2015-2016 Catalog 
    Apr 21, 2024  
2015-2016 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Early Childhood Education, A.A.S.

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Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.)
Contact Information:
Program Office 615-353-3020, E-mail: earlychildhood@nscc.edu, Program Site
Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation)

Early Childhood Education prepares the student for employment in the field of child care and early education. The program includes theoretical and practical components, preparing early education professionals to work effectively with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and primary age children birth through age eight.

Graduates of the program should be able to:

  • Promote child development and learning of young children from diverse backgrounds;
  • Build family and community relationships;
  • Observe, document, and assess to support young children and families;
  • Design, implement, and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for all children; and
  • Identify and conduct themselves as members of the early childhood profession.

Admission Requirements

Students must meet regular degree-seeking admission requirements for A.A.S. Degree programs.

Career Opportunities

  • Teacher in Childcare Programs & Preschools
  • Assistant Teacher
  • Caregiver
  • Administrator/Director
  • Family Child Care Provider
  • Educational Assistant

Graduates may be employed in child care centers, family child care homes, Head Start programs, before and after school programs, pre-k programs, and preschools.

Practicum Courses

Students who wish to register for the practicum courses (ECED 2335  or ECED 2365 ) should contact an advisor for information about clinical requirements prior to enrolling. Before registering for the practicum courses, a student must have:

  • Attained a grade of “C” or higher in all ECED courses taken, and
  • Met all prerequisite requirements.

Grading Policy

A grade of “C” or above must be earned in all early childhood courses prior to graduation. The student majoring in ECED must receive a “C” or above in each course in order to meet prerequisite requirements for subsequent courses.

Background Check for Employment

Students who wish to become employed in child care programs licensed by Department of Human Services, State of Tennessee must undergo a criminal history and abuse registry background check. Tennessee law requires a satisfactory background check prior to employment. This is initiated by the employer.


The A.A.S. degree is designed to prepare a student for employment upon graduation. Some universities, at their discretion, accept some technical courses for transfer. A student who plans to transfer to a university should consult his/her advisor and the receiving university about transfer and articulation policies. Failure to do so could result in loss of transfer credits.

Course Requirements

Natural Sciences Elective (must include lab) 4 Credits

(BIOL 1010 - Intro to Biology I* ,
ASTR 1010 - Solar System Astronomy* ,
GEOL 1110 - Earth Science* , or
GEOL 1040 - Physical Geology*  recommended)

Humanities Elective 3 Credits

(MUS 1030 - Music Appreciation*  or
ART 1030 - Art Appreciation*  recommended)

General Education Elective 3 Credits

 (ENGL 1020 - English Composition II*  recommended)

ECED Elective (Choose one (1) elective from list below.)

Total Required – Associate’s Degree: 61 Credits


Recommended Full-Time Schedule


After the first 2 semesters a student can earn a Technical Certificate in ECED , then proceed in their second year to earn the A.A.S. in ECED.

First Year

Second Year

Fall Semester

Spring Semester

Part-time Schedule:

Many students may wish to enroll in the ECED program on a part-time basis. Students are encouraged to enroll in at least two semester courses each semester (including summer) in order to complete the degree in approximately four years. Courses are offered days, evenings, Saturdays and on-line. A student should be able to complete most requirements for the degree in the evening/weekend program.

Online Schedule:

Students have the option to complete most of the coursework for the A.A.S. degree online. Most of the ECED and General Education courses are available online or in hybrid formats. ECED 2365 - Final Practicum  is a face-to-face, on-ground course. This course is not available online and will require attendance on campus. See course description for more details.


Additional course requirements: The Tennessee Board of Regents requires that students either demonstrate the appropriate skill levels in math, reading, and/or writing before enrolling in college-level courses or enroll in appropriate co-requisite experiences with college-level courses to develop competency in those skills while performing college-level work. ACT/SAT scores, COMPASS test scores, or other relevant information determine whether a student needs to enroll in co-requisite courses in math, reading, and/or writing (English).


* This course is part of the general education core.


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