Early Childhood Education Associate Degree

Program Code: 103071

The Early Childhood Education program prepares students to work as teacher-caregivers in early childhood settings. The program combines hands-on fieldwork in area centers with related academic work at the College. Early childhood educators are responsible for the care and education of children in the birth-to-eight-years age range. Responsibilities include creating and maintaining safe and healthy play environments, guiding behavior, planning and implementing learning activities, and working cooperatively with staff and parents.

Follow Your Path

All of the credits from the following technical diploma(s) apply toward this associate degree:
• Early Childhood Assistant Teacher, 313076
All of the credits from the following certificate(s) apply toward this associate degree:
• Early Childhood: Licensing Basic Ages 0-2, 613073
• Early Childhood: Licensing Basic Ages 3-5, 613072
Some of the credits from the following certificate(s) apply toward this associate degree:
• Early Childhood: Preschool, 9030711
• Early Childhood: Infant Toddler, 903073
Ask your advisor about 2+2 transfer opportunities.


Employment Potential

A graduate of this program will have the potential for employment in the following areas:

Early Childhood Teacher in Preschool or Group Childcare Centers/Head Start Teacher: plans and implements daily activities with concern for health, safety, and welfare for a designated group of children; supervises the assistant childcare teacher; administers instructional program to young children that promotes their physical, social, psychological, and intellectual development; and provides a flexible balance of active and quiet activities, individual and group activities, indoor and outdoor activities, free choice, guided activities and conduct developmental assessments.

Family Childcare Provider/Teacher/Owner: same functions as above only in a home setting.

Early Childhood Program Director, Day Camp Director, Child Care Center Administrator, Child Care Center Manager: The above positions may require responsibilities of one or more of the following items: responsible to the Board of Directors for day-to-day operations of entire school, including programming, facility, fiscal responsibilities, working knowledge of professional organizations for higher standards, providing customer service, and all human resource functions such as: hiring/firing, supervision, training, and evaluation of staff according to state requirements.


Requirements for Program Entry

• Completed application.
• High school transcript or equivalent. (For a list of equivalents, go to
• Demonstrated suitability to the early childhood profession as indicated by completion of a functional ability checklist.
• Complete physical examination within three months prior to Practicum course to include having a negative TB test. Maintain proper immunizations.
• Completed an American Heart Association CPR course prior to program entry to include the AED component for infants, toddlers and adults. Students are required to maintain a current CPR card on a two-year renewal cycle.
• Mastered basic math before entering this program. Basic math covers whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percents and measurements.
• To be admitted to this program, learners must achieve a prior cumulative high school or college grade point average of 2.6 or higher OR a satisfactory academic skills assessment score. College grade point average must be based on 15 credits or more. To learn more about starting this program, please contact an academic advisor at (920) 498-5444 or (888) 385-6982.
• Complete Caregiver Background Check annually. A fee is charged for this service. Additional information will be provided upon acceptance into the program.

Program Availability

FULL TIME Fall 2018 Spring 2019 Summer 2019
Green Bay
Sturgeon Bay

Application Checklist

Students following the study plan below will complete the Early Childhood Education Associate Degree in the number of semesters shown. Courses are offered online, accelerated, and blended, and may be taken in any order as long as prerequisites are met. For additional course and certificate offerings, refer to the information in the Early Childhood Team Site in the Related Links area at the right of this page.
10-890-101 COLLEGE 101 ...Students will utilize digital tools and resources to assess, explore, practice, apply, and evaluate both employability and learning skills. By establishing NWTC cultural values as hallmarks of success in academic, career, and personal settings the course encourages reflective, personalized development of a growth mindset and emphasizes the importance of making wise choices. To maximize the return on investment, students should take this course in their first semester as it identifies key expectations (hidden rules) of higher learning and professional employment.
10-307-148 ECE: FOUNDATIONS OF EARLY CHILDHOOD ... integrate strategies that support diversity and anti-bias perspectives; summarize early childhood education settings; identify components of a quality program; summarize responsibilities of early childhood professionals; explore early childhood curriculum models.
10-307-167 ECE: HEALTH/SAFETY/, safety, and nutrition in early childhood settings. Anti-bias perspectives; governmental regulations and professional standards; safe, healthy, and nutritionally sound early childhood programs; child abuse/neglect mandates; SIDS risk reduction; Shaken Baby Syndrome.
10-307-174 ECE: PRACTICUM 1 ...learn/practice skills in a child care setting. Includes documenting behavior, exploring diversity, implement activities developed by the cooperating teacher, practicing caregiving routines, and positive professional and interpersonal skills. (Prerequisites: Accepted in Early Childhood Program or Early Childhood Assistant Teacher Technical Diploma; Corequisite: 10-890-101, College 101.)
10-307-178 ECE: ART MUSIC & LANGUAGE ARTS ...beginning curriculum development in art, music, and language arts. Role of play; developmentally appropriate environment; promote child development; caregiving routines as curriculum; language, literature, and literacy activities, art/music, movement activities.
10-307-179 ECE: CHILD DEVELOPMENT...child development in the early childhood education setting. Social, cultural, and economic influences on child development; child development theories; development of children age three to eight; child development research; heredity and environment.
10-801-136 ENGLISH COMPOSITION 1 ...learners develop knowledge/skills in planning, organizing, writing, editing. Students will also analyze audience/purpose, use elements of research, format documents using standard guidelines, and develop critical reading skills. (Prerequisite: Placement value of 1500; OR Accuplacer Rdg score greater/equal to 55 AND Sentence Skills greater/equal to 75; OR ACT Rdg score greater/equal to 16 AND Eng greater/equal to 18; OR preparatory courses-contact academic advisor at 920-498-5444)
10-307-151 ECE: INFANT/TODDLER DEVELOPMENT...infant and toddler development in an early childhood education setting. Development of infants/toddlers; prenatal conditions and development; child development theories; heredity and the environment; culturally and developmentally appropriate environments.
10-307-188 ECE: GUIDING CHILDREN'S BEHAVIOR ...strategies to guide children's behavior in the early childhood setting. Anti-bias perspectives, guidance principles, factors affecting behavior, guidance strategies, individual needs, guidance philosophy. (Prerequisite: 10-307-174, ECE: Practicum 1 OR accepted in Early Childhood Preschool Certificate 9030711)
10-307-192 ECE: PRACTICUM 2 ...learn/practice skills in a child care setting. Growth/Development, support diversity, implement student developed activity plans, guidance strategies, professional behaviors, caregiving routines as curriculum, positive interpersonal skills with adults. (Prerequisites: Accepted in Early Childhood Program or Early Childhood Assistant Teacher Technical Diploma; 10-307-174, ECE: Practicum 1; Corequisite: 10-890-101, College 101)
10-307-194 ECE: MATH/SCIENCE/SOCIAL STUDIES ...beginning curriculum development in math, science, social studies. Support diversity, role of play, developmentally appropriate environment, activity plans that promote learning, create appropriate math, science and social studies activities.
10-809-188 DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY ...defines human development; examines theories; heredity and environmental effects; prenatal development and birth; evaluates biosocial, cognitive psychosocial development through the life span; aging, death, and dying. (Prerequisite: A placement value of 6200; OR Accuplacer Rdg score greater/equal to 55 AND Sentence Skills greater/equal to 60; OR ACT Rdg score greater/equal to 16 AND English greater/equal to 15; OR prep courses-contact academic advisor at 920-498-5444)
10-809-196 INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY ...the nature and variety of groups; inequality, race and ethnicity; family, population, social integration, and change; collective behavior; politics, economics, religion, education, and the effects of technology. (Prerequisite: A placement value of 6200; OR Accuplacer Rdg score greater/equal to 55 AND Sentence Skills greater/equal to 60; OR ACT Rdg score greater/equal to 16 AND English greater/equal to 15; OR prep courses-contact academic advisor at 920-498-5444)
10-307-166 ECE: CURRICULUM PLANNING ...curriculum planning in early childhood. Strategies that support diversity and anti-bias perspectives; critical role of play; developmentally appropriate environment; caregiving routines; promoting child development and learning; early childhood curriculum models. (Prerequisite: 10-307-194, ECE: Math, Science, Social Studies OR 10-307-178, ECE: Art, Music, Language Arts)
10-307-187 ECE: CHILDREN WITH DIFFERING ABILITIES ...differing abilities in early childhood settings. Anti-bias perspectives, inclusion, ADA/IDEA, typical and exceptional development; physical, cognitive, health/medical, communication, and/or behavioral/emotional disorders; community and professional resources; IEP/IFSP, adapt curriculum, cultivate partnerships. (Prerequisite: 10-307-192, ECE: Practicum 2 OR accepted in Early Childhood Inclusion Certificate 9030712)
10-307-195 ECE: FAMILY/COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS ...relationships with family/community in early childhood. Diversity and anti-bias perspectives in families and community; family patterns, trends, relationships; communication strategies; relationships with families; advocate for children/families; community resources.
10-307-197 ECE: PRACTICUM 3 ...learn/practice skills working with children with differing abilities in one of the various classroom settings. Assess growth/development; early childhood standards; curriculum; developmentally appropriate environment; guidance strategies; professional behaviors/practices; lead caregiving routines; interpersonal skills with children/adults. (Prerequisites: Accepted in Early Childhood Education program; 10-307-192, ECE: Practicum 2, 10-890-101, College 101)
10-307-199 ECE: PRACTICUM 4 ...learn/practice skills in an early childhood setting. Growth/development, assessment, anti-bias perspectives, professional behavior/practices; curriculum, relationships, evaluating programs for quality, professional options in early childhood. (Prerequisites: Accepted in Early Childhood Education program; 10-307-197, ECE: Practicum 3; 10-890-101, College 101)
10-307-204 ECE: SUPERVISE/ADMIN ECE PROGRAMS ...roles and responsibilities of directors, coordinators, supervisors and other administrators in early childhood programs. (Prerequisite: 10-307-197, ECE: Practicum 3 OR accepted in Early Childhood Child Care Administration Certificate 903071)
10-801-196 ORAL/INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION ...the communication process, perception and self-concept, language, listening, nonverbal communication, interpersonal relationships, communication in groups and public communication; prepare and deliver an oral presentation. (Prerequisite: A placement value of 1400; OR Accuplacer Rdg score greater/equal to 55 AND Sentence Skills score greater/equal to 60; OR ACT Rdg score greater/equal to 16 AND English score greater/equal to 16; OR preparatory course-contact an academic advisor at 920-498-5444)
10-806-112 PRINCIPLES OF SUSTAINABILITY ...prepares the student to develop sustainable literacy, analyze the interconnections among the physical and biological sciences and environmental systems, summarize the effects of sustainability on health and well-being, analyze connections among social, economic, and environmental systems, employ energy conservation strategies to reduce the use of fossil fuels, investigate alternative energy options, evaluate options to current waste disposal and recycling in the U.S., and analyze approaches used by your community to promote and implement sustainability. (Prerequisite: A placement value of 3200; OR Accuplacer Reading score greater/equal to 55; OR ACT Reading score greater/equal to 15; OR preparatory courses-contact an academic advisor at 920-498-5444)
10-809-172 INTRO TO DIVERSITY STUDIES...basic American values of justice and equality by teaching vocabulary, history of immigration/conquest, transcultural communication, legal liability, multicultural majority/minority relations, ageism, sexism, gender, sexual orientation, the disabled/ADA. (Prerequisite: A placement value of 6200; OR Accuplacer Rdg score greater/equal to 55 AND Sentence Skills greater/equal to 60; OR ACT Rdg score greater/equal to 16 AND English greater/equal to 15; OR prep courses-contact academic advisor at 920-498-5444)
Curriculum Note
. Blended online class requires two/three Saturday visits to the Green Bay Campus for the following courses: 10-307-178, ECE: Art Music & Language Arts; 10-307-194, ECE: Math Science & Social Studies.
. Practicum courses require student teaching in the community, in addition to course work. NWTC faculty arrange practicum settings for/with students. Students are required to complete student teaching in each practicum placement. Practicums must be taken in numerical order: 1, 2, 3, 4 and only one may be taken in any semester. Students are required to achieve a grade of "C" or better in the practicum courses to continue in or graduate from this program. Read more about Practicums online.
. If a student is considering pursuing a 4-year degree, Intermediate Algebra w/Apps, 10-804-118, should be taken in place of Principles of Sustainability, 10-806-112.
. The credit for 10-890-101, College 101, is an Institutional Requirement for graduation. Consequently, it is not part of the program credit requirements, but must be passed with a "C" or better. This course must be taken in the first semester.

Program Outcomes

• Apply child development theory to practice.
• Cultivate relationships with children, family, and the community.
• Assess child growth and development.
• Use best practices in teaching and learning.
• Demonstrate professionalism.
• Integrate health, safety, and nutrition practices.


Start here. Finish at a four-year.

NWTC transfer programs are offered through collaborative agreements with our four-year college and university partners. See where your associate degree credits will transfer >> EXCLUDEEND



• It is necessary to show good health as evidenced by a medical examination including having a TB test administered within 12 months before practicum (student teaching) placement.
• Students will be required to wear a NWTC issued name tag, provide their own transportation to assigned sites and cover any other expenses related to practicum experiences. Students may be expected to travel distances. A NWTC approved Education program polo shirt is required for practicum students.
• Availability: Student Teaching hours will span between 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. with the majority of the required hours occurring in the morning.
• Completion of a Wisconsin Technical Skills Attainment (TSA) portfolio is required to graduate from this program.
• NWTC offers credit-based courses, credentials and degree options that align with the YoungStar requirements.


Wisconsin Caregiver Law
NWTC is required to comply with the Wisconsin Caregiver Law (2009 WISCONSIN ACT 76). The completion of a caregiver background check includes the review of criminal records for convictions of serious crimes or a history of improper behavior. Students accepted into this program must complete a background check through A fee is charged for this service. Information regarding this process is provided to students immediately upon acceptance into the program. Students accepted into this program must complete a Background Information Disclosure form disclosing any acts, crimes, or convictions prior to program entry and annually for the remainder of the program. The information provided in the Background Information Disclosure form must be truthful and match any findings on the criminal record check. Students with a criminal history may be denied access to placement at the discretion of the practicum site. Consequently, should a student have a history of convictions of serious crimes or a history of improper behaviors, NWTC cannot guarantee practicum placement or guarantee graduation within typical program timing. Please note: students in the Early Childhood Education program must complete and submit a CBC, regardless of whether or not they have completed a similar form at their place of employment. NWTC runs its own checks and will not accept the results of a CBC from another institution.

Study Abroad Opportunities

The International Studies staff continually seeks opportunities for students to travel abroad for educational experiences that may be offered in association with program courses. To find out more about which of your program courses may offer an opportunity during this academic year, contact your academic advisor.