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Early Childhood Education/Liberal Arts/A.A. Degree

Program Advisor: Flavia Mastellone, 413-236-4626

The Early Childhood Education concentration meets the Massachusetts Transfer Compact and provides a sound liberal arts foundation for students continuing on to a bachelor's degree.

In addition to courses specific to the field, this degree aims to promote a broad vision of the world and human development from historical,scientific, artistic, environmental, and social science perspectives.

This is a MassTransfer eligible program.

Expected Outcomes
Graduates of this program should be able to: 

  • understand current and historical philosophical and theoretical approaches to early childhood education;
  • develop a philosophy of early childhood education;
  • demonstrate an understanding of ethical issues in the field;
  • possess knowledge of child development, birth through age 8;
  • plan and implement developmentally appropriate activities and curriculum, reflecting children with special needs, and diverse backgrounds;
  • describe the role of the early childhood teacher;
  • observe, record and assess young children from diverse cultural backgrounds across different developmental areas;
  • understand current issues and trends that affect young children
    and their families, including legal issues and public policies;
  • value the importance of maintaining positive, collaborative rela­tionships with families; and
  • be familiar with community resources that serve children;
  • demonstrate knowledge of opportunities for professional growth;
  • apply teaching techniques and demonstrate effectiveness as a teacher as evaluated by supervising teachers and through self-evaluation.

Graduation Requirements

To earn a degree in this program, a student must complete the 62 program and general education credits, plus the additional requirements, shown below.

Program  27 Credits 
ECE 101 Early Childhood Growth/Development 
ECE 104  Intro to Early Childhood Ed. 
ECE 122  Special Needs in Early Childhood Ed. 
ECE 123  Early Childhood Ed. Practicum I 
ECE 124  Early Childhood Ed. Seminar I 
ECE 241  Creativity - A Child's Perspective 
ENG  Literature (see footnote 1
  Humanities and Fine Arts (see footnote 2
MAT 113  Survey of College Mathematics 
  Free Elective (see footnote 3)
General Education  35 Credits 
COM  Communication 
ENG  English Composition/Writing 
ENG  Literature 
HIS 113
HIS 114 
Western Civilization to 1500 OR
Western Civilization since 1500 
HIS 117  United States History to 1877 
MAT  Mathematics 
PSY 107  Introductory Psychology 
SOC  Sociology (see footnote 4)
  Environmental Studies (see footnote 5
  Natural or Physical Science (see footnote 5
Additional As Shown   
Core Competencies Portfolio  6 items 
Forum  12 units 
Health/Fitness  30 hours 
Minimum Cumulative averages:   
-Overall  2.000 
-Area of specialization: All required ECE Courses  2.000 

Suggested block for program completion

The following is a suggestion for completing this program in two years. The actual time needed to complete the program will vary according to each student's individual needs.

First Semester  6-14 Credits
   Pre-College Courses as needed 0-8      
ECE 104 Intro to Early Childhood Ed.
HIS 113
HIS 114  
Western Civilization to 1500 OR
Western Civilization since 1500  


Second Semester  12 Credits    
ECE 101 Early Childhood Growth/Development
ECE 241   Creativity - A Child's Perspective  
ENG  English Composition/Writing  
PSY 107 Introductory Psychology  


Third Semester 10 Credits
ECE 123   Early Childhood Ed. Practicum I
ECE 124 Early Childhood Ed. Seminar I
ENG English Composition/Writing 3
HIS 117 United States History to 1877 3


Fourth Semester 12 Credits
ECE 122 Special Needs in Early Childhood Ed. 3
COM Communication 3
ENG Literature (see footnote 1) 3
MAT Mathematics 3


Fifth Semester 10 Credits
ENG Literature 3
SOC Sociology (see footnote 4) 3
  Natural or Physical Science (see footnote 5)  


Sixth Semester 12 Credits
MAT 113 Survey of College Mathematics 3
Humanities and Fine Arts (see footnote 2) 3
  Environmental Studies (see footnote 5)
Free Elective (see footnote 3) 2
  Natural or Physical Science (see footnote 5)  


  1.  ENG 205, Children's Literature, recommended. Fulfills 3 credit hours of a Literature requirement ONLY for students in this concentration.

  2.  For students who need the course for their work setting, ECE 220, Infant and Toddler Care, may be substituted.

  3.  ECE 223 and ECE 224 strongly recommended.

  4.  Sociology course chosen from SOC 105 or SOC 136.

  5.  The Natural or Physical Science requirement must be fulfilled by one four credit laboratory science and one three credit non-laboratory science or by two four credit laboratory sciences. Completion of an environmentally focused labora­tory science, such as BIO 109, BIO 110, ENV 101, ENV 102, fulfills both the Natural and Physical Science and Environmental Studies requirements.

Note: Any prior criminal offense could hinder placement in practicum agencies and the ability to take national licensure examinations. See Criminal Offender Record Information Checks on page 11 for details.