Degree: Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.). The A.A.S. degree in Early Childhood Education requires a total of 60 hours and a grade of C in all 38 hours of Early Childhood courses.
Program description. Early Childhood Education prepares the student for a career in child care and early education. The program includes both educational theory and the practical application of learning. Graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills to deliver appropriate programming for young children (birth through age 8) and their families.
NOTE: To become licensed as a teacher in public schools in Tennessee, students must complete a four-year degree in teacher education and obtain state licensure.
Further educational opportunities: At Pellissippi State there are two routes to becoming an early childhood professional:
- For a student who wants to quickly enter the workforce as a child-caregiver or assistant teacher, the two-year Pellissippi State degree in Early Childhood Education is the best route. This degree does not allow for public school teaching or licensure, nor for articulation to the University of Tennessee.
- For a student planning a career as a licensed teacher in kindergarten–third grade in Tennessee public schools or in a voluntary preschool, there are several transfer options.
- Transfer to the University of Tennessee requires a student to pursue a degree from UT in child and family studies, choosing a PreK-K track or a PreK-3 track. Students are recommended to seek advising from the child and family studies department at UT as they consider this option in order to use their time at Pellissippi State judiciously and to choose classes that are transferable. Child and family studies contacts at UT-Knoxville can be found at cfs.utk.edu/ug/contacts.
- Students may choose to transfer to one of the four-year schools that has an articulation agreement with Pellissippi State for Early Childhood Education. At this time these schools are
Carson-Newman (Articulation agreements can be found at www.pstcc.edu/departments/curriculum_and_instruction/artic-equiv/cn/.
East Tennessee State University (Articulation agreements can be found at www.pstcc.edu/departments/curriculum_and_instruction/artic-equiv/etsu/2009/index.html.
Typical job opportunities: Head Start teacher or assistant teacher, child-care center teacher or assistant teacher, child-care center administrator, kindergarten or elementary school assistant teacher, family child-care center teacher
Program goals. Upon completion of the Early Childhood Education program, the graduate will have developed the skills, knowledge and abilities to accomplish the following:
- Be prepared for job entry or career advancement in the child-care field.
- Use appropriate verbal and written communication skills.
- Demonstrate understanding of fundamental child development principles that promote positive outcomes for young children (birth through age 8).
- Apply on-the-job principles of good work habits, ethical standards and professionalism.
Contact: Natural and Behavioral Sciences, (865) 694-6685