WVNCC | West Virginia Northern Community College

WVNCC | West Virginia Northern Community College

Early Childhood: Care and Education
Associate in Applied Science Degree

This program is designed for those who want to work with children from birth-adolescence. Graduates can be expected to fill paraprofessional or professional positions in private or public agencies that provide early care and/or education services. This program exceeds the requirements of the WV Department of Education’s paraprofessional educator’s certificate (available at http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies); therefore individuals with this degree also should be eligible for positions as teacher’s aides in the public school system.
Students who eventually plan to complete a bachelor’s degree in a related field can use this degree as a foundation for transfer, but it is recommended that students who plan to complete a bachelor’s degree before beginning employment pursue an Associate in Arts 2+2 or transfer degree in Elementary Education or Early Childhood Education to maximize transferability of courses.

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to:

• Demonstrate knowledge of basic concepts, theories, and strategies used in early childhood care and education;
• Demonstrate knowledge of infant, toddler, pre-school, and school-age
child development;
• Demonstrate the ability to assist with designing developmentally appropriate practice activities for children;
• Demonstrate knowledge of and the ability to follow ethical standards and guidelines for the profession;
• Apply the skills and abilities related to assist planning and implementing therapeutic, learning, or social activities that are appropriate for children with diverse needs and abilities and for their families;
• Demonstrate knowledge of cultural, family, and individual influences on a child’s development and service delivery;
• Demonstrate an understanding of their role, abilities, and limitations in a relevant work setting.

Employment outlook is currently above average, but is dependent upon changing local, regional, and national needs. Salaries tend to be low-moderate for graduates, depending on location, type of facility, and the prospective employee’s level of education and work experience.

NOTE: Two specialized programs which provide credit for credentials completed outside the college setting are available for students who possess either a U.S. Department of Labor Apprenticeship Certificate (ACDS) and/or a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. (See Occupational Development (A.A.S.) and Technical Studies (A.A.S.) in the Center for Economic and Workforce Development section.) Contact an advisor for additional information.