Education

The Early Childhood Education Program at Mount Wachusett Community College provides students with the opportunity to earn an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education –- Career or Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education -- Transfer. The Elementary Education Track provides students with the opportunity to earn an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences. Upon completion of a program, students are prepared for positions in early child care and educational settings.  During the course of study, students will develop skills and competencies in early childhood philosophy and theory.  Students will gain knowledge in the growth and development of young children, curriculum and program development, and environmental planning.

Please click here for MassTransfer information

Early Childhood Education—Career Degree (ECC)

In addition to attending to children’s basic needs, early childhood education professionals organize activities that stimulate children’s physical, emotional, intellectual, and social growth. They help children explore interests, develop independence, foster creativity, build self-esteem, and learn how to behave with others. MWCC’s program will prepare students to begin a career working with children ages 0-5. Benefits of MWCC’s program include a great job placement rate (90 percent of students find jobs), the option of both day and evening classes, day classes scheduled conveniently for parents of school-age children, opportunities to gain real world experience, and many excellent, local practicum sites.

Year 1
FallCredits
ECE 101Introduction To Early Childhood Education 3
ENG 101College Writing I 3
PSY 105Introduction To Psychology 3
BIO 103Human Health And Disease 3
ECE 103Home, School, And Community Relations 3
Spring
ENG 102College Writing II 3
PSY 108Child Development 13
SPC 113Speech (formerly THE113) 3
MAT 140Elements Of Mathematics I 3
ECE 134Guiding Children's Behavior 3
Year 2
Fall
ECE 114Early Childhood Education Practicum I 14
PSY 244Children With Special Needs 3
ECE 105 or 135Child Care Administration (or Health, Safety & Nutrition in Early Childhood Settings) 3
ECE 102Early Childhood Curriculum And Program Planning 13
ECE 104Infant And Toddler Development And Curriculum 3
Spring
ECE 124Early Childhood Education Practicum II 14
ECE 250Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood 3
ENG 235Children's Literature 3
SOC 206Marriage And The Family 3
ECE 132Applying Theories Of Curriculum 3
 Total Credits: 62
1

 Students enrolled in ECC or ECT must earn a grade of C or better. 

See Education program student learning outcomes and technical standards

State certification

After completing the degree, students can apply for Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) Lead Teacher certification. Lead Teachers must be age 21 or over (those under 21 can receive Teacher certification). EEC certification indicates that students are qualified to work in childcare facilities.

Helpful hints

To meet Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) requirements, students should attain First Aid certification. Childcare facilities are required to have one CPR-certified professional always present; therefore, students who attain certification will be even more marketable.

Transfer options

For transfer options, please click here. It is recommended that you also consult with your academic advisor.

Special requirements

Technical standards must be met with or without accommodations.

Career options/Earning potential

For career options, please click here.

Early Childhood Education—Transfer Degree (ECT)

This program satisfies the requirements of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Early Childhood Education Transfer Compact for transfer to a state college or university bachelor's degree program (nursery school to grade 2). Preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school teachers play a vital role in the development of children, introducing them to numbers, language, science, and social studies. They facilitate student learning through interactive class discussions, educational activities, "hands-on" learning, and one-on-one assistance. The need for qualified teachers continues to grow because of retirements, increasing student enrollments, and demands for smaller class sizes. Benefits of MWCC’s program include: day, evening, and distance learning options; day classes scheduled conveniently for parents of school-age children; opportunities to gain real world experience; and a strong liberal arts and sciences curriculum for more effective transfer.

Year 1
FallCredits
ECE 101Introduction To Early Childhood Education 3
ENG 101College Writing I 3
PSY 105Introduction To Psychology 3
BIO 109, EAS 115, or EAS 125Biology I (or Biogeology: History of Life or Physical Geology of the Earth) 4
MAT 140Elements Of Mathematics I 3
Spring
ENG 102College Writing II 3
PSY 108Child Development 13
ECE 103Home, School, And Community Relations 3
MAT 143Statistics 3
Year 2
Fall
ECE 102Early Childhood Curriculum And Program Planning 13
SPC 113Speech (formerly THE113) 3
ECE 114Early Childhood Education Practicum I 14
ART 109, 110, MUS 103, or HUM 260Art History I (or Art History II or Music Skills and Theory I or The Art of Being Human) 23
HIS 201History of United States I 3
Spring
PHY 101 or 105Introduction To Physical Science (or College Physics I) 4
ENG 235Children's Literature 3
ECE 124Early Childhood Education Practicum II 14
HIS 105 or 106History Of World Civilization I (or History of World Civilization II) 3
PSY 244Children With Special Needs 13
 Total Credits: 61
1

Students enrolled in ECC or ECT must earn a grade of C or better. 

2

HUM 260 The Art Of Being Human I recommended for transfer to Fitchburg State University.

See Education program student learning outcomes and technical standards.

Transfer options

For transfer options, please click here. It is recommended that you also consult with your academic advisor.

MassTransfer

Students who plan to transfer to a Massachusetts state university or a University of Massachusetts campus may be eligible to transfer under the MassTransfer agreement, which provides transfer advantages to those who qualify.

Please click here for MassTransfer information

Special requirements

Satisfactory completion of the Communication and Literacy (CLST) section of the Massachusetts Tests of Educator Licensure (MTEL) is required for transfer into a four-year educational program prior to entrance to junior-level courses. The exam is not a prerequisite to enter MWCC's program. Technical standards must be met with or without accommodations.

Elementary Education Track (LAEL)

A Degree in Liberal Arts and Science

This program satisfies the requirements of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Elementary Education Transfer Compact for transfer to a state college or university bachelor's degree program. Elementary school teachers play a vital role in the development of children, introducing them to numbers, language, science, and social studies. They facilitate student learning through interactive class discussions, educational activities, "hands-on" learning, and one-on-one assistance. The need for qualified teachers continues to grow because of retirements, increasing student enrollments, and demands for smaller class sizes. The Liberal Arts and Sciences includes the MassTransfer Block. Please click here for MassTransfer information

Year 1
FallCredits
HIS 105 or 106History Of World Civilization I (or History of World Civilization II) 3
ENG 101College Writing I 3
PSY 105Introduction To Psychology 3
BIO 109Biology I 4
CIS 127Computer Technologies 3
Spring
ENG 102College Writing II 3
EDU 101Introduction To Education 3
EAS 115, 125, or PHY 101Paleontology: Evolution of Life (or Physical Geology of the Earth or Introduction to Physical Science) 4
SPC 113Speech (formerly THE113) 3
MAT 140Elements Of Mathematics I 3
Year 2
Fall
ENG 235Children's Literature 3
HIS 201 or 202History of United States I (or History of United States II) 3
PER 126 or 130Fitness And Wellness 12-3
PSY 108 or 110Child Development (or Human Growth and Development) 3
World Language or Culturally Diverse Elective (see list below)  3
Spring
MAT 143Statistics (or higher) 23-4
ENG 290LAS Capstone: Advanced Writing and Research 3
ART 109, 110, or MUS 103Art History I (or Art History II or Music Skills and Theory I) 3
World Language or Culturally Diverse Elective (see list below)  3
General Elective 3 3
 Total Credits: 61-63
1

PER 130 Health, Fitness, And Wellness is recommended for transfer

2

Select courses to fulfill requirements for the intended academic major at the four-year college to which you plan to transfer

3

General Electives: See General Electives exceptions.

World Language or Culturally Diverse Elective

Credits
ASL - Any American Sign Language course3
ANT 111Cultural Anthropology3
ART 109Art History I3
ART 110Art History II3
ART 251Two-Dimensional Design3
ART 252Three-Dimensional Design3
ART 259Ceramics I3
ART 263Drawing I3
DAN 133Hip Hop/Street Dance Foundation3
ENG 221Women's Literature3
ENG 236Modern Drama3
ENG 237Special Topics: Queer American Drama3
ENG 261The Short Story3
FRE - Any French course3
GEO 129World And Cultural Geography3
HIS 105History Of World Civilization I3
HIS 106History Of World Civilization II3
HIS 125American Ethnic History3
HST 150Cultural Awareness3
HUM 240Comparative Religion3
HUM 260The Art Of Being Human I3
MUS 106History Of Jazz3
MUS 160History of Rock and Roll3
PHL 201Introduction To Philosophical Issues3
PHL 210Levels Of Being3
PHL 250Ethics3
SOC 103Introduction To Sociology3
SOC 125Gender Issues3
SOC 205Social Problems3
SPA - Any Spanish course3

See Education program student learning outcomes and technical standards.

Helpful hints

Students should consult with a transfer advisor early to ensure that they choose a combination of liberal arts and education courses that transfer to the four-year college or university of their choice.

Transfer options

For transfer options, please click here. It is recommended that you also consult with your academic advisor.

MassTransfer

Students who plan to transfer to a Massachusetts state university or a University of Massachusetts campus may be eligible to transfer under the MassTransfer agreement, which provides transfer advantages to those who qualify.

Please click here for MassTransfer information

Special requirements

Most four-year colleges and universities (including all Massachusetts public institutions) require satisfactory completion of the Communication and Literacy section of the Massachusetts Tests of Educator Licensure (MTEL) prior to entrance to junior-level courses. The exam is NOT a prerequisite to enter MWCC's program. Students may be able to transfer into bachelor's degree education programs, but may not be able to take upper-level education courses until they pass the exam. Technical standards must be met with or without accommodations.

Program Student Learning Outcomes for ECC, ECT, LAEL

Upon graduation from these programs, students shall have demonstrated the ability to:

  • Create an environment that is healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for each child.

  • Design, implement, and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for every young child.

  • Implement developmentally appropriate activity plans that are based on children’s ages, characteristics, and culture.

  • Explain and analyze the importance of creating respectful, reciprocal relationships that support and involve families in their children’s development.

  • Practice child observations based on developmental domains.

  • Conduct documentation strategies that positively influence the development of children.

  • Conduct themselves as members of the early childhood profession, upholding ethical guidelines and professional standards related to early childhood practice.

  • Show ability to be reflective learners who integrate knowledge from a variety of sources.

  • Engage in informed advocacy for children and the early childhood profession.

 Program Student Learning Outcomes for LAEL

Upon graduation from these programs, students shall have demonstrated the ability to:

  • Question complex problems and ideas relevant to a variety of disciplines and theories, locally, nationally and globally.

  • Create an educational environment that is respectful, supportive and challenging.

  • Implement curriculum based on State Frameworks and national standards.

  • Defend the teaching profession by upholding ethical guidelines and professional standards.

  • Engage in informed advocacy for students and the teaching profession.

  • Apply reflective practice to integrate knowledge from a variety of sources.

Capstone Course for LAEL

ENG 290 LAS Capstone: Advanced Writing and Research is the required capstone course for some Liberal Arts & Sciences majors and is to be taken after successfully completing ENG 101 College Writing I, ENG 102 College Writing II and at least  45 college-level credits.

Technical Standards1 for ECC and ECT

1

For general information about technical standards and accommodation, see Technical Standards.

Students entering these programs must be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Comprehend textbook material at the 11th grade level.
  • Communicate and assimilate information either in spoken, printed, signed, or computer voice format.
  • Gather, analyze, and draw conclusions from data.
  • Lift a child up to 50 pounds to safety or for assistance.
  • Stand for extended periods of time up to one hour, stoop, bend and get up and down from a floor sitting position.
  • Use small muscle dexterity necessary to do such tasks as preparing meals and diapering.
  • Work as part of a team, as in team teaching or parent meetings.
  • Exhibit social skills appropriate to professional interactions and in accordance with early childhood standards.
  • Communicate clearly with children and respond immediately and appropriately.
  • Identify at-risk behavior that might endanger the safety of a child, peers and/or staff during instructional, social or recreational activities.
  • Identify situations when a child is in distress or exhibiting behaviors that endanger their safety by reacting in an appropriate and timely manner.
  • Remain calm, rational, decisive, and in control at all times, especially during emergency and alarm situations.
  • Function without causing harm to self or others if under the influence of prescription or over-the-counter medications.

Technical Standards1 for LAEL

  • Comprehend textbook material at the 11th grade level
  • Communicate and assimilate information either in spoken, printed, signed, or computer voice format.

  • Gather, analyze, and draw conclusions from data.

  • Stand for extended period of time up to one hour.

  • Work as part of a team, as in teaching or parent meetings.

  • Exhibit social skills appropriate to professional interactions and in accordance with education standards.

  • Communicate clearly with children and respond immediately and appropriately.

  • Identify at-risk behavior that might endanger the safety of a student, peers, and/or staff during instructional, social, or recreational activities.

  • Remain calm, rational, decisive, and in control at all times, especially during emergency and alarm situations.

  • Function without causing harm to self or others if under the influence of prescription or over-the-counter medications.

 

Courses

ECE 101. Introduction To Early Childhood Education. 3 Credits.

This course is an introduction to the field of early childhood. It studies the foundations, history, philosophy, ethics, the role of the teacher, and the changing needs of children in a variety of settings. This course will address licensing regulations, state and national standards and how they impact on the social, emotional, and intellectual growth of the child. A 16-hour field experience is required for all ECT (transfer) students only, in order to meet the new Massachusetts Early Childhood Transfer Compact. Students participating in field experiences must undergo a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, or placement.

ECE 102. Early Childhood Curriculum And Program Planning. 3 Credits.

This course surveys the theory and methods needed in developing, planning and maintaining an interesting, comprehensive curriculum/program for preschool children. Particular attention is given to developmental theory and the integration of State standards and licensing guidelines into the curriculum. Students gain skills in working with, understanding, and meeting the needs of all young children. Various curriculum areas involving language, science, math, social studies, music, art, literacy, and drama are emphasized, along with understanding the importance of play, and of planning the development of children’s' social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development. Students also develop plans for cultural diversity and explore strategies for including families in the program. ECC and ECT students must earn a C or better in the course. Prerequisite: PSY 108 (or corequisite).

ECE 103. Home, School, And Community Relations. 3 Credits.

This course will examine the role of teacher and parent in the development, care, and education of young children. Special emphasis will be placed on improving communication skills, in order to create more effective, positive relationships among parents, teachers, and other professionals. Students will explore attitudes and communication styles that inhibit or enhance communication. Topics include understanding parents' roles; trends influencing families; characteristics of effective and ineffective communication; encouraging both direct and indirect parent involvement in the classroom and the community; cultural diversity; and working with parents in special situations, i.e., special needs, divorce, single parenting, and abusive parents. Students will study strategies to advocate for children, families, and early childhood education. ECC and ECT students must earn a C or better in the course. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, or placement.

ECE 104. Infant And Toddler Development And Curriculum. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to give students information on physical, cognitive, language, and social-emotional development from birth to three years, as it relates to early childhood education. Students will become familiar with developmentally appropriate practices in infant and toddler care settings with regards to such areas as environment, care giving, and curriculum. Specific topics, such as children with special needs, parent-child interactions, and parent-teacher communications, will also be included. ECC and ECT students must earn a C or better in the course. Prerequisite: PSY 108. Fall.

ECE 105. Child Care Administration. 3 Credits.

This course examines the organization, planning, and the administering of various types of early childhood programs. Emphasis will be placed on the responsibility of the director to provide a quality program through thoughtful planning, sound fiscal management skills, and interpersonal relationships, while meeting State standards and guidelines and State licensing regulations. Topics included in the course will be funding, budgeting, evaluating, hiring, collecting fees, writing reports, and communication skills. Prerequisites: ENG 101, ECE 101.

ECE 114. Early Childhood Education Practicum I. 4 Credits.

This course provides students with practical experience (150 hours) working with children in an early childhood setting under faculty supervision. Competencies emphasized include working as a team member; developing, implementing and evaluating appropriate activities for young children; demonstrating positive guidance and communication strategies; keeping children safe and healthy; and creating and maintaining a developmentally appropriate, inclusive learning environment. Students will develop confidence and a sense of professionalism while reflecting on their teaching skills. Students will be required to develop a portfolio as a capstone project. Students participating in this practicum must undergo a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check. ECC and ECT students must earn a C or better in the course. Prerequisites: ECE 102 or corequisite; PSY 108; enrollment in ECC or ECT programs.

ECE 124. Early Childhood Education Practicum II. 4 Credits.

This course provides students with practical experience (150 hours) working with children in an early childhood setting under faculty supervision. Competencies emphasized include working as a team member; developing, implementing and evaluating appropriate activities for young children; demonstrating positive guidance and communication strategies; keeping children safe and healthy; and creating and maintaining a developmentally appropriate, inclusive learning environment. Students will develop confidence and a sense of professionalism while reflecting on their teaching skills. Students will be required to develop a portfolio as a capstone project. Students participating in a practicum must undergo a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check. ECC and ECT students must earn a C or better in the course. Prerequisites: ECE 114; enrollment in ECE or ECT programs.

ECE 132. Applying Theories Of Curriculum. 3 Credits.

This course will explore and analyze current trends, theories, and standards of curriculum in early childhood education. Emphasis will be placed on the Massachusetts Early Childhood Program Standards and Preschool Learning Guidelines and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) program standards. Students will gain a more in-depth understanding of inquiry-based teaching that reviews the value of play and the importance of cultural diversity. ECC and ECT students must earn a C or better in the course. Prerequisites: ECE 102, PSY 108.

ECE 134. Guiding Children's Behavior. 3 Credits.

This course helps students examine and interpret young children's behavior. Students will examine a variety of positive approaches to discipline and study how materials, environment, scheduling, appropriate speech and action all contribute to children's behavior. Students will learn effective techniques to guide children toward cooperation and positive, productive interactions with others, and develop realistic expectations of young children according to each child's developmental level. Attention is given to special accommodations designed to meet the needs of all children. ECC and ECT students must earn a C or better in the course. Prerequisite: PSY 108. Spring.

ECE 135. Health, Safety & Nutrition in Early Childhood Settings. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on concepts in the fields of health, safety and nutrition and their relationship to the growth and development of young children ages birth to eight. Topics include identifying safe and healthy practices and potential problem areas in childcare settings, including creating safe environments; nutrition, food safety and food allergies; and child abuse and neglect. Emphasis will be on the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care licensing regulations and state standards. This course will also examine the influence family, community and culture has on a child's health and safety. Prerequisite: ECE 101. Fall.

ECE 250. Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood. 3 Credits.

This course examines observation and assessment of children from birth through eight years. Formal and informal tools will be discussed with an emphasis on the connection between effective observation and documentation in collecting information regarding children's development and learning. Focus will be on the appropriate use of integrating assessments and teaching in a variety of early childhood settings. The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) regulations and National Standards will be reviewed. ECC and ECT students must earn a C or better in the course. Prerequisite: PSY 108.