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Early Childhood Education

Associate of Applied Science

Learn to excel at caring for and educating young children through this flexible, high-quality program. Students planning to transfer to a four-year university should pursue either the Early Childhood Education pathway or Elementary Education concentration of the Associate of Arts degree. 

Become a teacher’s aide, lead teacher or director of a pre-school center, or open your own home child care center. Degree completion meets the criteria for the Arizona Early Childhood Workforce Career Lattice Level E.

Conditional Enrollment Program: You will be eligible to enroll in CDA/ECE courses once you have completed the requirement listed in Program Admissions and the Department has authorized your enrollment. See the program director or advisor for more information.

Title IV Financial Aid eligible: Yes

 Online Option: This program can be completed entirely online


Desert Vista Campus and Online

Contact Information

Division of Education & Biomedical Programs
Dean: 520.206.5105
Center for Early Childhood Studies: 520.206.5245
Lead Faculty: 520.206.5107

Program Information

Similar Programs

Semester Pathways


Completing this program can lead to employment in a variety of different careers.  Here are some examples of occupations related to this program with associated Pima County-based annual median wages.  Some careers may require additional education or training. Source: EMSI

Occupation Annual Median Wage
Kindergarten teachers $40,025
Preschool teachers $28,070

Academic Options

This program may apply toward a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS). See an advisor.

Program Requirements 2020-2021

General Education Requirements

This section lists general education requirements that are not fulfilled by core or support courses.* A grade of C or better is required for graduation.

General Education Requirements Credits
Arts & Humanities
    Recommend: ART 105
Other Requirement:  
  Recommend: ANT 112 or HUM 260
Special Requirement
  Recommend ANT 112ART 105 or HUM 260
Subtotal 6

Required Core Courses

A grade of C or better is required for graduation.

Course # Course Title Credits
ECE 115 Supervision and Administration of Early Childhood
ECE 117 Child Growth and Development 3
ECE 118
  CDA 102
  CDA 121
  CDA 271
Foundations of Early Childhood Education
   The Child's Total Learning Environment

   Techniques for Observing Children

   Professionalism in Childcare
ECE 125 Nutrition, Health and Safety for the Young Child 3
ECE 211 Inclusion of Youg Children with Special Needs 3
ECE 226 Positive Child Guidance 3
ECE 228 The Young Child: Family, Culture, and Community 3
ECE 240 Assessment of Young Children 3
ECE 246 Integrating Learning and Lesson Planning: Literacy 3
ECE 292 Early Childhood Education: Theory to Practice 4
Subtotal 31

Required Support Courses

A grade of C or better is required for graduation.

Course # Course Title Credits
CSA 100 Computer Literacy 1
MAT 106 Elementary Data Analysis and Spreadsheets 3
STU 100 Student Success and Career Planning 1
WRT 101 English Composition I [SUN# ENG1101] 3
WRT 102 English Composition II [SUN# ENG1102] 3
AGEC Science Course Select a science course from the AGEC & CTE Science list. Recommend: BIO 105IN 4
Subtotal 15

Focus Electives

Complete 8 credits from the courses listed below.  Contact the Center for Early Childhood Studies to select appropriate for your career goal. A grade of C or better is required for graduation.

Course # Course Title Credits
CDA 103 Curriculum Planning and Schedule Development 1
CDA 112 Guidance Principles for Encouraging Self-Discipline 1
CDA 138 Building Parent and Classroom Connections 3
CDA 155 Understanding How Children Learn and Development 1
CDA 161 Principles of Social Competence 1
CDA 170 Ages and Stages of Young Children: Prenatal through Toddler 2
CDA 173 Ages and Stages of Young Children: The Preschool Years 1
CDA 211 Small and Large Muscle Development 2
CDA 222 Elements of Children's Culture 1
ECE 107 Human Development and Relations 3
ECE 108 Literature/Social Studies for Children 3
ECE 124 Math and Science for Children 3
ECE 129 Infant and Toddler Education 3
ECE 136 Early Childhood STEAM 3
Subtotal 8
Total 60

* Other general education requirements fulfilled by required core and support courses: Communication requirement - WRT 101; Social and Behavioral Sciences - ECE 117; Math and Science - MAT 106

Conditional Program/Major Codes: AASECS/9ECS

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