Are you passionate about young children and education? The Associate Degree at Nashua Community College will provide you with the theoretical and hands-on learning to support your passion and goals. A career in early childhood is your opportunity to touch the future and make a difference in the lives of young children.
Why Study Childhood Education Here
Our Early Childhood Education program at Nashua Community College combines theoretical study with immediate field experiences in quality childcare centers with children from birth to 8 years of age. We have embedded professional development certificates into courses that can be added to your resume. Our Early Childhood Education Program follows the NAEYC Professional Standards. The Associate degree requirements fulfillthe NH Early Childhood Level 5 Teacher Credential.
Come learn with us and experience
- Collaborative learning environments
- Hands-on activities
- Quality Instructors passionate about the field of early childhood
- Course sequence earns you stackable certificates as you progress through our program (Associate Teacher certificate, Lead Teacher certificate, Associate Degree).
- Child care center Lead Teacher or Associate Teacher
- Head Start or Early Head Start Programs
- Family child care
- Para-educator at elementary schools
- Field of child advocacy
- Further your education at a 4-year college or university to become a pre-k – 3rd-grade teacher
- Director of childcare center
- Early Childhood Associate Teacher Certification
- Early Childhood Lead Teacher Certification
“If you are passionate about young children and their inquisitive minds, early childhood education may be the field for you. Early childhood educators can positively affect the lives of young children and their families. You can be the teacher that inspires children with a love of learning that will last a lifetime.”
—Lisa Furman Ed. D.
Total Credits: 4 View the comprehensive General Education Core Electives and General Education Electives from the Elective Requirements main page. MATH106N, MATH110N or MATH115N is recommended. MATH106N or MATH115N is recommended for Certificates in Accounting and Spreadsheets MATH103N recommended for Associate in Arts Degree in Communications Includes CSCN, ELET MATH or BCPT courses for Associate in Science Degree in Computer Networking. ECON201N/202N will satisfy the Quantitative Literacy elective for Associate in Arts Degree in English. MATH106N or ECON202N is recommended for Associate in Arts Degree in Humanities. MATH106N recommended for Associate in Science Degree in Nursing. MATH106N, MATH110N, or MATH115N are recommended. HUMA230N, or HUMA109N recommended for Associate in Science Degree in Paralegal Studies. Total Credits: 3 – 4 View the comprehensive General Education Core Electives and General Education Electives from the Elective Requirements main page. Total Credits: 3 View the comprehensive General Education Core Electives and General Education Electives from the Elective Requirements main page. Total Credits: 3 Students are advised to meet with their advisor to make appropriate elective selections based on their career goals and to facilitate the broadest range of transferability. Total Credits: 3 Students are advised to meet with their advisor to make appropriate elective selections based on their career goals and to facilitate the broadest range of transferability. Total Credits: 3 Students are advised to meet with their advisor to make appropriate elective selections based on their career goals and to facilitate the broadest range of transferability.
First Year – Fall Semester
First Year – Spring Semester
BIOL115N or Science General Education Requirement
Second Year – Fall Semester
English/Communications Core and Elective Requirements
Second Year – Spring Semester
Humanities/Fine Arts/Philosophy or Global Awareness
Behavioral Social Science Core Requirement
Total Credits: 4
MATH106N, MATH110N or MATH115N is recommended.
MATH106N or MATH115N is recommended for Certificates in Accounting and Spreadsheets
MATH103N recommended for Associate in Arts Degree in Communications
Includes CSCN, ELET MATH or BCPT courses for Associate in Science Degree in Computer Networking.
ECON201N/202N will satisfy the Quantitative Literacy elective for Associate in Arts Degree in English.
MATH106N or ECON202N is recommended for Associate in Arts Degree in Humanities.
MATH106N recommended for Associate in Science Degree in Nursing.
MATH106N, MATH110N, or MATH115N are recommended. HUMA230N, or HUMA109N recommended for Associate in Science Degree in Paralegal Studies.
Total Credits: 3 – 4
Total Credits: 3
Total Credits: 3
Total Credits: 3
Total Credits: 3
Upon the completion of the degree in Early Childhood Education, graduates will be able to:
- Promote Child Development and Learning in Context
Early childhood educators are grounded in an understanding of the developmental period of earlychildhood from birththrough age 8 across developmental domains. They understand each child as an individual with unique developmental variations. Early childhood educators understand that children learn and develop within relationships and within multiple contexts, including families, cultures, languages, communities, and society. They use this multidimensional knowledge to make evidence-based decisionsabout how to carry out their responsibilities.
- Build Family-Teacher Partnerships and Community Connections
Early childhood educators understand that successful early childhood education depends upon educators’ partnerships with the families of the young children they serve. Theyknow about, understand, and value thediversity in familycharacteristics. Early childhood educators use this understanding to create respectful, responsive, reciprocal relationships with families and to engage withthem as partners in their youngchildren’s development andlearning. They usecommunity resources to support young children’s learning and development and to support children’s families, and they build connections between earlylearning settings, schools, and community organizations and agencies.
- Understand Child Observation, Documentation, and Assessment
Early childhood educators understand that the primary purposeof assessments is to informinstruction and planningin early learningsettings. They know how to use observation, documentation, and other appropriate assessment approaches and tools. Early childhood educators use screening and assessment toolsin ways that are ethically grounded and developmentally, culturally, ability, and linguistically appropriate to document developmental progress and promote positive outcomes for each child. Early childhood educators build assessment partnerships with families and professional colleagues.
- Use Developmentally, Culturally, and Linguistically Appropriate Teaching Practices
Early childhood educators understand that teaching and learning with young childrenis a complex enterprise, and its detailsvary depending on children’s ages and characteristics and on the settings in which teaching and learning occur. They understand and demonstrate positive, caring, supportive relationships and interactions as the foundation for their work with young children. They understand and use teaching skills that are responsive to the learning trajectories of young children and to the needs of each child. Early childhood educatorsuse a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate and culturally and linguistically relevant, anti-bias, and evidence-based teaching approaches that reflect the principles of universal design for learning.
- Demonstrate Knowledge, Application and Integration of Academic Content in the Early Childhood Curriculum
Early childhood educators have knowledge of the content of the academic disciplines (e.g., language and literacy, the arts, mathematics, social studies, science, technology and engineering, physical education) and of the pedagogical methods for teaching each discipline. They understand the central concepts,the methods and tools of inquiry, and the structures in each academic discipline. Educators understand pedagogy, including how young children learn and process information in each discipline, the learning trajectories for each discipline, and how teachers use this knowledgeto inform their practice They apply this knowledge using early learningstandards and other resources to make decisions about spontaneous and planned learning experiences and about curriculum development, implementation, and evaluation to ensure that learning will be stimulating, challenging, and meaningful to each child.
- Demonstrate Professionalism as an Early Childhood Educator
Early childhood educators identify and participate as members of the early childhood profession. They serve as informed advocates for young children, for the families of the children in their care, and for the early childhood profession. They know and use ethical guidelines and other early childhood professional guidelines. They have professional communication skills that effectively support their relationships and work with young children, families, and colleagues. Early childhood educators are continuous, collaborative learners who develop and sustain the habit of reflective and intentional practice in their daily work with young children and as members of the early childhood profession.
- Complete Early Childhood Field Experience
Early Childhood educators participate in field experiences and clinical practices that are planned and sequenced for students to develop the knowledge, skills and professional dispositions necessary to promote the development and learning of young children across the entire developmental period of early childhood – in at least two of the three early childhood age groups (birth- age 3, 3 through 5, 5 through 8 years) and in the variety of settings that offer early education (early school grades, child care centers and homes, Head Start programs).
In addition, the graduate will be able to demonstrate competency in the general education outcomes.
Students are advised that to participate in practicum field experiences, and to gain employment working with young children, they must be free of criminal convictions as required by the NH Bureau of Child Care Licensing and the NH Department of Education. Students are required to complete the fingerprinting process through State Police or DMV to participate in the ECE practicum field experience. The student may incur fees in meeting these requirements. The College must ensure students in the program do not put themselves or children in jeopardy during the practicum field experience.
Students in the Early Childhood Education program must have sufficient strength, stamina, motor coordination, and sensory capabilities to perform the following:
- Standing for sustained periods, walking, running, bending, and sitting on the floor to meet children’s needs and accomplish tasks;
- Frequent lifting, moving and transferring children, especially infants and toddlers;
- Sufficient visual and hearing acuity to ensure a safe environment; and ability to respond quickly to children, colleagues, and professional partners in the event of an emergency;
- Sufficient verbal ability to express and exchange information and ideas as well as to interpret important instructions to children, colleagues, professional partners, and parents;
- Sufficient skills in written expression to accurately record children’s daily progress and milestones as well as medications administered, accident and suspected child abuse/neglect reports, etc.;
- Ability to work with frequent interruptions, to respond appropriately to unexpected situations including situations requiring immediate crisis response and role responsibility exchange; to demonstrate safe and required care for children, families, colleagues, and the workplace as a whole; and to cope with substantial variations in workload and stress levels;
- Ability to consistently attend and participate in classes and practice on time;
- Ability to demonstrate and maintain organizational skills and time management in classes and at the practicum site;
- Ability to respond to children’s personal needs, including changing diapers, in a manner that safeguards the health and safety of the student, children, and staff;
- Ability to work professionally and respectfully with a diverse range of children including children of different races, cultures, religions, and ethnicities as well as children with a wide range of disabling conditions;
- Ability to maintain proper boundaries in both the school and home environments; and
- Ability and disposition to adhere to and practice the Code of Ethical Conduct set forth by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. NCC reserves the right to amend its technical standards at any time and impose them on all current students
Technical Standards guide you as to skills and abilities required to function successfully in the program and ultimately in the Early Childhood Education profession. If you feel you may not be able to meet one or more of the technical standards you should contact department faculty to discuss individual cases. The Early Childhood Education Department will seriously consider all academically qualified candidates provided that the technical standards can be met with or without reasonable accommodations. No essential technical standards will be waived or modified. Information on the Technical Standards for this program is also available in the Technical Standards section of this catalog.
Part of your experience in the early childhood education program is the completion of observational hours at approved childcare centers. You are required to complete observational hours in all early childhood educational courses as part of your coursework.
Practicum I and Practicum II courses require you to complete up to 130 hours of field teaching experiences within the semester. You may have to adjust your work schedule to complete these hours.
Final requirement to completing field observations and teaching is a criminal background check and fingerprinting. There is a minimal fee required. It is your responsibility to pay the fee and complete the fingerprints and background check.
Several of our courses are NoLo courses that have minimal textbook costs.
Running Start and Dual Enrollment courses offer a seamless pathway for students to transfer into Nashua Community College from High School.
Nashua Community College partners with four-year colleges and universities to offer transfer opportunities to students looking to earn their bachelor’s degree after NCC.
Scholarships are available for our program through the T.E.A.C.H. NH Scholarship Program. The scholarship program supports the cost of tuition and books, offers paid release time from work for scholarship recipients, and a bonus upon completing 9-12 credits within 12 months. For more information and to see if you qualify visit T.E.A.C.H. NH Scholarship.
Grants are available through a partnership with Granite State College and the Division of Children Youth & Families, Department of Health and Human Resources. CCSNH students, working at least 20 hours per week in a NH licensed early childhood program are invited to apply. Eligible students may receive assistance for one ECE Course per term. Visit CCSNH Scholarship websiteto see if you qualify.
Early Childhood students participate in observation hours and two Practicum experiences. The child care observations and experiences are your opportunity to practice the skills and knowledge you have gained through your course work in our program. You will participate in 125 hours of field experience for Practicum I and 130 hours for Practicum II. You will have first-hand experience in daily activities, completing a child development study as well as creating and implementing a curriculum unit.