courses that are recommended for fulfilling humanities and fine arts elective requirements. All of the courses listed earn a minimum of three semester hours of credit. Other courses with humanities and fine arts elective prefixes may be suitable for these requirements as well. Students should discuss all course selections with their advisor before registration. ART 111, ART 114, ART 115, ART 121, ART 131, ART 132, ART 240, ART 241, ART 283, ART 284, DRA 111, ENG 125, ENG 126, ENG 231, ENG 232, ENG 241, ENG 242, ENG 261, ENG 262, HUM 110, HUM 115, HUM 120, HUM 121, HUM 122, HUM 123, HUM 130, HUM 150, HUM 160, HUM 161, HUM 170, HUM 180, HUM 220, MUS 110, MUS 112, MUS 114, MUS 210, PHI 240, REL 110, REL 211, REL 212

    • Social/Behavioral Science Elective

      Select ONE course from HIS 111, HIS 112, HIS 131, HIS 132, SOC 210

    Course Requirements

      First Year - Fall Semester
      • ACA 122 College Transfer Success

        This course provides information and strategies necessary to develop clear academic and professional goals beyond the community college experience. Topics include the CAA, college policies and culture, career exploration, gathering information on senior institutions, strategic planning, critical thinking, and communications skills for a successful academic transition. Upon completion, students should be able to develop an academic plan to transition successfully to senior institutions.

      • EDU 119

      • EDU 131 Child, Family, and Community

        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. Upon completion, students should be able to identify appropriate relationship building strategies between diverse families, children birth through adolescence, schools, and communities and demonstrate a variety of communication skills including appropriate use of technology to support every child.

      • EDU 144 Child Development I

        This course includes the theories of child development, observation and assessment, milestones, and factors that influence development, from conception through approximately 36 months. Emphasis is placed on knowledge, observation and assessment of developmental sequences in approaches to play/learning, emotional/social, health/physical, language/communication and cognitive domains. Upon completion, students should be able to compare/contrast typical/atypical developmental characteristics, explain biological and environmental factors that impact development, and identify evidence-based strategies for enhancing development for children that are culturally, linguistically, and ability diverse.

      • ENG 111 Writing and Inquiry

        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.

      • PSY 150 General Psychology

        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.

      First Year - Spring Semester
      • COM 231 Public Speaking

        This course provides instruction and experience in preparation and delivery of speeches within a public setting and group discussion. Emphasis is placed on research, preparation, delivery, and evaluation of informative, persuasive, and special occasion public speaking. Upon completion, students should be able to prepare and deliver well-organized speeches and participate in group discussion with appropriate audiovisual support.

      • EDU 145 Child Development II

        This course includes the theories of child development, observation and assessment, milestones, and factors that influence development, from preschool through middle childhood. Emphasis is placed on knowledge, observation and assessment of developmental sequences in approaches to play/learning, emotional/social, health/physical, language/communication and cognitive domains. Upon completion, students should be able to compare/contrast typical/atypical developmental characteristics, explain biological and environmental factors that impact development, and identify evidence-based strategies for enhancing development for children that are culturally, linguistically, and ability diverse.

      • EDU 146 Child Guidance

        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. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate direct/indirect strategies to encourage social skills, self-regulation, emotional expression and positive behaviors while recognizing the relationship between children's social, emotional and cognitive development.

      • EDU 151

      • ENG 112 Writing and Research in the Disciplines

        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.

      • MAT 143 Quantitative Literacy

        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. Emphasis is placed on authentic contexts which will introduce the concepts of numeracy, proportional reasoning, dimensional analysis, rates of growth, personal finance, consumer statistics, practical probabilities, and mathematics for citizenship. Upon completion, students should be able to utilize quantitative information as consumers and to make personal, professional, and civic decisions by decoding, interpreting, using, and communicating quantitative information found in modern media and encountered in everyday life.

      Second Year - Fall Semester
      • BIO 110 Principles of Biology

        This course provides a survey of fundamental biological principles for non-science majors. Emphasis is placed on basic chemistry, cell biology, metabolism, genetics, evolution, ecology, diversity, and other related topics. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate increased knowledge and better understanding of biology as it applies to everyday life.

      • EDU 153 Health, Safety and Nutrition

        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.

      • EDU 221 Children With Exceptionalities

        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. Upon completion, students should be able to recognize diverse abilities, describe the referral process, identify community resources, explain the importance of collaboration with families/professionals, and develop appropriate strategies/adaptations to support children in all environments with best practices as defined by laws, policies and the NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development.

      • EDU 234 Infants, Toddlers, and Twos

        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. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate responsive curriculum planning, respectful relationships and exposure to a variety of developmentally appropriate experiences/materials that support a foundation for healthy development and growth of culturally, linguistically and ability diverse children birth to 36 months.

      • EDU 261 Early Childhood Administration I

        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.

      • PHY 110 Conceptual Physics

        This course provides a conceptually-based exposure to the fundamental principles and processes of the physical world. Topics include basic concepts of motion, forces, energy, heat, electricity, magnetism, and the structure of matter and the universe. Upon completion, students should be able to describe examples and applications of the principles studied.

      • PHY 110A Conceptual Physics Lab

        This course is a laboratory for PHY 110. Emphasis is placed on laboratory experiences that enhance materials presented in PHY 110. Upon completion, students should be able to apply the laboratory experiences to the concepts presented in PHY 110.

      Second Year - Spring Semester
      • EDU 262 Early Childhood Administration II

        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.

      • EDU 280 Language and Literacy Experiences

        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. Upon completion, students should be able to select, plan, implement and evaluate developmentally appropriate language and literacy experiences for children who are culturally, linguistically and ability diverse.

      • EDU 284 Early Childhood Capstone Practicum

        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. Upon completion, students should be able to apply NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development to demonstrate developmentally appropriate plans/assessments, appropriate guidance techniques and ethical/professional behaviors, including the use of appropriate technology, as indicated by assignments and onsite faculty assessments.

      • Humanities and Fine Arts Elective

        Following are humanities and fine arts elective courses that are recommended for fulfilling humanities and fine arts elective requirements. All of the courses listed earn a minimum of three semester hours of credit. Other courses with humanities and fine arts elective prefixes may be suitable for these requirements as well. Students should discuss all course selections with their advisor before registration. ART 111, ART 114, ART 115, ART 121, ART 131, ART 132, ART 240, ART 241, ART 283, ART 284, DRA 111, ENG 125, ENG 126, ENG 231, ENG 232, ENG 241, ENG 242, ENG 261, ENG 262, HUM 110, HUM 115, HUM 120, HUM 121, HUM 122, HUM 123, HUM 130, HUM 150, HUM 160, HUM 161, HUM 170, HUM 180, HUM 220, MUS 110, MUS 112, MUS 114, MUS 210, PHI 240, REL 110, REL 211, REL 212

      • Social/Behavioral Science Elective

        Following are social/behavioral science elective courses that are recommended for fulfilling social/behavioral science elective requirements. All of the courses listed earn a minimum of three semester hours of credit. Other courses with social/behavioral science elective prefixes may be suitable for these requirements as well. Students should discuss all course selections with their advisor before registration. ANT 220, ECO 151, ECO 251, ECO 252, GEO 111, GEO 130, HIS 111, HIS 112, HIS 116, HIS 121, HIS 122, HIS 131, HIS 132, HIS 145, HIS 163, HIS 211, POL 120, POL 130, POL 220, PSY 118, PSY 150, PSY 241, PSY 281,