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Associate in Arts, Emphasis in Early Childhood Education

The Associate in Arts (AA), Emphasis in Early Childhood Education provides the first two years of a four-year curriculum in early childhood education. Students study child development, curriculum design and development, theory and practice in the education of young children, and the intersections of family, community, and childhood learning and development. Students who earn the AA, Early Childhood Education may work in early childhood settings and programs as early childhood educators and teacher assistants. Upon completion of the Bachelor of Arts in Education, students may work as teachers of children from birth to third grade. The AA, Early Childhood Education provides a pathway for students seeking Arizona Department of Education teacher certification.


Academic Plan Code: 
Associate in Arts, Emphasis in Early Childhood Education
Total credits required: 
Award notes

Students must earn a grade of C or better in each course in the program.

Program Learning Outcomes
  • Evaluate developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate learning experiences that promote each child`s growth and development in the following domains: Social-Emotional, Physical, Cognitive, and Language and Literacy. (CFS235, EDU230, EDU291, EED200, EED205, [HU])
  • Identify the components necessary for a safe, caring, inclusive, and healthy learning environment according to best practices and local, state, and national standards. (CFS123, CFS125, EDU222, EDU230, EED215, EED222, [HU], [SG]/[SQ])
  • Analyze children`s learning and development through observation and documentation, using standards and best practices. (CFS235, EED200, EED205, MAT256, MAT257, [FYC], (CRE), [MA], [SG]/[SQ])
  • Identify reciprocal, culturally responsive relationships between early childhood professionals, families and communities. (CFS123, CFS125, EDU222, EDU230, EED215, EED222, (COM), [HU])
  • Develop communication skills necessary to advocate for children and their families. (EDU222, EDU230, EED200, EED222, HIS103, POS110, GCU/POS213, [FYC], [CS], (COM), (CRE), [HU])
  • Practice ethical and professional standards and behavior. (EDU222, EED200, EED222, HIS103, POS110, GCU/POS213, [FYC], (COM), (CRE), [HU])
  • Advocate for an ethical, equitable, diverse, and effective early childhood education profession. (EDU222, EDU230, EED200, EED222, [FYC], (COM), (CRE), [HU])
  • Engage in reflective practice and continuous learning through education and research. (CFS123, CFS125, CFS235, EDU222, EDU230, EDU291, EED200, EED205, EED215, EED222, MAT256, MAT257, [FYC], (CRE), [MA], [SG]/[SQ])
  • Develop problem solving skills relevant to early childhood education. (CFS123, CFS125, CFS235, EDU222, EDU230, EDU291, EED200, EED205, EED215, EED222, MAT256, MAT257, [FYC], (COM), (CRE) [HU], [MA], [SG]/[SQ])
Required courses
Course #Course TitleCredits
CFS235Developing Child: Theory into Practice, Prenatal - Age Eight (3) OR
EED205The Developing Child: Prenatal to Age Eight (3)3
EDU230Cultural Diversity in Education3
EED215Early Learning: Health, Safety, Nutrition and Fitness (3) OR
CFS123Health and Nutrition in Early Childhood Settings (1) AND
CFS125Safety in Early Childhood Settings (1)2-3
EED200Foundations of Early Childhood Education3
MAT256Investigating Quantity: Number, Operations, and Numerations Systems4
MAT257Investigating Geometry, Probability, and Statistics4
Arizona General Education Curriculum (AGEC)
AGEC-ACredits: 35-42
A single course with an [HU], [SB], [L], or [SG/SQ] designation may also be used to satisfy the Oral Communication, Critical Reading, or Awareness Area ([C], [G] and/or [H]) requirement(s). See the AGEC Matrix for course designations.
First-Year Composition [FYC]Credits: 6
ENG101First-Year Composition (3) OR
ENG107First-Year Composition for ESL (3) AND
ENG102First-Year Composition (3) OR
ENG108First-Year Composition for ESL (3)6
Literacy and Critical Inquiry [L]Credits: 3
COM225Public Speaking3
Mathematics [MA]Credits: 3-6
MAT141College Mathematics (4) OR
MAT142College Mathematics (3) OR
MAT145College Mathematics with Review (5) OR
MAT146College Mathematics with Review (6) OR
MAT150College Algebra/Functions (5) OR
MAT151College Algebra/Functions (4) OR
MAT152College Algebra/Functions (3) OR
MAT187Precalculus (5) OR
Any approved general education course in the Mathematical Applications [MA] area for which MAT15+ is a prerequisite (3-5)3-6
Note: Students must meet one of the following MCCCD prerequisites to take MAT256: Grade of C or better in (MAT150, or MAT151, or MAT152), or [(MAT120, or MAT121, or MAT122) AND (MAT141, or MAT142, or MAT145, or MAT146)], or [(MAT141, or MAT142, or MAT145, or MAT146) with placement that permits enrollment in MAT150, or MAT151, or MAT152 or higher].
Computer/Statistics/Quantitative Applications [CS]Credits: 3-4
CIS105Survey of Computer Information Systems (3) OR
BPC110Computer Usage and Applications (3) 3 OR
CSC180AAComputer Literacy (3) OR
CSC180ABComputer Literacy (4)3-4
Humanities, Arts and Design [HU]Credits: 6
EDU/ENH291Children`s Literature (3) AND
Any approved general education courses in the Humanities, Arts and Design [HU] area (3)6
Recommend EDU/HUM/STO292 The Art of Storytelling3
Social-Behavioral Sciences [SB]Credits: 6
Select one of the following US History/Government courses. These courses satisfy the United States Constitution requirement for state teacher certification.
HIS103United States History to 1865 (3) OR
POS110American National Government (3) OR
GCU/POS113United States and Arizona Social Studies (3)3
Students will be required to take POS221 if HIS103 was taken rather than GCU/POS113 for [SB] (1)
EDU222Introduction to the Exceptional Learner (3) OR
EED222Introduction to the Exceptional Young Child: Birth to Age Eight (3)3
Natural Sciences [SG]/[SQ]Credits: 8
Any approved general education course in the Natural Sciences (Quantitative) [SQ] area (4) AND
Any approved general education course in the Natural Sciences (Quantitative) [SQ] area or the Natural Sciences (General) [SG] area (4).8
Awareness AreasCredits: 0-6
These requirements may be shared with Core Requirements.
Cultural Diversity in the US [C]Credits: 0
Historical/Global Awareness [H]/[G]Credits: 0-3
Any approved general education course with the Historical [H] or Global [G] awareness area designation.0-3
May be met by HIS103 or GCU/POS113 in Social-Behavioral Sciences area.
MCCCD Additional Requirements
MCCCD Additional RequirementsCredits: 0-3
Courses in this area may also be applied to the AGEC Core Requirements. To minimize total credits required for degree and maximize transferable credits, it is recommended that courses be selected that meet more than one requirement wherever possible.
Oral CommunicationCredits: 0
Met by COM225 in Literacy and Critical Inquiry area.
Critical ReadingCredits: 0-3
CRE101College Critical Reading and Critical Thinking (3) OR
Equivalent as indicated by assessment (0)0-3
General Electives
General Electives
Course #Course TitleCredits
Electives should be completed once all other requirements have been met and only if needed to complete the 60 credits required for the associate degree.
Recommend selecting a course with a [G] tag if not already met by another course.
Take POS221 if HIS103 was taken rather than GCU/POS227 for [SB] (1)

At Maricopa, we strive to provide you with accurate and current information about our degree and certificate offerings. Due to the dynamic nature of the curriculum process, course and program information is subject to change. As a result, the course list associated with this degree or certificate on this site does not represent a contract, nor does it guarantee course availability. If you are interested in pursuing this degree or certificate, we encourage you to meet with an advisor to discuss the requirements at your college for the appropriate catalog year.