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Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education

The ECE program is designed to prepare individuals to be competent professionals. Graduates meet the New Hampshire Child Care Licensing (NHCCL) requirements for a lead teacher and center director (with some job-related experience). The campus offers flexibility in scheduling and course and career options.

The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program provides a combination of theory and practical experience to prepare graduates for immediate entry into the ECE field or for transfer to a bachelor degree program for those who wish to teach in the public schools. Graduates have approximately 300 hours of supervised experience with children of two different age levels (infant/toddler, preschool, primary grade), adhering to the NAEYC standards.

In addition, the program offers four certificates that provide training for different aspects of early childhood education: Lead Teacher Certificate, Infant/Toddler Certificate, Special Education Certificate, and Early Childhood Professional Certificate.

Program Goal

The goal of the Early Childhood Education program is to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that will enable them to become exemplary early childhood educators. To do so, we maintain high academic and professional expectations which adhere to the standards of quality set forth by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Students will learn to be competent, reflective practitioners able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the early childhood profession and a commitment to its Code of Ethical Conduct.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the diverse developmental, cultural, and individual needs of all children.
  • Create high quality, inclusionary, positive, and nurturing learning environments and curriculum for young children.
  • Demonstrate skillful observation, documentation, and assessment of children's progress.
  • Build and maintain positive, productive, and reciprocal relationships with children, families, and colleagues.
  • Serve as an advocate on behalf of young children and their families to improve the quality of early childhood programs and services.

Program Outcomes

By the completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Explain and demonstrate knowledge of the multiple interacting influences on children's development and learning, and demonstrate the ability to support the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of young children from birth to age twelve, including those with unique developmental or learning needs.
  • Establish and maintain safe, healthy, supportive, inclusionary, and culturally pluralistic learning environments for young children.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the goals, benefits, and purposes of assessment and the ability to utilize a variety of assessment and evaluation strategies and tools effectively to observe and document children's development and behavior in a positive and constructive manner, noting each child's strengths and interests as well as needs.
  • Design, implement and evaluate a meaningful, challenging, and developmentally-appropriate curriculum that demonstrates a wide array of teaching practices reflecting the spectrum of content areas as well as taking into consideration the individual needs, learning styles, and interests of young children.

Accreditation

MCC's Early Childhood Education degree program is currently the only ECE associate degree program in NH accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children with full accreditation and no conditions.

Admission Requirements

In addition to college-wide admission requirements, ECE applicants:

  • Are required to attend an informational session before acceptance into the program.
  • Must provide a copy of health form required by NHCCL for childcare personnel indicating the individual is "recommended to work with young children" in order to participate in practicum experiences and to obtain a job in childcare or public school.

Note: Students in the ECE programs must be free from criminal felony convictions. Applicants who are unsure of their status in this area should discuss the matter with their academic advisor, as it may impact their ability to participate in practicum and observation assignments, and to be employed in the field of childcare or early childhood education. All students enrolled in any practicum class must complete a criminal records check through the practicum site that includes fingerprinting. There is a $40-$50 charge for this. Students are to present a copy of their receipt of fingerprinting from the NH DMV to their practicum course instructor before they may begin practicum. According to NH law, fingerprinting is required for both practicum and employment and must be renewed every 3 years. Students should keep their original receipt in order to participate in future practicums or work in the field. Students must also complete a health form, provided by the NH Dept. of Health and Human Services, before participating in a practicum experience. The form is good for 3 years.

Any student enrolled in any ECE course is required to purchase a subscription to Task Stream, an online portfolio server each semester in which one or more ECE courses are taken. The student will develop an online portfolio highlighting work and competencies learned in their ECE courses. Due to program accreditation requirements, data will also be collected through the server (individuals will remain anonymous). Subscriptions can be purchased to cover one or more semesters through the college book store or directly from www.taskstream.com. Cost can be covered by financial aid.

Technical Standards

Technical Standards provide insight for students into the skills and abilities required to function successfully in the ECE program and eventually the profession. Applicants who do not feel they can meet these standards should contact the ECE program coordinator before applying. Students enrolling in the ECE program must have sufficient strength, stamina and motor coordination to:

  • Stand for sustained periods of time, and walk, run, bend, sit on the floor and on child-size furniture to meet the child’s needs and accomplish tasks.
  • Lift, move and transfer children, especially infants and toddlers.

In addition, students should have:

  • Sufficient visual and hearing acuity to ensure a safe environment and the ability to respond quickly in an emergency.
  • Sufficient verbal ability to express and exchange information and ideas and to interpret instructions to children, co-workers and parents.
  • The ability to work with frequent interruptions, to respond appropriately in unexpected situations, and to cope with extreme variations in workload and stress levels.

Early Childhood Education Transfer Credit Policy

In addition to MCC transfer credit policies, transfer of courses in early childhood education more than 10 years old will be evaluated by the Department Chair on an individual basis.

Early Childhood Education Practicum

Some students have had quality and lengthy work or training experiences, and may wish to test out of a practicum experience. Students must first meet with their academic advisor and provide documentation to indicate their knowledge and skills. Testing out may include exams, projects, lesson plans, essays, journal entries, and other documentation that meets course requirements. Students seeking to test out of Early Childhood Education practicum must have completed a minimum of 9 Early Childhood Education credits with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA.

Early Childhood Education Degree Program

General Education Requirements TH LAB CR
ENGL110 College Composition I 4 0 4
  Mathematics Elective - Choose one: (MATH103 or MATH131) 3 0 3
FYC100 First Year Cornerstone 1 0 1
PSYC110 Introduction to Psychology 3 0 3
PHIL240 Ethics 3 0 3
EDU205 Technology in Education 2 2 3
  English Elective 3 0 3
  Science Elective 3 0 3
  Foreign Lang./Humanities/Fine Arts Elective 3 0 3
 
ECE Core Requirements TH LAB CR
ECE100 Early Childhood Growth and Development 3 0 3
ECE104 Foundations of Early Childhood Education 3 0 3
ECE105 Creative Activities & Curriculum for Early Childhood 3 0 3
ECE110 Children's Literature and Language Arts 3 0 3
  Practicum Elective - Choose one: (ECE111 or ECE112) 2 3 3
ECE116 Child Health, Safety and Nutrition 3 0 3
ECE200 Math and Science for Young Children 3 0 3
ECE201 Children's Individual and Special Needs 3 0 3
ECE202 Student Teaching Practicum 1 9 4
ECE204 Developmentally-Appropriate Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers 3 0 3
ECE210 Child, Family and Community Relations 3 0 3
ECE212 Professional Development Practicum: ECE Capstone 1 9 4
ECE214 Developmentally-Appropriate Guidance and Discipline for Young Children 3 0 3
ECE250 Childcare Administration and Management 3 0 3
Total Credits - 70

*NOTE: Students planning to tranfer to a 4-year degree program should take MATH131 and a 4-credit science course.

 

Early Childhood Professional Certificate

Designed for students who already hold an associate or bachelor's degree, or 60 college credits from an accredited college in another field who wish to become center director qualified in NH (with work experience).

Core courses must be taken first.

Gainful Employment Information
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    TH LAB CR
ECE100 Early Child Growth and Development 3 0 3
ECE104 Foundations of Early Childhood Education 3 0 3
ECE112 Preschool Practicum: Learning Environments 2 3 3
ECE116 Child Health, Safety and Nutrition 3 0 3
ECE201 Children's Individual and Special Needs 3 0 3
ECE250* Childcare Administration and Management 3 0 3
  Curriculum Elective - Choose one: (ECE110, ECE200) 3 0 3
  Relationship Elective - Choose one: (ECE210, ECE214) 3 0 3
Total Credits - 24

* Required for Center Director Credential in the State of New Hampshire.

 

ECE Special Education Certificate

Teachers and paraprofessionals are increasingly working in inclusive settings and are responsible for meeting students’ Individualized Educational Plans (IEP). They are members of the IEP or IFSP teams and need adequate training to effectively work with children with unique learning characteristics. This certificate trains individuals interested in working as paraprofessionals in Early Intervention or Early Childhood Special Education and Inclusionary classrooms.

Birth-Grade 3 Option

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    TH LAB CR
ECE100 Early Child Growth and Development 3 0 3
ECE104 Foundations of Early Childhood Education 3 0 3
PSYC110 Introduction to Psychology 3 0 3
ECE112 Preschool Practicum: Learning Environments 2 2 3
ECE201 Children's Individual and Special Needs 3 0 3
EDU215 Classroom Management/Behavioral Guidance Strategies 3 0 3
EDU220 Family, Professional & Community Relations in Education 3 0 3
EDU225 Curriculum Planning and Implementation for Children with Unique Learning Characteristics 3 0 3
Total Credits - 24

 

Early Childhood Lead Teacher Certificate

This certificate will enable students to qualify as lead teachers in an early childhood program according to NH state child care program licensing rules. All courses in this program transfer directly into the associate degree program for students who wish to continue their education.

Gainful Employment Information
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    TH LAB CR
ECE100 Early Childhood Growth and Development 3 0 3
ECE104 Foundations of Early Childhood Education 3 0 3
ECE112 Preschool Practicum: Learning Environments 2 2 3
ECE116 Child Health, Safety and Nutrition 3 0 3
ECE201 Children's Individual and Special Needs 3 0 3
  ECE Elective - Choose one: (ECE110, ECE200, ECE214) 3 0 3
Total Credits - 18

 

Infant / Toddler Lead Teacher Certificate

Quality infant/toddler care is a critical need in New Hampshire, and more caregivers are needed who are specifically trained in developmentally-appropriate practices for this age group. This certificate meets the licensing requirements of the State of NH for lead teachers (18 credits). All courses in this certificate program will transfer to the associate degree program.

Gainful Employment Information
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    TH LAB CR
ECE100 Early Childhood Growth and Development 3 0 3
ECE104 Foundations of Early Childhood Education 3 0 3
ECE111 Infant / Toddler Practicum: Nurturing Environments 2 3 3
ECE116 Child Health, Safety and Nutrition 3 0 3
ECE201 Children's Individual and Special Needs 3 0 3
ECE204 Developmentally-Appropriate Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers 3 0 3
Total Credits - 18