Degree: Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.). The A.A.S. degree in Early Childhood Education requires a total of 61 hours and a grade of C in all 36 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 infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and primary-age children (birth through age 8) and their families.
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.
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.
- For a student planning a career as a licensed pre-K teacher in Tennessee public schools or in a voluntary preschool, the Tennessee Transfer Pathway outlines courses required to transfer to Austin Peay State University, East Tennessee State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Technological University, the University of Memphis, and the University of Tennessee.
Typical job opportunities: Teacher in child-care program or preschool, caregiver, child-care administrator/director, assistant teacher, educational assistant, family child-care provider. Graduates may be employed in child-care centers, family child-care homes, Head Start programs, before- and after-school programs, pre-k programs, and preschools.
Program goals. Upon completion of the Early Childhood Education program, the graduate will have developed the skills, knowledge and abilities to accomplish the following:
- Promote child development and learning of young children from diverse backgrounds.
- Build family and community relationships.
- Observe, document, and assess to support young children and families.
- Use developmentally effective approaches for teaching young children.
- Use content knowledge to build meaningful curriculum.
- Identify and conduct him- or herself as a member of the early childhood profession, including upholding ethical standards.
Program goals are aligned with NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) Associate Degree standards.
Contact(s): Natural and Behavioral Sciences, (865) 694-6685