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Lehigh Carbon Community College

What is an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education?

This program prepares the graduate to work with children aged birth through nine. Students who complete the A.A.S. in Early Childhood Education are qualified as a group supervisor or head teacher in an early care and education program, including Head Start classrooms and childcare centers with children in infant/toddler, preschool or school-age care. With additional experience, graduates can be qualified to be Center Directors. Students who transfer to Bachelor programs work towards Pre-K to fourth grade teacher certification for employment in early childhood or elementary school settings.

The Early Childhood Education A.A.S. (ECE) at LCCC  is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Program Coordinator

 Megan  Strella

Megan Strella

Assistant Professor – EDU
Schnecksville, PA

Early Childhood Education Courses

In this program, you’ll take classes such as:

  • Children’s Growth and Development
  • Integrating the Arts and Play in Early Childhood
  • Integrating Curriculum in Early Childhood
  • Communities and Family
  • Advanced Fieldwork

Special Admissions Program Requirements 

Please note that meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission into the program Additional admission information and requirements are as follows:

  • High school diploma or GED and successful completion of appropriate high school or post-secondary courses
  • Submission of official transcripts of all previous education
  • Acceptable scores on LCCC skills assessment
  • To participate in the required observation/fieldwork experiences, you are responsible for collecting and submitting the following clearances: PA Child Abuse History Clearance, PA State Police Criminal Record Check, FBI clearance including fingerprinting, NSOR verification, and physical examination (with appropriate form completion) and TB screening test
  • A “record” status or failure to meet state or facility standards will prevent you from completion of required fieldwork experiences
  • Special program costs include clearances, health examinations and testing, books, supplies, and transportation to teacher education agencies

Pathway to a Career in Early Childhood Education

Advance your career at your own pace. Each step below transfers credits to the next. Appropriate job titles and average pay ranges are meant to help guide an individual interested in this field; they vary based on individual experience and employer.

Wage information taken from Lightcast Q1 2024 BETA Data Set – QCEW Employees. Wage range is 25%-75% hourly average in surrounding 10-county region.

Four-Year Schools

Pennsylvania offers statewide program-to-program articulation. This allows students who graduate with specific associate degrees to transfer as juniors into a bachelor’s degree program in a similar field of study at a participating four-year college. Learn more about transferring to a four-year school.

Your Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education prepares you to transfer to the following four-year colleges or universities:

Childcare and Head Start Credential Requirements by State

Career positions in early childhood care and education are determined by individual state requirements. At this time, we have determined eligibility for the following states.

Childcare and Head Start Credential Requirements by State

Career positions in early childhood care and education are determined by individual state requirements. At this time, we have determined eligibility for the following states.

Pennsylvania (meets requirements)

Positions and Roles

  • Director, Lead Teacher, or Group Supervisor for a child or school-age care program
  • Assistant Teacher in private academic school

Requirements

Must hold one of the following:

  • Associate of Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education (ECE) or an equivalent degree
  • Associate degree in a related field including 18 ECE credits
  • Associate degree in Elementary Education and 12 ECE credits

Contact Information

The Pennsylvania Key
200 North 3rd Street, 3rd Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101
https://www.pakeys.org/

California (meets requirements)

Child Development Teacher Permit

Requirements

  • Associate degree in Early Childhood Education (ECE)
  • Complete 3 semester units (credits) of supervised field experience

Contact Information

California Commission on Teacher Credentialing
1900 Capitol Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95811-4213

Georgia (meets requirements)

Level VII
Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning – Career levels

Requirements

Associate degree (AA/AS or AAS/AAT) in Early Childhood Education or Child Development

Contact Information

Georgia Professional Standards Commission
Professional Development System
200 Piedmont Avenue SE
Suite 1712 West
Atlanta, GA 30334-9032

https://gapds.decal.ga.gov/default.aspx

Michigan (meets requirements)

MI Registry Career Pathway: https://www.miregistry.org/career-pathway/
Professional Level: P2

Requirements

  • Associate Degree in ECE
  • 60 semester credit hours with at least 18 semester credit hours in ECE

Contact Information

Michigan Registry
2908 Marketplace Drive
Suite 103
Fitchburg, WI 53719

New Jersey (meets requirements)

NJ Registry Career Lattice Levels and Requirements: Degreed Professional Level

Requirements

  • Associate or bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood, Child Development, Human Services, or related fields

Contact Information

NJ Department of Education
PO Box 500
Trenton, NJ 08625-500
https://www.nj.gov/education/ece/

New York (does not meet requirements, prepares for bachelor’s program)

Intervention Specialist Requirements

Requirements:
New York State teachers, administrators, and pupil personnel service providers are required to hold a New York State certificate for employment in the State’s public schools. The Office of Teaching Initiatives issues certificates to certify that an individual has met required degree, coursework, assessment, and experience requirements.

Contact Information
Office of Teaching Initiatives
New York State Education Department
89 Washington Ave., 5N EB
Albany, New York 12234
Email: tcert@nysed.gov
Contact form

Ohio (does not meet requirements, prepares for bachelor’s program)

Intervention Specialist Supplemental Teaching License

Requirements
Educators must meet the following requirements before the Department will issue the initial one-year supplemental license:

  • Hold a currently valid, standard Ohio teaching certificate or license
  • Successfully complete the content assessment for the licensure area
    • Click here for information about educator license exams
  • Be employed in a teaching position requiring the supplemental licensure area in an Ohio school or district

Additional Information

Contact Information
Office of Educator Licensure
25 South Front St., Mail Stop 504
Columbus, OH 43215-4183
(Toll free) 877-644-6338
(P) 614-466-3593
(F) 614-752-8406

educator.licensure@education.ohio.gov

Tennessee (meets requirements)

Requirements

Head Start Programs

  • Half of the teachers are required to hold a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a similar field
  • Experience teaching preschoolers is preferred

Private Childcare Programs

  • Graduate with a High School Diploma or GED
  • Obtain a Tennessee Early Childhood Training Alliance (TECTA) Orientation Certificate or the equivalent
  • Have four years of experience working with children
  • Child Abuse Prevention Training

Contact Information

Tennessee Department of Education
710 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243
https://www.tn.gov/education.html

Tennessee Early Childhood Training Alliance (TECTA)

https://tecta.info/

Texas (meets requirements)

Career Lattice Level: Level 4 (higher with years of experience)

Requirements

Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education or a related field with at least 12 credit hours related to Early Childhood

Contact Information

Texas Education Agency
1701 North Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701-1401

earlychildhoodeducation@tea.texas.gov
https://tea.texas.gov/academics/early-childhood-education

Other States – not determined if meets requirements

Childcare and head start credentialing is determined by individual state requirements. Please seek out the Early Childhood departments to determine career requirements by state.

Public School Teaching Certification Requirements by State

Teaching certification in all other states is determined by their individual state requirements. At this time, we have determined eligibility for the following states.

Pennsylvania (does not meet requirements, prepares for bachelor’s degree)

Clearances

The following clearances must be maintained for clinical experience in a PA classroom:

  • PA State Police Request for Criminal Records Check (Act 34)
  • Department of Public Welfare Child Abuse History Clearance (Act 151)
  • Federal criminal History Record Information (CHRI) through the Department of Education
  • Immunizations: vary by School District

Exams

  • Basic Skills Exam should be completed by the end of the A.A. program in order to transfer into a 4-year Education program
  • PAPA or Praxis Core Academic Skills for Education
  • Content Knowledge Exam is specific to a candidate’s core content area and will be completed as part of a 4-year Education program
  • Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests (Elementary)
  • Praxis Subject Assessment (Middle Grades, Secondary)

Requirements

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Course content consistent with a major in the licensure area

Clinical/Field Experiences

By the end of bachelor’s degree program students must have completed:

  • Minimum of 100 hours verified clinical experience
  • Student teaching 12-week clinical setting approved by district

License Application

Pennsylvania Initial License Application

Contact Information

Pennsylvania Dept. of Education
333 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA 17126
https://www.education.pa.gov/Pages/default.aspx

California (does not meet requirements, prepares for bachelor’s degree)

Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Satisfy the basic skills requirement
  • Verify subject matter competence
  • Complete a course in the provisions and principles of the US Constitution or pass an examination given by a regionally-accredited college or university
  • Complete a Commission-approved teacher preparation program
  • Obtain a formal recommendation by the program sponsor

License Application

https://www.ctc.ca.gov/credentials/leaflets/Single-Multiple-Subject-Credentials-(CL-560C)

Contact Information

Commission on Teacher Credentialing
1900 Capitol Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95811-4213
https://www.ctc.ca.gov/commission/contact-the-commission

Delaware (does not meet requirements, prepares for bachelor’s degree)

Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree program students should have:
    • Minimum of 100 hours verified clinical experience
    • Student teaching 12-week clinical setting approved by district

License Application

Delaware Department of Education
https://www.doe.k12.de.us/site/Default.aspx?PageID=3497

Contact Information

Delaware Department of Education
The Townsend Building
401 Federal Street, Suite 2
Dover, DE 19901-3639
https://www.doe.k12.de.us/

Georgia (does not meet requirements, prepares for bachelor’s degree)

Requirements

Out-of-State Certificate

Clinical/Field Experiences

Completed as part of other state certification

License Application

https://mypsc.gapsc.org/Register.aspx

Contact Information

Georgia Professional Standards Commission
200 Piedmont Avenue SE
Suite 1716, West Tower
Atlanta, GA 30334-9032
https://www.gapsc.com/MovetoGeorgia/outOfStateEducators.aspx

Louisiana (does not meet requirements, prepares for bachelor’s degree)

Requirements

The traditional teacher preparation program is a four-year Bachelor of Arts or Science degree program that includes general education courses, a certification area of focus, professional education, 180 hours of field experiences, and student teaching, internship, or residency in a school. The degree program integrates content knowledge, professional knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and technology in depth and breadth to create meaningful learning experiences for all students.

Contact Information
Louisiana Department of Education, Louisiana Believes
PO Box 94064
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9064
www.louisianabelieves.com
1-877-453-2721

Maryland (does not meet requirements, prepares for bachelor’s degree)

Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree program, students should have:
    • Minimum of 100 hours verified clinical experience
    • Student teaching 12-week clinical setting approved by district
  • Basic Skills test scores or a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on the most recently earned degree

License Application

Maryland Department of Education
http://marylandpublicschools.org/about/Pages/DEE/Certification/apply/Out-of-State.aspx

Contact Information

Maryland State Dept. of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-2595
https://www.maryland.gov/Pages/default.aspx#gsc.tab=0

Michigan (does not meet requirements, prepares for bachelor’s program)

Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Completion of an approved teacher preparation program
  • Complete required reading courses
  • Pass the appropriate Michigan Test for Teacher Certification

Contact

Michigan Department of Education
608 W. Allegan
Lansing, MI 48933

https://www.michigan.gov/mde/services/ed-serv/ed-cert/cert-guidance

New Jersey (does not meet requirements, prepares for bachelor’s degree)

Requirements

Bachelor’s degree program including:

  • Minimum of 100 hours verified clinical experience
  • Student teaching 12-week clinical setting approved by district

All teacher candidates must meet Physiology and Hygiene requirement fulfilled by one of the following:

  • Basic Military Training
  • Course in Biology, Health, or Nutrition (suggested free elective: BIO 124)
  • 35-question test administered in the county office of education

License Application

https://www.nj.gov/education/certification/reciprocity/index.shtml

Contact Information

New Jersey Dept. of Education
PO Box 500
Trenton, NJ 08625-0500
609-292-2070
https://www.nj.gov/education/license/

New York (does not meet requirements, prepares for bachelor’s degree)

Requirements

  • Complete a comparable approved teacher preparation program
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above in bachelor’s level or above

License Application

http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/teachrecotherprogram.html#fn1

Contact Information

New York State Education Department
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12234
http://www.nysed.gov/contact-NYSED

Texas (does not meet requirements, prepares for bachelor’s degree)

Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree from an approved educator preparation program

Contact Information

Texas Education Agency
1701 N. Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701
512-463-9734

Washington (does not meet requirements, prepares for bachelor’s degree)

Requirements

Students must complete one of the following:

  • Bachelor’s Degree from an approved educator preparation program
  • State-approved alternative pathway educator preparation program
  • Verify at least three years of K-12 teaching experience outside of Washington and hold a regular certificate in another state

Exams

License Application

Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
https://www.k12.wa.us/certification/teacher-certificate

Contact Information

Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
Old Capitol Building
P.O. Box 47200
600 Washington St. SE
Olympia, WA 98504-7200

360-725-6000
TTY 360-664-3631

Other States – not determined if meets requirements

Public School teacher certification in all other states is determined by their individual state requirements. Most states require a Bachelor’s program for which our Early Childhood Education A.A.S. and Education A.A. degrees are designed to prepare a student to transfer into. Please seek out specific institutions to ensure transferability.

Available Funding

Students studying early childhood education at LCCC and members of the community who would like to advance their career in the field have access to Professional Development Organization (PDO) funding that will allow them to take courses at little or no cost. Potential funding is available for summer courses as well. You can about applying to this funding program.

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