Career Description

The Early Childhood Education AAS degree is equivalent to a Step 9 in the Oregon Registry and qualifies students for a variety of positions within the field of early childhood education including Family Advocate, Parent Educator, Head Teacher, Quality Improvement Specialist, Child Care Center Director, and many others.

Course of Study

The AAS degree provides graduates with the ability to know and apply the depth and breadth of all six professional standards and competency areas recognized nationally across the birth through age 8 continuum and settings, with a dedicated focus on young children in birth through age 5 settings.

The degree runs seven consecutive terms, fall of year one through spring of year two. It is designed for full-time students but can also be completed part-time. All required courses and competencies mastered for the ECE Fundamentals and ECE Curriculum certificates apply to the AAS degree. 

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

Program Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this degree will be able to:

  • Use multidimensional knowledge to make evidence-based decisions for creating and implementing curriculum, teaching practices, and learning environments that are safe, healthy, respectful, culturally and linguistically responsive, supportive and challenging for each.
  • Use knowledge of family structures, positive parental and family development, available community resources, and a variety of communication and engagement skills to establish and sustain respectful, reciprocal relationships that affirm and respect family diversity and engage families in their child’s development and learning as collaborative partners.
  • Use observation, documentation, and assessment to inform instruction and planning in early learning settings in ways that are ethically grounded and developmentally, culturally, ability, and linguistically appropriate to promote positive outcomes for each child in partnership with families and professional colleagues.
  • Create an inclusive classroom culture, maintain supportive relationships and interactions with young children and use a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate, culturally and linguistically relevant, anti-bias and evidence-based teaching skills and strategies that reflect the principles of universal design for learning and meet the needs of each child.
  • Use knowledge of child development and early learning standards to describe how young children learn across core content areas and use this understanding to select or create curriculum that counters biases and stereotypes, fosters young children’s interest in the content areas, and facilitates individual and group learning.
  • Use collaborative, reflective, and intentional practice in their work with young children and as members of the early childhood profession.
  • Use knowledge of history, current issues, the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct, the mission of the early childhood education profession, and college-level speaking and writing skills to support and advocate for young children, families and the profession.