Northeast Iowa Community College Logo

Early Childhood

Campus Location: Calmar, Peosta

Program Entry: Fall, Spring (Early Childhood Education Certificate); Fall (Diploma); Fall, Spring, Summer (Associate of Arts)

Award: Certificate, Diploma, Associate of Arts

Description:

Certificate

The Early Childhood Education Certificate is comprised of four courses and can be completed in two semesters. It is intended to provide you with the latest information and skills needed for an entry-level position in a child care program. The Early Childhood Education certificate meets the requirements for clock hours of formal child care education required for the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. Upon completion of the certificate program, the successful student 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.

Essential skills needed for a career in the field of early childhood include the ability to maintain awareness of active children in a group setting, to demonstrate stamina while engaging in multiple tasks and activities with children, to respond quickly and appropriately to children's changing needs and to keep children safe.

Diploma

Child care centers, preschools, kindergartens and child development centers offer many possibilities for employment now that there is increasing recognition of the importance of early childhood training. Graduates of the Early Childhood program primarily function as assistants, teachers or directors of child care centers and preschools. You receive preparation in the guidance and supervision of children in such activities as outdoor play, dramatic play, art, music, literature and language, science and math, health activities and field trips. You will also develop a basic understanding of the principles of child development, safety procedures, assessment and evaluation diagnosis, communication skills and nutritional needs. Upon graduation you will have employment opportunities nationwide.

Associate of Arts

The Associate of Arts with a concentration in Early Childhood provides a course of study which will readily transfer to a four-year college or university. The AA in Early Childhood is designed as a continuation of the Early Childhood diploma program. It enables you to enter the field of early childhood education as an assistant or lead teacher in a daycare, preschool or Head Start program and, with experience, in a position as director.

The general education courses completed for the degree are useful to you whether you continue your formal education or enter the workplace. The Associate of Arts in Early Childhood is a useful beginning if you want to get a professional degree in early childhood or elementary education.

If you are planning to transfer to a four-year college, you should select courses to satisfy specific requirements of the institution to which you intend to transfer. Consult your advisor at the four-year institution to which you intend to transfer if you have questions about course selection.

Early Childhood

Admissions Requirements:

  • Submission of your official high school transcript with ACT score.
  • Submission of transcript from any college or university previously attended.
  • Completion of ACCUPLACER assessment if necessary.

Early Childhood Education Certificate

In addition to the College admission requirements outlined, program applicants, prior to child development center participation/field experience, will be required to complete a criminal record/child and adult abuse registry check, a physical exam and up-to-date immunizations prior to child development center participation/field experience and completion of the program. A list of skills expected of early childhood professionals is available from counselors and advisors.

Early Childhood Diploma and AA

In addition to the College admission requirements outlined, program applicants, prior to the Early Childhood field experience, will be required to complete a criminal record/child and adult abuse registry check, a physical exam and up-to-date immunizations prior to field experience. Satisfactory physical and mental health is required. All students enrolled in this program may be required to complete a drug screen prior to entrance into Field Experience placement with a field site. Random drug screens may also be conducted on students while enrolled in the program.

Note: A positive report on the criminal dependent adult abuse, child abuse background screening or drug screen may prevent you from being accepted for Field Experience placement and completion of the program. All screening costs are the responsibility of the student.

Early Childhood

Academic Requirements:

Certificate

Minimum Credits: 12

View the printable Ed Plan.

 Term 1
CourseTitleCredits
ECE:103 Intro to Early Childhood Education 3.0
ECE:133 Child Health, Nutrition, and Safety 3.0
ECE:158 *Early Childhood Curriculum I (Option 1) 3.0

 

Term 2
CourseTitleCredits
ECE:221 *Infant/Toddler Care and Education (Option 1) 3.0
ECE:243 Early Childhood Guidance 3.0

*Only one Option 1 course is required

Diploma

Minimum Credits: 34.5

View the printable Ed Plan.

Term 1
CourseTitleCredits
ECE:103 Intro to Early Childhood Education 3.0
ECE:133 Child Health, Nutrition, and Safety 3.0
ECE:158 Early Childhood Curriculum I 3.0
ECE:248 Early Childhood Language Development 3.0
PSY:222 Child Psychology 3.0
* Communication Elective 3.0

 

Term 2
CourseTitleCredits
ECE:159 Early Childhood Curriculum II 3.0
ECE:221 Infant/Toddler Care and Education 3.0
ECE:243 Early Childhood Guidance 3.0
ECE:277 Early Childhood Field Experience I 2.0
ECE:278 Early Childhood Field Experience II 3.0
SDV:135 Job Seeking Skills 1.0
* Computer Elective 1.5

 *Electives

Communication Electives: COM:020, ENG:021, ENG:105, ENG:106
Computer Electives: BCA:112, BCA:212, SDV:200

Note:  A First Aid/CPR course that includes infant, child and adult CPR must be successfully completed prior to beginning ECE:277 and may be taken through NICC Business and Community Solutions. Students enrolled in the Early Childhood program must pass all required course work with a minimum of a C- grade. However, a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA (C grade average) is required to graduate from the program and the College.  Students not receiving a minimum of a C- grade in the prerequisite courses for ECE:277 will not be allowed into Field Experience.      


Associate of Arts

Minimum Credits: 71.5

View the printable Ed Plan (AA).

Completion of Associate of Science degree requirements AND

 
CourseTitleCredits
ECE:103 Intro to Early Childhood Education 3.0
ECE:133 Child Health, Safety, and Nutrition 3.0
ECE:158 Early Childhood Curriculum I 3.0
ECE:159 Early Childhood Curriculum II 3.0
ECE:221 Infant/Toddler Care and Education 3.0
ECE:243 Early Childhood Guidance 3.0
ECE:248 Early Childhood Language Development 3.0
ECE:277 Early Childhood Field Experience I 2.0
ECE:278 Early Childhood Field Experience II 3.0
PSY:222 Child Psychology 3.0
SOC:110 Intro to Sociology 3.0
* Computer Elective 1.5

*Electives

Computer Electives: BCA:112, BCA:212, SDV:200

Note: Students enrolled in the Early Childhood program must pass all required course work with a minimum of a C- grade. However, a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA (C grade average) is required to graduate from the program and the College.

Option: Paraeducator Certification

For Paraeducator Certification, see Education AA, Paraeducator Certification.

Early Childhood

Employment Information:

View Gainful Employment information for this program.

Iowa Workforce Development Estimated Salary

  • $16,970 - $25,380 - Region 1: Preschool Teachers, Excluding Special Education
  • $19,563 - $24,875 - Region 1: Teacher Assistants
  • $25,561 - $34,618 - Statewide: Education Administrators, Preschool and Child Care Center/Program
  • $17,088 - $17,868 - Region 1: Childcare Workers

Iowa Workforce Development Estimated Annual Openings (Statewide)

1,150

Employers of NICC Alumni

Early Learners, Dubuque, IA
Finley Daycare, Dubuque, IA
Frog Hollow, Dubuque, IA
Grandview Intergenerational Center, Dubuque, IA
Grandview Preschool, Dubuque, IA
Hippity Hop Preschool, West Union, IA
Kessel Kids Child Care Center, Cresco, IA
Kid Project, Dyserville, IA
Kinderwood, Edgewood, IA
Little Husky Learning Center, Oelwein, IA
Little Rascals, Dubuque, IA
Mercy Child Development Center, Dubuque, IA
Montessori School, Cedar Falls, IA
NICAA Head Start, East Dubuque, IL
NICC Child Development Center, Peosta, IA
Northeast Iowa Community Action, Decorah and Oelwein, IA
South Winneshiek Elementary/Middle School, Ossian, IA
St. Joe's Early Childhood Center, Key West, IA
St. Joseph's the Worker Early Childhood, Dubuque, IA
St. Joseph's Daycare, Earlville, IA
Waukon Elementary, Waukon, IA
West Union Elementary, West Union, IA
YMCA, Dubuque, IA

Sample Job Titles

Assistant
Assistant Teacher
Center Manager
Head Start Center Manager
Para. Co-teacher
Teacher/Family Service Worker
Teaching Assistant

For additional job titles, visit O-Net.

Early Childhood

Additional Information:

Articulation Agreements

Northeast Iowa Community College maintains articulation agreements with many area colleges and universities.  The Early Childhood program has an official articulation in place with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

Contacts

Todd Ecklund
Dean of Business and Computer Science
800.728.7367, ext 208
ecklundt@nicc.edu

Dana Orr-Dotzenrod, M.A. Ed
Early Childhood Instructor
800.728.2256, ext. 470
orr-dotzenrodd@nicc.edu

Julee Albers, M.S.
Early Childhood Instructor
800.728.7367, ext. 309
albersj@nicc.edu