65 credit hours.
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The Associate in Applied Science Degree in Early Childhood Education offers many professional development options. Each option prepares students for a wide range of career opportunities within the field, including: teaching at a child care center, Head Start, or preschool program; owning and operating a family child care; working as a nanny; directing an early childhood program; or working within early intervention, pre-k at risk, or special education programs. The goals for professional development include supporting student acquisition of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed for success in the field. Professional success, in turn, makes a difference in the lives of young children, their families, and the larger society.
Courses within the curriculum are based on National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standards for Associate Degree Programs, the Illinois Professional Teaching standards, and the Early Childhood Special Education standards. As a "blended" Associate Degree program, the courses integrate knowledge and effective practices from the fields of early childhood education and early childhood special education, which prepares students to recognize, support, and enhance the vast diversity of child and family development and learning needs.