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Get your A.A. in Early Childhood Education at MWCC
The need for early childhood educators is growing by 10% per year*. You may be the teacher a child is waiting for! If you can identify with the following traits, a degree in Early Childhood Education might be for you:
Desire to help young children learn, explore and achieve their full potential
Belief in play-based learning
Nurturing style and personality
Strong communication skills
Get hands-on experience at our on-site childcare center
Prepare for the Massachusetts Early Education & Care Certification
Make a difference in a child’s life
Choose from classes including:
Children with Special Needs
Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood
Save Money on Your Degree
Access to $100,000 in ECE scholarships which can cover tuition, fees & childcare expenses (if you’re a parent)
Save thousands on tuition, which is less** than the national average for both private & public schools
Mount Wachusett Community College’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) degrees prepare students for careers in teaching. Whether you want to work as a Lead Teacher after graduation, transfer to a 4-year institution, or take the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL), MWCC can help you reach your goals. We feature an observation classroom, which allows students to gain insight into how successful classrooms are run. Our graduates leave ready to positively impact the lives of children, their families, and their communities.
There are several degree and certificate options available to MWCC students:
Early Childhood Education Career Degree
Become a Certified Preschool or Childcare Lead Teacher
The Early Childhood Career degree prepares you to work in a preschool or childcare center in Massachusetts certified as a Lead Teacher. 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.
Early Education and Care for Exceptional Children
Specialized Training for Special Education
The Early Care & Education for Young Children with Exceptionalities is a track available for Early Childhood Career Associate Degree students. A growing body of research is showing that just under half (45%) of children 0-17 have experienced adverse childhood experiences (ACES). These ACES are potentially traumatic events that can have lasting impacts on health and well-being. Responding to children who have experienced or who are at risk of experiencing ACES is a challenge facing the Early Education and Care field. This track provides training in the areas of challenging behaviors, trauma-informed care, human services, and helping children develop resilience, and prepares students to work in home-based support staff positions for young children with special needs and their families.
Early Childhood Education Transfer Degree
Save on your Bachelors by starting at the Mount
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.
Liberal Arts Elementary Ed. Track
Prepare for the Mass. Tests for Educator Licensure
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.
Early Childhood Certificate Program
A Focused Certificate for Working Professionals
This Early Childhood Certificate program prepares students, including those who are working in the field and want to continue their education, for professional work with children from birth to age 5. The program includes a series of courses designed to develop competencies in the areas of child development, curriculum planning, health and safety, and working with children with special needs. Direct work with and observation of children are an essential part of this certificate program. The certificate is designed to qualify students to meet the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care requirements for teachers in group settings. Certification may be in an infant/toddler or preschool setting based on the completion of a practicum in that setting.
Child Development Associate Credential
Free Training Offered in English and Spanish for Qualified Students
MWCC’s Early Childhood Education CDA program gives 120 hours of supervised professional experience and academic training to students who want a professional credential to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities to teach young children. The CDA program follows the curriculum for the National Child Development Associate Credential (CDA).
A student who holds a valid, current CDA credential may receive ten (10) credits that apply to the Early Childhood Education degree or certificate. Students who believe they may be eligible should contact the department chair to begin the process. The CDA certificate must be presented. Credits are applied as transfer credits to the student’s degree program, and there is no charge.
Caring for Children While Educating Future Leaders
The Garrison Center for Early Childhood Education is our lab school. It consists of two preschool classrooms which are run by the Montachusett Opportunity Council (MOC). In the center of the building, Early Childhood students attend class in the lab classroom. This room fits in between the two preschool classrooms so Early Childhood students can observe through the one-way windows. The sound system allows them to observe one classroom at a time.