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Degrees & Certificates

Early Education and Family Studies Degree
Early Education and Family Studies Certificate

Early Education and Family Studies

Associate of Applied Science Degree: 92 Credits
Career Pathways: Roadmap | Program of Study

Credits to Complete Degree

Academic Discipline Credits
Early Education & Family Studies 61
Consumer & Family Studies 7
Early Education & Family Studies Elective 4
Writing 4
Health 4
General Education Electives 12
Credit Total 92

Career Description

Teachers and home care providers of young children, ages birth through five, plan the environment, develop suitable learning experiences, and work closely with families in childhood care education situations. They also supervise play and physical needs of small children, organize daily activities, keep records of children’s progress and confer with parents. Early education graduates may also work in related fields such as child care resource and referral.

Columbia Gorge Community College’s (CGCC) Early Education articulation agreement with Portland State University (PSU) allows for up to 80 transfer credits toward PSU’s Child and Family Studies degree or degree completion program.

Program Outcomes

Students exiting the program with an AAS in Early Education and Family Studies will …

  • Use their understanding of young children’s characteristics and needs, and of the multiple interacting influences on children’s development and learning, to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for all children;
  • Apply a recognition of the importance and complex characteristics of children’s families and communities to the creation of respectful reciprocal relationships that support and empower families and involve all families in their children’s development and learning.
  • Use systematic observation, documentation, and other effective assessment strategies in a responsible way, in partnership with families and other professionals, to positively influence children’s development and learning.
  • Employ their understanding of and relationships with children and families and their understanding of developmentally and culturally effective approaches to teaching and learning to implement and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for all young children.
  • Identify and conduct themselves as members of the early childhood profession.
  • Use ethical guidelines and other professional standards related to early childhood practice.
  • Identify themselves as continuous, collaborative learners who demonstrate knowledgeable, reflective, and critical perspectives on their work, making informed decisions that integrate knowledge from a variety of sources.
  • Act as informed advocates for sound educational practices and policies.

Course of Study

The Early Education and Family Studies (EEFS) Program is planned as a career ladder to accommodate the part-time as well as the full-time student. An EEFS Certificate provides entry level child care skills and meets the minimum requirements for a child care teacher in an Oregon licensed child care facility. The Associate of Applied Science degree qualifies a student to become a head teacher in a child care facility licensed by the Oregon Child Care Division. The National Association for Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) minimum suggested training for teachers in early childhood programs is also an AAS degree in EEFS. All required courses and competencies mastered for the certificate apply to the AAS degree. Certificate classes may apply toward a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. CDA and Oregon Registry credentials may articulate into certificate level coursework.

Students must also meet Associate degree comprehensive requirements and Associate of Applied Science degree requirements.

Program Requirements

  1. An initial advising/information session with an Early Education and Family Studies Program advisor.
  2. Students entering into the EEFS Program must demonstrate through transcripted record or by appropriate COMPASS test scores the ability to be placed into WR 115 for certificate course work, and completion of WR 115 for 2nd year AAS degree classes. Math 20 is recommended for Environments (ECE 122).

Criminal Background Check

All CGCC students enrolled in a health care or child care program, including Early Education and Family Studies, with requirements for practical experience of field training may have to pass a Criminal History Check (CHC) as a condition of their acceptance into a medical or other facility for training.

Students who do not pass the CHC will be unable to complete some course requirements and will be ineligible to participate in training at affiliated practicum sites, to sit for licensure or certification exams, or be hired for some professional positions. If you believe that your past history may interfere with your ability to complete the program of study or to obtain licensure, or certification in your chosen field, you should contact the appropriate state board or program director.

Approved Early Education and Family Studies Program Electives

Course Name Credits
BA 177 Payroll Accounting 3
BA 223 Principles of Marketing 3
BA 224 Human Resource Management 3
BA 250 Small Business Management 3
BA 285 Human Relation-Organizations 3
CIS 120 Computer Concepts I 4
ECE 175A Infant/Toddler Caregiving: Learning and Development 1
ECE 175B Infant/Toddler Caregiving: Group Care 1
ECE 175C Infant/Toddler Caregiving: Social/Emotional Growth 1
ECE 175D Infant/Toddler Caregiving: Family/Provider Relationships 1
ECE 177 Multi-age Groups 1
ECE 179 Child Portfolios in ECE 1
ECE 185 Field Trips in Early Childhood 1
ECE 188 Block Play and Woodworking for Young Children 1
ECE 235 Music and Movement in Early Childhood Education 3
ECE 238 Administration of Early Childhood Education 3
ESR 171 Environmental Science: Biological Perspectives* 4
ESR 172 Environmental Science: Chemical Perspectives* 4
PSY 222 Family & Intimate Relationships* 4
WR 122 English Composition 4
Up to 3 credits of Foreign Language
* Could be used as General Education.

Exit Requirements

Exit requirements for the early childhood certificate and the AAS degree in Early Education and Family Studies are as follows: Students must receive a C or better in every required early education class in order to receive a certificate or degree. Students must meet practicum competencies for the certificate and the degree. Students may retake classes in order to meet the grade requirement with the exception of ECE Practicum 1 (ECE 130A, ECE 133); ECE Practicum 2 (ECE 130B, ECE 134); ECE Practicum 3 (ECE 130C, ECE 135); ECE Advanced Practicum 4 (ECE 260A, ECE 264); and ECE Advanced Practicum 5 (ECE 260B, ECE 265); seminar and lab classes. These classes may be re-enrolled in only once after a student receives a grade of less than C. Department approval is required for any student desiring to attempt any ECE course for the third time.

Credits required depend on individual student competency as evaluated by EEFS instructors. To be considered for practicum, students must 1) be enrolled in the Oregon Child Care Division, Central Background Registry; 2) submit verification of measles immunization; 3) submit verification of TB Skin Test; and 4) complete a Food Handler’s Certificate. Costs associated with required practicum documentation are the sole responsibility of the student.

Early Education and Family Studies

Career and Technical Education Certificate: 38 Credits
Career Pathways: Roadmap | Program of Study

Credits to Complete Certificate

Academic Discipline Credits
Early Education & Family Studies 27
Health 4
Consumer & Family Studies 3
Writing 4
Credit Total 38

Career Description

Teachers and home care providers of young children, ages birth through five, plan the environment, develop suitable learning experiences, and work closely with families in childhood care education situations. They also supervise play and physical needs of small children, organize daily activities, keep records of children’s progress and confer with parents. Early education graduates may also work in related fields such as child care resource and referral.

Columbia Gorge Community College's (CGCC) Early Education articulation agreement with Portland State University (PSU) allows for up to 80 transfer credits toward PSU’s Child and Family Studies degree or degree completion program.

Program Outcomes

Students exiting the program with an AAS in Early Education and Family Studies will …

  • Use their understanding of young children’s characteristics and needs to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for all children.
  • Use their understanding of the importance and complex characteristics of children’s families and communities to create respectful reciprocal relationships that support and involve all families in their children’s development and learning.
  • Use observation and documentation, in partnership with families and other professionals, to positively influence children’s development and learning.
  • Employ their understanding of and relationships with children and families and their understanding of developmentally and culturally effective approaches to teaching and learning to implement and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for all young children.
  • Know and use professional standards related to early childhood practice.
  • Identify themselves as collaborative learners who demonstrate reflective perspectives on their work, making decisions that integrate knowledge from professional sources.

Course of Study

The Early Education and Family Studies (EEFS) Program is planned as a career ladder to accommodate the part-time as well as the full-time student. An EEFS Certificate provides entry level child care skills and meets the minimum requirements for a child care teacher in an Oregon licensed child care facility. The Associate of Applied Science degree qualifies a student to become a head teacher in a child care facility licensed by the Oregon Child Care Division. The National Association for Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) minimum suggested training for teachers in early childhood programs is also an AAS degree in EEFS. All required courses and competencies mastered for the certificate apply to the AAS degree. Certificate classes may apply toward a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. CDA and Oregon Registry credentials may articulate into certificate level coursework.

Students must also meet general certificate requirements.

Program Requirements

  1. An initial advising/information session with an Early Education and Family Studies Program advisor.
  2. Students entering into the EEFS Program must demonstrate through transcripted record or by appropriate COMPASS test scores the ability to be placed into WR 115 for certificate course work, and completion of WR 115 for 2nd year AAS degree classes. Math 20 is recommended for Environments (ECE 122).

Criminal Background Check

All CGCC students enrolled in a health care or child care program, including Early Education and Family Studies, with requirements for practical experience of field training may have to pass a Criminal History Check (CHC) as a condition of their acceptance into a medical or other facility for training.

Students who do not pass the CHC will be unable to complete some course requirements and will be ineligible to participate in training at affiliated practicum sites, to sit for licensure or certification exams, or be hired for some professional positions. If you believe that your past history may interfere with your ability to complete the program of study or to obtain licensure, or certification in your chosen field, you should contact the appropriate state board or program director.

Exit Requirements

Exit requirements for the early childhood certificate and the AAS degree in Early Education and Family Studies are as follows: Students must receive a C or better in every required early education class in order to receive a certificate or degree. Students must meet practicum competencies for the certificate and the degree. Students may retake classes in order to meet the grade requirement with the exception of ECE Practicum 1 (ECE 130A, ECE 133); and ECE Practicum 2 (ECE 130B, ECE 134); ECE Practicum 3 (ECE 130C, ECE 135; ECE Advanced Practicum 4 (ECE 260A, ECE 264)*; and ECE Advanced Practicum 5 (ECE 260B, ECE 265)*, seminar and lab classes. These classes may be re-enrolled in only once after a student receives a grade of less than C. Department approval is required for any student desiring to attempt any ECE course for the third time.

Credits required depend on individual student competency as evaluated by EEFS instructors. To be considered for practicum, students must 1) be enrolled in the Oregon Child Care Division, Central Background Registry; 2) submit verification of measles immunization; 3) submit verification of TB Skin Test; and 4) complete a Food Handler’s Certificate. Costs associated with required practicum documentation are the sole responsibility of the student.

* Advanced Practicums apply only to the EEFS AAS degree, not the EEFS Certifacte.