AAS in Early Childhood Education

The Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education is a 61-hour, online degree program that prepares professionals for positions in private or public early child care and education settings, preschool center-based care, family home child care, and day care settings. Students may choose the option of preparing to serve as an assistant teacher, teacher, and / or director, as well as meet Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) requirements for private administration of day care homes.

All courses are offered online in an accelerated format (6 weeks per course). Students must also complete 155 clock hours of field experience, as well as demonstrate satisfactory professional dispositions, develop an electronic portfolio to demonstrate their achievement of specified Illinois teaching standards, and complete first aid and infant / toddler CPR training. Graduates of this program may also apply for provisional Early Education Certification through the Association of Christian Schools International. For more information, contact the program director, Dr. Karen Estep.

ID 101 An Introduction to World Views 3
ID 201 Ancient Civilizations 3
HI 280 History of American Christianity & the Stone-Campbell Movement 3
LA 111 Introduction to Written Comp 3
LA 113 Introduction to Speech 3
MA 161 Math Reasoning I 3
SC 155 Biology & Society 3
BI 111 Introduction to Bible 3
BI 264 Foundations of Bible Study 3
EC 101 Introduction to Professional Education Studies 2
EC 126 Phonics in Review 1
EC 134 Introduction to Early Childhood Education (20 hours field experience) 3
EC 147 Health, Safety, & Nutrition 3
EC 221 Teaching Pre-Primary Curriculum (15 hours field experience) 2
EC 234 Child, Family, & Community Education 3
EC 237 Survey of the Exceptional Child (30 hours field experience) 3
EC 238 Child Growth & Development (10 hours field experience) 3
EC 243 Care of Infants & Toddlers (10 hours field experience) 3
EC 254 Early Childhood Practicum I (35 hours field experience) 4
EC 255 Early Childhood Practicum II (35 hours field experience) 4

This program meets Level 4 requirements for two Illinois credentials: Early Childhood Credential Level 4 and Infant Toddler Credential Level 4 as described by Illinois Gateways to Opportunity. Those desiring the Illinois Director Credential Level 1 need to complete the 8 additional hours listed below.

EC 246 Organization & Administration for Early Childhood Directors (10 hours field experience) 2
EC 261 Director's Practicum I (150 hours field experience) 3
EC 262 Director's Practicum II (150 hours field experience) 3

Electives
6 credit hours

61-69 credit hours
155-465 hours field experience

A passing grade in Chapel and Service Learning is required during each semester in which you are taking 12 or more hours of credit.

† The name for this degree (Associate of Applied Science, rather than Associate of Arts) indicates this program is more professionally oriented and does not meet all of the lower division requirements to transfer into a baccalaureate degree. Specifically, most baccalaureate programs require 3 more hours of Communication, 9 hours of Social Sciences, and 7 hours of Sciences, for a total of 37 hours of General Education (13 more than this requires). Electives in this program can be used to meet some of those requirements.

Credentials

The following credentials are available to candidates who are taking Early Childhood courses:

  • Gateways to Opportunity Credentials

    Gateways to Opportunity has recognized LCU as an entitled institution that may award the following credentials upon completion of the AA in Early Childhood or the AAS in Early Childhood (online through the School of Adult & Graduate Studies):

    • Early Childhood Education Credential (ECE) Level 4
    • Infant & Toddlers Credential (ITC) Level 4
    • Illinois Director Credential (IDC) Level 1 (with additional courses)

    The candidate is responsible for completing the paperwork associated with receiving financial aid and credentials from Gateways to Opportunity. All paperwork and official transcripts must be sent to: Gateways to Opportunity, Attn: Mary Leonard, 1226 Towanda Plaza, Bloomington, IL 61701. There is an application fee of $30 for current students and those who have graduated in the last 2 years. All transfer credits must be approved by the Program Director. Visit www.ilgateways.com or contact Dr. Karen Estep for more information.

  • Child Development Associates Credential (CDA) from the Council for Professional Recognition

    The CDA credential can be earned by qualified child care professionals who document their ability to meet national standards of care and education for young children and their families. The credential may be earned for use in the Family Child Care, Preschool, Infant / Toddler, or Home Visitor setting. You can learn more about the process of and requirements for receiving a CDA here. For information on course work that can be applied toward this credential contact the program director, Dr. Karen Estep.

    Courses for this credential are offered through both the School of Undergraduate Studies and online through the Hargrove School of Adult and Graduate Studies. These courses prepare the candidate by fulfilling the required 120 clock hours of training in eight subject areas needed to apply for the CDA credential:

    EC 134 Introduction to Early Childhood Education (20 hours field experience) 3
    EC 147 Health, Safety, & Nutrition 3
    EC 238 Child Growth & Development (10 hours field experience) 3
    EC 243 Care of Infants & Toddlers (10 hours field experience) 3
    EC 246 Organization & Administration for Early Childhood Directors (10 hours field experience) 2

    Candidates must also have completed 480 hours of professional experience in the last 5 years. This experience must be in a group setting with children of the age he or she is seeking the credential. Upon completion of the appropriate course work, candidates may apply for this credential, through the Council for Professional Recognition. Visit www.cdacouncil.org for more information. Candidates who have successfully completed, these courses may use this course work towards an AA or the AAS in Early Childhood.