Early Childhood Education

Program Pathways

Early Childhood Education Certificate

The Early Childhood Education certificate prepares students for an entry-level position in a child care program. Certificate program graduates will be able to practice appropriate guidance techniques, recognize and carry out appropriate activities and assessment for young children, maintain a healthy and safe setting, and be able to communicate effectively with children and families.

Program Details

Award Certificate
Credits 12
Program Start Fall, Spring
Number of Terms 1
Time to Complete 4 months
Course Format Face-to-Face, Hybrid
Class Meets Day, evening, or a combination of both to fit your schedule.
Admissions Application Select Academic Program:
Early Childhood Education – Certificate
See Program Admission

Suggested Sequence of Study and Cost

Program Courses

Term 1
  • Child Health, Safety, and Nutrition
  • Early Childhood Curriculum I -OR-
    Early Childhood Curriculum II -OR-
    Infant/Toddler Care and Education
  • Early Childhood Guidance
  • Introduction to Early Childhood Education

See the Suggested Sequence of Study for course cost and additional course details.

Next step: Continue to Early Childhood Education diploma or graduate and enter the workforce.

Early Childhood Education Diploma

The Early Childhood Education diploma prepares students for a position of responsibility in working with young children in a variety of settings. Graduates typically work in child care centers or as family home child care providers. Coursework introduces students to the early childhood field and includes child growth and development, guidance techniques, curriculum planning and assessment, infant and toddler care, health, safety and nutrition in the context of the field.

Program Details

Award Diploma
Credits 30
Program Start Fall, Spring
Number of Terms 2
Time to Complete 1 year
Course Format Face-to-Face, Hybrid, Online
Class Meets Day, evening, or a combination of both to fit your schedule.
Admissions Application Select Academic Program:
Early Childhood Education – AAS
See Program Admission

Suggested Sequence of Study and Cost

Program Courses

Term 1
  • Child Growth and Development
  • Early Childhood Curriculum I
  • Infant/Toddler Care and Education
  • Introduction to Early Childhood Education
Term 2
  • Child Health, Safety, and Nutrition
  • Early Childhood Curriculum II
  • Early Childhood Guidance
  • Field Experience I
  • Field Experience Seminar I

See the Suggested Sequence of Study for the full list of courses, cost, and additional course details.

Next step: Continue to terms 3 and 4 of the Early Childhood Education Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program or graduate and enter the workforce.

Early Childhood Education Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree

The Early Childhood Education Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree prepares students for a positions as lead or assistant teachers/caregivers in a variety of settings such as child care centers, preschools, child development homes, and public and private schools, working with infants thru school-age children.

First year students are introduced to the early childhood field with coursework on child growth and development, guidance techniques, curriculum planning and assessment, infant and toddler care, health, safety and nutrition in the context of the field.

Second year students build upon skills developed in year one with coursework on family relationships, program administration, curriculum planning, and job search skills.

Program Details

Award Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
Credits 61
Program Start Fall, Spring
Number of Terms 4
Time to Complete 2 years
Course Format Face-to-Face, Hybrid, Online
Class Meets Day, evening, or a combination of both to fit your schedule.
Admissions Application Select Academic Program:
Early Childhood Education – AAS
See Program Admission

Suggested Sequence of Study and Cost

Evening Hybrid Suggested Sequence of Study and Cost

Program Courses

Term 1
  • Child Growth and Development
  • Early Childhood Curriculum I
  • Infant/Toddler Care and Education
  • Introduction to Early Childhood Education
Term 2
  • Child Health, Safety, and Nutrition
  • Early Childhood Curriculum II
  • Early Childhood Guidance
  • Field Experience I
  • Field Experience Seminar I
Term 3
  • Career Strategies for Early Childhood
  • Current Topics and Issues in Child Care
  • Early Childhood Professional Portfolio
  • Field Experience II
  • Field Experience Seminar II
  • Home, School, and Community Relations
  • Human and Work Relations -OR-
    Introduction to Psychology -OR-
    Introduction to Sociology
  • School Age Care
Term 4
  • Advanced Curriculum Planning
  • Children's Literature
  • Early Childhood Program Administration
  • Including Diverse Learners

You must pass the Department of Human Services criminal history record check and a national FBI fingerprint check before participating in lab and field experience courses. If you do not pass, you will not be able to complete the coursework and will not graduate from the Early Childhood Education program.

See the Suggested Sequence of Study for the full list of courses, cost, and additional course details.

You have completed the Early Childhood Education Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program.

Careers

Positions

Graduates of the two-year program work as lead, assistant, or associate teachers in child care centers, private preschools, child development homes, and private and public schools. With additional experience and credentials, graduates may become a paraeducator in a public school or the director of a child care center.

Diploma graduates work as child care workers, teacher assistants, and early childhood professionals in child care centers, private preschools, child development homes, and private and public schools. Many graduates provide in-home child care and nanny services.

The Early Childhood certificate prepares the student for an entry-level position in a child care program. The certificate meets the course work requirements for the formal education component of the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential.

Example Careers and Average Wages

Entry Average Experienced
Childcare Workers $17,800 $22,300 $24,500
Preschool Teachers in Head Start and Private Preschools $20,900 $30,900 $35,800
Teaching Assistants $20,400 $26,600 $29,700

Source: 2021 Iowa Wage Report, Iowa Workforce Development

Employers

The following is a partial list of employers who have hired graduates from this program:

Business Location
Community United Child Care Centers Waterloo and Cedar Falls, IA
Dike New Hartford Elementary School Dike, IA
Discoveries Learning Center Denver, IA
Exceptional Persons, Inc. Waterloo, IA
Hawkeye Child Development Center Waterloo, IA
Purple Bloom School Coralville, IA
The Goddard School Waukee, IA
Tri-County Child & Family Development Council, Inc. Waterloo, IA
Trinity Preschool and Child Care Waterloo, IA
Vinton Shellsburg Community Schools Vinton, IA
Waterloo Community School District Waterloo, IA
Waverly Child Care and Preschool Waverly, IA

Program Admission

Step #1: Apply at Hawkeye

  1. Apply for admission at Hawkeye.

  2. Send official transcripts to Admissions.

Step #2: Demonstrate College Readiness

In order to be eligible for the Early Childhood Education program, all students must meet minimum score requirements and/or successfully complete the required college success courses in English, reading, and math with a C- grade or higher at Hawkeye Community College or comparable courses at another accredited college. For appropriate college success course placement, work with your program advisor.

Minimum score requirements
ACCUPLACER COMPASS ACT ACCUPLACER Next Generation GPA
Math 40 Arithmetic 24 Pre-Algebra 14 240 Arithmetic
241 Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics
2.00
Reading 58 69 16 239 2.50
Writing 64 Sentence Skills 41 16 240 2.50

Step #3: Program Acceptance

Applicants successfully demonstrating college readiness criteria are eligible for acceptance.

Applicants falling short of successful demonstration of college readiness criteria will be accepted to a Pre-Program. As a pre-program student, you will begin with general education and prerequisite classes. An advisor will help you create an academic plan to meet your program admission requirements. Once you have completed your pre-program coursework contact Admissions.

Equal Opportunity Statement

Program Contacts

Admissions
Email Admissions 319-296-4000 Hawkeye Center 114
Academic/College Success Advisor
Amber Dullard Email Amber Dullard 319-296-4014 ext.1223 Hawkeye Center 208E
Faculty Advisor
Jane Even Email Jane Even 319-296-2329 ext.1431 Black Hawk Hall 236
Faculty Advisor
Emily Knutson Email Emily Knutson 319-296-2329 ext.1558 Black Hawk Hall 236
Administrative Assistant
Kathy Konrardy Email Kathy Konrardy 319-296-4012 Black Hawk Hall 258
Dean
Catharine Freeman Email Catharine Freeman 319-296-4041 Black Hawk Hall 258B

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