Social Services & Education Pathway

Early Childhood Education - AAS

Associate in Applied Science

You're passionate about improving others' lives—whether you're educating young minds, helping others get in shape, or observing human interaction, you can begin making a difference with our Social Services and Education Pathway.

The Early Childhood Education degrees are designed to provide persons interested in working with children a systematic study of the care, development, and education of children from birth to age eight. Students gain the knowledge and competency necessary for a professional career working with young children.

Students will demonstrate an understanding of the key elements of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators (naeyc.org) and the Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families Core Competencies for Early Care and Education Professionals (dcyf.wa.gov/

At the completion for the Early Childhood Education Program, the successful student will be able to:

  • Critically thinking in order to analyze, evaluate and solve problems using multiple methodologies
  • Having multicultural awareness thru exhibiting an understanding of the ways economic, political, social, and culture factors impact identity and interactions
  • Computation through identification, understanding and communicating the differences between quantitative and qualitative date and be able to explain results
  • Demonstrating ethics through identifying complex ethical issues and recognizing and evaluating interrelationships of related issues
  • Communicating effectively through written and verbal communications skills

The Early Childhood Education AAS degree can be completed in three years attending evenings only or in two years with a combination of day and evening courses. The majority of ECED and EDUC courses meet in the evening. Practicums (ECED& 120, ECED 205 and ECED 250) require daytime hours. Many ECED and EDUC courses require observation hours in addition to class time. See course outlines for details. Students can enter the program any quarter but are strongly encouraged to meet with an ECE faculty for detailed information necessary for planning their degree. Contact (360) 596-5387 for advising day information.

  1. Students planning to transfer to a four-year college or university should work closely with an advisor to ensure maximum transfer of credits.
  2. ECED& 107 requires CPR/First Aid and a Food Handlers Cards be obtained while taking this class.
  3. To successfully complete the practicum experiences in ECED& 120, ECED 205 and ECED 250, students will volunteer in a Head Start, school or child care center which will require a Department of Early Learning portable background check and   requires a tuberculosis test.
  4. ECED/EDUC courses may be taken in any order, except ECED 205, ECED 250 and ECED 238. It is recommended but not necessary to take ECED& 105 first.  It is recommended but not necessary to get the ECE stackable certificates while obtaining your ECE degree. 
  5. Grades of “C” or better must be obtained in all courses with an EDUC or ECED prefix to apply to the ECE degree or certificates.
  6. It is possible to receive up to 12 credits toward the degree for students having a Child Development Associate (C.D.A.) credential. See advisor for details.
  7. An alternative pathway is the Associate in Applied Science (AAS-T) degree which can be used to transfer to many four year colleges and universities.

Quarter Plan

Search Schedule

Quarter 1

Students have several options for their starting point. Some students may start in our Transition Studies programs: Adult Basic Education, ESL, High School+, and Basic Computer Skills.

Quarter 2

Choose One:

ENGL090 5cr Integrated Reading and Writing I
Introduces students to college-level reading and writing. Focuses on reading strategies, critical thinking, and writing unified paragraphs. ENGL 090 classes are combined with ENGL 095 classes, and students who demonstrate ENGL 095 proficiency may earn ENGL 095 credit. Prerequisite: Appropriate placement or an �S� in ABE 054, ABE 055, ESL 065, ESL 066, IE 065, or IE 066.
-OR-
ENGL095 5cr Integrated Reading and Writing II
Prepares students for entry into college-level writing courses. Focuses on reading analytically, thinking critically, and writing coherent, well-supported texts. Prerequisite: Appropriate placement based on Reading & English CPT scores or transition test.
Choose One

MATH092 5cr Mathematical Reasoning
Introduces operations with rational numbers, applications, problem solving skills, expressions, solving linear equations, and graphing linear relationships.
-OR-
ABE065 5cr Contextualized Math II
Introduces operations with rational numbers, applications and problem solving skills, expressions, solving linear equations, and graphing linear relationships through direct instruction and contextualized application. Prepares students for high school completion, employment, or MATH& 107/MATH& 146 with concurrent MATH 096 enrollment. Prerequisite: Appropriate placement or an 'S' in ABE 064 or a 'U, P, V, W' in ABE 065.

Note: ABE065/MATTH092 is only needed if a student will take CMATH107/MATH&107

Quarter 3

ECED&105 5cr Introduction to Early Childhood Education
Explores the foundations of early childhood education. Examines theories defining the field, issues, trends, best practices, and program models. Observes children, professionals and programs in action. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee

ECED&107 5cr Health/Safety/Nutrition
Introduces implementation of equitable health, safety, and nutrition standards for the growing child in group care. Focuses on federal Child Care Block Grant funding (CCDF) requirements, WA State licensing, and Head Start Performance standards. Emphasizes skills necessary to keep children healthy and safe, to report abuse and neglect, and to connect families to community resources. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee

ECED&120 2cr Practicum-Nurturing Relationship
Engages in establishing nurturing, supportive relationships with all children and professional peers in an early learning setting. Focuses on children's health and safety, promoting growth and development, and creating a culturally responsive environment. 30 hours in ECE setting required. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee

CCS101 3cr Pathways to Success
Cultivates the mind-set and skills necessary for students to become confident, reflective, self-directing, and successful learners.

Quarter 4

Choose One:

ENGL&101 5cr English Composition I
Develops strategies and techniques writers use to convey ideas and participate in multiple discourse communities. Focuses on both the process and product of composing. Fees: $12.00 Humanities/Communications Course Fee

EDUC&115 5cr Child Development
Introduces the foundation for explaining how children develop in all domains, conception through early adolescence. Explores various developmental theories, methods for documenting growth, and impact of brain development. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee

EDUC&130 3cr Guiding Behavior
Examines the principles and theories promoting social competence in young children. Introduces creating safe learning environments, developing skills promoting effective interactions, providing positive individual guidance, and enhancing group experiences. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee

ECED145 3cr Fine Arts Curriculum for Young Children
Introduces teaching methods and curriculum development for children from birth to age eight in art, drama, and music. Explores the role of fine arts curriculum in social emotional, physical, cognitive, creative, and aesthetic development. Nonrefundable supply fee: $20.00. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee; $20.00 Early Childhood Course Fee

Quarter 5

ECED&190 3cr Observation/Assessment
Introduces how to collect and record observation and assessment data in order to plan for and support the child, the family, the group, and the community. Uses reflection techniques, summarizing conclusions, and communicating findings. Requires 8 hours of observation time outside of class hours. Prerequisite: None.

ECED&170 3cr Environments-Young Child
Examines the adult's role in designing, evaluating, and improving indoor and outdoor environments that ensure quality learning, nurturing experiences, and optimize the development of young children. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee
Choose One

MATH101 5cr Technical Mathematics I
Covers the theories and applications of mathematics used in technical fields with emphasis on problem solving strategies, measurement, algebra, geometry, unit conversions and the metric system. Fees: $12.00 Natural Applied Science Course Fee
-OR-
CMATH107 5cr Clippers Math In Society
Gives students the opportunity to complete MATH& 107 in one quarter with prerequisite support as needed. Explores a variety of mathematical topics presenting mathematics as an art and as a tool for understanding the world around us. Designed for non-science majors. Specific topics may be drawn from geometry, number theory, set theory, and the history of mathematics. Students will earn credit for either MATH 095 or MATH& 107 at the conclusion of the course. CLIPPERS courses combine the prerequisite courses with the college-level course and are taught with a focus on video-based instruction. Fees: $12.00 Natural Applied Science Course Fee
Choose One Human Relations / Diversity (5cr)
Recommended:

PSYC116 5cr Psychology of Human Relations: Diversity
Introduces students to the psychology of human relationships. Examines how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors impact communication in a multicultural world. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee
-OR-
HUM121 5cr Multicultural America: Diversity
Explores the history, cultures, and contributions of race and ethnic groups in the United States and the complex notion of an 'American' identity. Analyzes the impacts of power, privilege, and socialization on our understanding of race and ethnicity. Fees: $12.00 Humanities/Communications Course Fee
-OR-
CMST&210 5cr Interpersonal Communication: Diversity
Focuses on understanding and developing interpersonal communication skills needed to build and maintain healthy one-on-one relationships in both personal and professional contexts. Examines how diverse communication styles can impact relationships. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Humanities/Communications Course Fee
-OR-
CMST&230 5cr Small Group Communication: Diversity
Introduces small group communication theories and concepts with applications. Explores the communication processes used when people enter diverse organizational contexts or interact in professional and everyday life small groups. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Humanities/Communications Course Fee

Quarter 6

EDUC&204 5cr Inclusive Education
Introduces recognition and identification of exceptionality in children from birth through high school. Explores policies and regulations concerning state and federal provisions of special education and related services, as well as adaptations for serving students with special needs in general education classrooms. Requires 10 hours of observation time outside of class hours. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee

EDUC&150 3cr Child/Family/Community
Examines how teachers integrate into education programs the family and community contexts in which a child develops. Explores cultures and demographics of families, community resources, strategies for involving families in the education of their child, and tools for effective communication. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee

ECED&180 3cr Lang/Literacy Develop
Introduces strategies for language acquisition and literacy skill development at each developmental stage (birth-age 8) through the four interrelated areas of speaking, listening, writing, and reading. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee

EDUC240 5cr Diversity In Education: Diversity
Explores diversity and social justice issues influencing educational settings. Students will examine in depth the historical and current impact of children's, teachers', and families' cultural, social, and political context in schools. Was formerly known as ECED 235, Educating Young Children in a Diverse Society: Diversity. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee

Quarter 7

ECED205 3cr Practicum II
Provides students the opportunity to practice guidance techniques, powerful interactions with children, and working cooperatively with staff. Students participate in 60 hours of supervised observation in a single early childhood education (ECE) setting. 1 hour seminar per week. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee

ECED141 3cr Math and Science Curriculum for Young Children
Introduces the process of curriculum construction for teaching mathematical and science concepts for children from birth to age eight. Includes theory and practical skills for providing developmentally appropriate math and science experiences. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee

ECED&160 5cr Curriculum Development
Investigate learning theory, program planning, and tools for curriculum development promoting language, fine/gross motor, social-emotional, cognitive and creative skills and growth in young children (birth-age 8). Requires 10 hours of observation time outside of class hours. This course was formerly known as ECE 240. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee
Choose One (Program Elective)

ECED&100 3cr Child Care Basics
Prepares students to meet licensing requirements for early learning lead teachers and family home child care providers, STARS 30 hour basics course recognized in the MERIT system. Emphasizes child growth/development, cultural responsiveness, community resources, guidance, health/safety/nutrition and professional practices. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $8.00/Unit Online Course Fee
-OR-
ECED&132 3cr Infants/Toddlers Care
Examines the unique developmental needs of infants and toddlers. Covers the role of the caregiver, relationships with families, developmentally appropriate practices, nurturing environments for infants and toddlers, and culturally retentive care. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee
-OR-
ECED&134 3cr Family Child Care
Prepares students to manage a family childcare program. Examines requirements in licensing, record-keeping, relationship building, communication strategies, guiding behavior, and promoting growth and development. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $8.00 per Unit Online Course Fee
-OR-
ECED&138 3cr Home VIsiting and Family Engagement
Introduces how to plan and provide home visits and group activities, promote secure parent-child relationships, and support families to provide high-quality early learning opportunities embedded in everyday routines and experiences. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee
-OR-
ECED&139 3cr Administrative Early Learning Program
Introduces administrative skills required to develop, operate, manage and improve early childhood education and care programs. Introduces basic business management skills, and how to build resources and supports for meeting Washington State licensing and professional NAEYC standards. Prerequisite: None.
-OR-
ECED275 5cr Current Issues in Brain Development
Examines how the brain develops, research and reports on current research and trends in brain development and the applications and implications for educating or working with children and adults. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee
-OR-
EDUC&136 3cr School Age Care
Introduces skills to provide developmentally appropriate and culturally relevant activities/care for children ages 5-12 in a variety of settings. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee
-OR-
SOC225 5cr Sociology of the Family: Diversity
Focuses on a sociological approach to the social institution of the family including historical, multi-cultural and contemporary theoretical perspectives. Examines the micro (interpersonal) and macro (societal) approaches in studying the family. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee
-OR-
PSYC&200 5cr Lifespan Psychology
Studies the development and changes in human behavior from conception to death with focus on biological, cultural, and social influences. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee

Quarter 8

ECED250 4cr Practicum III
Explores techniques in supervising groups of children and working as a staff member. Students will also apply skills by teaching under supervision in an early childhood education (ECE) setting for 75 hours per quarter. Prerequisite: ECED 205 and instructor's permission. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee

ECED238 3cr Professionalism
Explores professional behavior and resources in early childhood education. Students will also learn reflective teaching and mentoring practices. Prerequisite: Instructor's permission. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee
Choose One Communication (5cr)
Recommended:

CMST&210 5cr Interpersonal Communication: Diversity
Focuses on understanding and developing interpersonal communication skills needed to build and maintain healthy one-on-one relationships in both personal and professional contexts. Examines how diverse communication styles can impact relationships. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Humanities/Communications Course Fee
-OR-
CMST&220 5cr Public Speaking
Introduces oral communication theory and public speaking/listening practice as applied to a variety of settings and audiences. Students will learn to verbally inform and persuade an audience using a variety of speech types. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Humanities/Communications Course Fee
-OR-
CMST&230 5cr Small Group Communication: Diversity
Introduces small group communication theories and concepts with applications. Explores the communication processes used when people enter diverse organizational contexts or interact in professional and everyday life small groups. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Humanities/Communications Course Fee
Choose One (Program Elective)

ECED&100 3cr Child Care Basics
Prepares students to meet licensing requirements for early learning lead teachers and family home child care providers, STARS 30 hour basics course recognized in the MERIT system. Emphasizes child growth/development, cultural responsiveness, community resources, guidance, health/safety/nutrition and professional practices. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $8.00/Unit Online Course Fee
-OR-
ECED&132 3cr Infants/Toddlers Care
Examines the unique developmental needs of infants and toddlers. Covers the role of the caregiver, relationships with families, developmentally appropriate practices, nurturing environments for infants and toddlers, and culturally retentive care. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee
-OR-
ECED&134 3cr Family Child Care
Prepares students to manage a family childcare program. Examines requirements in licensing, record-keeping, relationship building, communication strategies, guiding behavior, and promoting growth and development. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $8.00 per Unit Online Course Fee
-OR-
ECED&138 3cr Home VIsiting and Family Engagement
Introduces how to plan and provide home visits and group activities, promote secure parent-child relationships, and support families to provide high-quality early learning opportunities embedded in everyday routines and experiences. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee
-OR-
ECED&139 3cr Administrative Early Learning Program
Introduces administrative skills required to develop, operate, manage and improve early childhood education and care programs. Introduces basic business management skills, and how to build resources and supports for meeting Washington State licensing and professional NAEYC standards. Prerequisite: None.
-OR-
ECED275 5cr Current Issues in Brain Development
Examines how the brain develops, research and reports on current research and trends in brain development and the applications and implications for educating or working with children and adults. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee
-OR-
EDUC&136 3cr School Age Care
Introduces skills to provide developmentally appropriate and culturally relevant activities/care for children ages 5-12 in a variety of settings. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee
-OR-
SOC225 5cr Sociology of the Family: Diversity
Focuses on a sociological approach to the social institution of the family including historical, multi-cultural and contemporary theoretical perspectives. Examines the micro (interpersonal) and macro (societal) approaches in studying the family. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee
-OR-
PSYC&200 5cr Lifespan Psychology
Studies the development and changes in human behavior from conception to death with focus on biological, cultural, and social influences. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee

Quarter 9

Choose One (Program Elective)

ECED&100 3cr Child Care Basics
Prepares students to meet licensing requirements for early learning lead teachers and family home child care providers, STARS 30 hour basics course recognized in the MERIT system. Emphasizes child growth/development, cultural responsiveness, community resources, guidance, health/safety/nutrition and professional practices. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $8.00/Unit Online Course Fee
-OR-
ECED&132 3cr Infants/Toddlers Care
Examines the unique developmental needs of infants and toddlers. Covers the role of the caregiver, relationships with families, developmentally appropriate practices, nurturing environments for infants and toddlers, and culturally retentive care. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee
-OR-
ECED&134 3cr Family Child Care
Prepares students to manage a family childcare program. Examines requirements in licensing, record-keeping, relationship building, communication strategies, guiding behavior, and promoting growth and development. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $8.00 per Unit Online Course Fee
-OR-
ECED&138 3cr Home VIsiting and Family Engagement
Introduces how to plan and provide home visits and group activities, promote secure parent-child relationships, and support families to provide high-quality early learning opportunities embedded in everyday routines and experiences. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee
-OR-
ECED&139 3cr Administrative Early Learning Program
Introduces administrative skills required to develop, operate, manage and improve early childhood education and care programs. Introduces basic business management skills, and how to build resources and supports for meeting Washington State licensing and professional NAEYC standards. Prerequisite: None.
-OR-
ECED275 5cr Current Issues in Brain Development
Examines how the brain develops, research and reports on current research and trends in brain development and the applications and implications for educating or working with children and adults. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee
-OR-
EDUC&136 3cr School Age Care
Introduces skills to provide developmentally appropriate and culturally relevant activities/care for children ages 5-12 in a variety of settings. Prerequisite: None. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee
-OR-
SOC225 5cr Sociology of the Family: Diversity
Focuses on a sociological approach to the social institution of the family including historical, multi-cultural and contemporary theoretical perspectives. Examines the micro (interpersonal) and macro (societal) approaches in studying the family. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee
-OR-
PSYC&200 5cr Lifespan Psychology
Studies the development and changes in human behavior from conception to death with focus on biological, cultural, and social influences. Fees: $12.00 Social Science/Business Course Fee

Revision Date: 

Tuesday, May 02, 2023