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Degrees & Certificates

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

Early Childhood Education and Family Studies

Associate of Applied Science Degree: 97 Credits
Career Pathways: Roadmap | Program of Study

Credits to Complete Degree

Academic Discipline Credits
Early Childhood Education & Family Studies 58
Consumer & Family Studies 7
Early Education & Family Studies Elective 4
Writing 8
Health 4
Math 4
General Education Electives 12
Credit Total 97

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 Childhood 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 knowledge of child development and of individual children to create healthy, challenging learning environments and experiences.
  • Use content knowledge and appropriate pedagogy to create/design, implement and assess learning experiences.
  • Observe, document and assess children's development and learning in partnership with families.
  • Build respectful partnerships with children's families and their communities.
  • Use reflective practice to demonstrate professionalism.
  • Identify and conduct themselves as members of the early childhood profession.
  • Know and use ethical guidelines and professional standards related to early childhood practice.

Course of Study

The Early Childhood Education and Family Studies (ECEFS) Program is planned as a career ladder to accommodate the part-time as well as the full-time student. An ECEFS 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 ECEFS. 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 Childhood Education and Family Studies Program advisor.
  2. Students entering into the ECEFS Program must demonstrate through transcripted record or by appropriate COMPASS test scores the ability to be placed into WR 115 and MTH 20 for certificate course work, and completion of WR 115 for 2nd year AAS degree classes.

Criminal Background Check

All CGCC students enrolled in a health care or child care program, including Early Childhood 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 Childhood Education and Family Studies Program Electives

Course Name Credits
BA 177 Payroll Accounting 3
BA 223 Principles of Marketing 3
BA 224 Introduction to Human Resource Management 3
BA 250 Small Business Management 3
BA 285 Human Relation in 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 for the Young Child 3
ECE 238 Administration of ECE & FS Programs 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.

Practicum Requirements

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 130B, ECE 134); ECE Practicum 2 (ECE 130C, ECE 135); ECE Advanced Practicum 1 (ECE 260A, ECE 264); and ECE Advanced Practicum 2 (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 ECEFS 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; 4) complete a Food Handler’s Certificate; and 5) current Infant/Child First Aid Card. Costs associated with required practicum documentation are the sole responsibility of the student.

Early Childhood Education and Family Studies

Career and Technical Education Certificate: 44 Credits
Career Pathways: Roadmap | Program of Study
Gainful Employment

Credits to Complete Certificate

Academic Discipline Credits
Early Education & Family Studies 33
Health 4
Consumer & Family Studies 3
Writing 4
Credit Total 44

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.

Program Outcomes

Students exiting the program with an Early Chldhood Education and Family Studies certificate will:

  • Use knowledge of child development and of individual children to create healthy, challenging learning environments and experiences.
  • Use content knowledge and appropriate pedagogy to create/design, implement and assess learning experiences.
  • Observe, document and assess children's development and learning in partnership with families.
  • Build respectful partnerships with children's families and their communities.
  • Know and use professional standards related to early childhood practice.
  • Use reflective practice to demonstrate professionalism.

Course of Study

The Early Childhood Education and Family Studies (ECEFS) Program is planned as a career ladder to accommodate the part-time as well as the full-time student. An ECEFS 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 ECEFS. 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 Childhood Education and Family Studies Program advisor.
  2. Students entering into the ECEFS Program must demonstrate through transcripted record or by appropriate COMPASS test scores the ability to be placed into WR 115 and MTH 20 for certificate course work, and completion of WR 115 for 2nd year AAS degree classes.

Criminal Background Check

All CGCC students enrolled in a health care or child care program, including Early Childhood 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.

Practicum Requirements

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 130B, ECE 134); ECE Practicum 2 (ECE 130C, ECE 135; ECE Advanced Practicum 1 (ECE 260A, ECE 264)*; and ECE Advanced Practicum 2 (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 ECEFS 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; 4) complete a Food Handler’s Certificate; and 5) current Infant/Child First Aid Card. Costs associated with required practicum documentation are the sole responsibility of the student.

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