This program is designed for those who want to work with children from birth-adolescence. Graduates can be expected to fill paraprofessional or professional positions in private or public agencies that provide early care and/or education services. This program meets the requirements of the WV Department of Education’s paraprofessional educator’s certificate (available at http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies); therefore individuals with this degree should also be eligible for positions as teacher’s aides in the public school system. It also fulfills the majority of requirements for Early Childhood Assistant Teachers in West Virginia and for employment in child care centers and independent pre-school programs.
Students who eventually plan to complete a bachelor’s degree in a related field can use this degree as a foundation for transfer, but it is recommended that students who plan to complete a bachelor’s degree before beginning employment consider completing additional requirements for an Associate in Arts 2+2 or transfer degree in Elementary Education, Secondary Education, or Early Childhood Education to maximize transferability of courses.
In addition to General Education Outcomes, upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of basic concepts, theories, and strategies used in early childhood care and education.
- Demonstrate knowledge of curriculum development, and how to implement activities for children of different ages.
- Demonstrate knowledge of infant, toddler, pre-school, and school - age child development.
- Demonstrate the ability to assist with designing developmentally appropriate practice activities for children.
- Demonstrate knowledge of and the ability to follow ethical standards and guidelines for the profession.
- Apply the skills and abilities related to assist planning and implementing therapeutic, learning, or social activities that are appropriate for children with diverse needs and abilities and for their families.
- Demonstrate knowledge of cultural, family, and individual influences on a child’s development and service delivery.
- Demonstrate an understanding of their role, abilities, and limitations in a relevant work setting.
- Demonstrate an understanding of general education goals of WVNCC for all students.
Employment outlook is currently above average, but is dependent upon changing local, regional, and national needs. Salaries tend to be low-moderate for graduates, depending on location, type of facility, and the prospective employee’s level of education and work experience. This program is designed to prepare individuals for entry-level positions in day care, preschools, and public school systems, or to prepare them for transfer to baccalaureate programs in early childhood education
NOTE: Two specialized programs which provide credit for credentials completed outside the college setting are available for students who possess either a U.S. Department of Labor Apprenticeship Certificate (ACDS) and/or a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. (See Occupational Development, A.A.S. and Technical Studies, A.A.S. in the Center for Economic and Workforce Development section.) Contact an advisor for additional information.
Important information: If you have ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor for any reason, State or National credentialing boards, licensing board and agencies, which require criminal background checks on potential employees and students may deny you employment or placement in certain settings, even if you have completed all academic requirements. If you have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, please contact the appropriate Program Director or Division Chair.
Job Titles: Assistant preschool teacher, caregiver, childcare provider, teacher’s aide (US Dept of Labor, 2017)
Wage and Employment Trends:
- $18,000 to $25,000 annually
- Average Projected Job Growth (2% job growth over the next seven years) (US Dept of Labor, 2017)
CIP: 44.0701 NCES CIP Title Associated with Major: Social Work.