Early Learning & Development
The Early Childhood Development Program at SCC, prepares individuals to enter the workforce as Early Childhood Professionals. In addition, courses within the program can assist individuals already employed in the field to upgrade and expand their skills and understanding of the professional knowledge base.
Settings, employers, and professional responsibilities vary widely in contemporary early care and education. Responsibilities include providing direct service to children and their families in home and group licensed settings as well as communication and collaboration with other professionals and agencies. In addition, the early childhood field offers opportunities for self employment, and opportunity to continue into a variety of 4 year programs at other academic institutions.
All graduates must meet existing state and employer physical and mental health requirements and submit fingerprints for legal clearance to the required public agencies. In addition, students are encouraged to obtain first aid, CPR, and food handler training desired by most employers in the field. Many of these requirements are necessary for students to complete internship courses, and field experiences, in the SCC program.
The Early Learning and Development program at SCC is designed to prepare individuals to enter the workforce as Early Childhood Professionals, and to assist individuals employed in the field of early care and education to upgrade and expand their skills. The program emphasizes the roles and responsibilities of professionals, family members, and citizens, who together meet the needs of young children today. Coursework emphasizes: professionalism and contemporary early childhood work (EED200), philosophies and methods of early learning (ECH128, EED200), creating and managing an environment for young children (EED212, ECH126), an introduction to developmental science (ECH176), and the impact of regulations and standards on practice (EED215, EED200). Individuals who are employed or assisting in state licensed early childhood programs must meet current regulatory personnel standards. This typically includes: fingerprinting checks, TB test, immunizations, CPR/first aid, and food handler training. The Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS) in Early Learning and Development is a shared degree program where students complete the first tier of courses on-site at the SCC campus and continue the second tier of classes at Rio Salado Community College (RSC). Courses are offered in day, evening, and Saturday format at SCC. Courses are delivered online via the Internet through RSC. This degree prepares students for work in private preschools, child care environments, and a variety of other program types which serve young children and their families. SCC also offers Play Lab credit courses (ECH126) for adult students who may bring a child with them to the classroom. Play Labs are unique in welcoming toddlers aged 13 months through the preschool years! The labs provide an opportunity for all students to observe play in an intentionally prepared environment, to see up-close a model for parent involvement, and to participate in practical, hands-on application of the principles of “developmentally appropriate practice” in early childhood development. Students whose long-term goal is employment in public school, preschool, and kindergarten classrooms will need an Arizona Early Childhood Teaching Certificate (birth to grade 3). This requires transfer to a university for completion of a four-year degree. Early academic advisement (both at SCC and the university) will ensure that transfer students complete the required general studies courses for entry, as well as appropriate early childhood coursework. SCC students may complete an ATP degree for Northern Arizona University, which offers a cohort program for a four-year degree/teacher certification on SCC’s campus. (Contact NAU at SCC.)