West Virginia Northern Community College

Programs of Study

Human Services, Early Childhood: Care and Education, A.A.S.

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.





Awards and Accreditations