May 28, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Early Childhood Associate Terminal Non-Transfer A.A.S. (A55220T)

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Program Description

The Early Childhood Associate curriculum prepares individuals to work with children from infancy through middle childhood in diverse learning environments. Students will combine learned theories with practice in actual settings with young children under the supervision of qualified teachers.

Course work includes childhood growth and development; physical/nutritional needs of children; care and guidance of children; and communication skills with parents and children. Students will foster the cognitive/language, physical/motor, social/emotional and creative development of young children. Graduates are prepared to plan and implement developmentally appropriate programs in early childhood settings.

Associate degree options include a Terminal Non-Transfer degree, a Transfer Licensure degree, and a Transfer Non-Licensure degree.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program should be able to:

  • Create developmentally appropriate lesson plans for young children
  • Analyze problems and make logical decisions to assess a child’s development in physical, social-emotional, cognitive, and language domains
  • Define an appropriate environment for children including the indoor and outdoor physical, social-emotional, cognitive, and language environments
  • Create communication that will support relationships between families, educators, and professionals.
  • Identify appropriate interactions between caregivers and children and identify positive guidance techniques

Articulation Agreements

  • UNC System ECE to Bachelor in Birth-Kindergarten Teaching licensure option:
    • Appalachian State University
    • East Carolina University
    • Elizabeth City State University
    • Fayetteville State University
    • North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
    • North Carolina Central University
    • University of North Carolina at Charlotte
    • University of North Carolina at Greensboro
    • University of North Carolina at Pembroke
    • University of North Carolina Wilmington
    • Western Carolina University
    • Winston-Salem State University
  • UNC System Bachelor in Early Childhood Non-teaching licensure option, with corresponding Bachelor Degree title:
    • East Carolina University: Family and Community Services, Child Development Concentration
    • Elizabeth City State University: Child, Family and Community
    • Fayetteville State University: Birth-Kindergarten Non-Teaching
    • North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University: Child Development and Family Studies
    • North Carolina Central University: Family Consumer Sciences, Child Development and Family Relations Concentration
    • University of North Carolina Greensboro: Early Care and Education
    • Western Carolina University: Early Childhood
    • Winston-Salem State University: Early Intervention and Preschool Concentration or Business Optional Concentration
    • 2 +2 with UNC Greensboro in the Early Childhood Education program

Employment Opportunities

Employment opportunities include child development and child care programs, preschools, public and private schools, Head Start Programs, and school age programs.

Students planning to work in field of child care are required to undergo a criminal records check upon employment. In some cases, the individual’s criminal record could prohibit him/her from being employed in a child care facility. If you have questions regarding your own criminal record history, you need to contact the NC Division of Child Development at 800-859-0829 to discuss your employability.

Other schools and agencies may have similar requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to find out about their own employability with any employer.

If a student is disqualified by the N.C. Division of Child Development and Early Education, the student will not be able to participate in any practicum or other practical experience. This would include courses EDU 184  and EDU 284 ; therefore, the student would not be able to complete the diploma or associate degree in Early Childhood.

A Criminal Records Check may be required in some practicum placements. The approximate cost is $50.


Students may be required to take one or more developmental English or math courses prior to the required course(s) depending upon their SAT, ACT, COMPASS or ASSET test scores.

Additional requirements: a current negative tuberculin skin test and a current health questionnaire must be submitted to the department before students may complete any course work involving working with children.


Students must complete all Early Childhood (EDU) courses with a grade of “C” or better to successfully complete the program.

Technical Standards

Students enrolling in the program must meet specific emotional, behavioral, physical, and cognitive standards. This information is found in the Admissions office.

Students qualifying for special accommodations to these standards must contact the Disability Services Coordinator at 336-506-4130 for more specific information.

Additional Program Costs

The Early Childhood Associate curriculum may have additional costs associated with it. Many of these are required as part of the curriculum, but are not provided by the College. Additional expenses required for this program are listed below with approximate costs.

  • Medical exam-$100
  • Supplies-$300
  • TB skin test-$25
  • Criminal background check-$50

First Year

Semester Total: 16 Contact Hour(s)

Semester Total: 16 Credit Hour(s)

Spring 2nd Semester

Semester Total: 17-19 Contact Hour(s)

Semester Total: 14-15 Credit Hour(s)

Summer 3rd Semester

  • Humanities/Fine Arts Elective 3 Credit Hour(s) see here  for options

Semester Total: 3 Contact Hour(s)

Semester Total: 3 Credit Hour(s)

Second Year

Fall 4th Semester

Semester Total: 15 Contact Hour(s)

Semester Total: 15 Credit Hour(s)

Spring 5th Semester

Semester Total: 23-29 Contact Hour(s)

Semester Total: 16 Credit Hour(s)

Total: 74-82 Contact Hour(s)

Total: 64-65 Credit Hour(s)

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