The Early Childhood Education program prepares students to teach young children in a variety of inclusive early childhood settings, including preschools, pre-kindergartens, Head Start, childcare centers and infant/toddler programs. The program is offered at the Eastern, Metropolitan and Western campuses. Students will receive a basic understanding of principles of early childhood education, child growth and development, and will develop specific skills in planning and implementing the curriculum in centers. Upon completion of the program, students will be qualified to assume lead teacher and director positions. This program is accredited by the Ohio Department of Education to prepare students for state licensure as Pre-Kindergarten Associate teachers. The Early Childhood Education program is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Graduates of this program may work with children through five years of age. To work with children in kindergarten or the primary grades, a baccalaureate degree and state teacher’s license for Pre-K to third grade is required. A number of four-year teacher preparation programs have transfer agreements with the College’s Early Childhood program.

The Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) Associate Licensure is available for students who complete the Associate of Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education. The Pre-K Associate license also requires an overall grade point average of 2.00, a grade point average of 2.50 in Early Childhood (ECED) and Education (EDUC) courses, and 3.00 in the teaching practicums and seminar (ECED-1860 Experience with Young Children in Early Childhood Settings, ECED-2870 Early Childhood Education Student Teaching Practicum, ECED-2990 Early Childhod Education Student Teaching Seminar). The Early Childhood Education program recommends graduates for state licensure after the student passes the Ohio Department of Education’s prekindergarten education licensure exam.

Program contact: Learn more

This degree program contains one or more embedded certificates which will be automatically awarded when the certificate requirements are completed. If you do not want to receive the embedded certificate(s), please notify the Office of the Registrar at RegistrarOffice@tri-c.edu.

Learn more about how certificate credits apply to the related degree.

Program Admission Requirements

  • High School Diploma/GED
  • Complete ENG-0990 Language Fundamentals II with “C” or higher or achieve appropriate score on English Placement Test
  • Complete Mathematics placement test
  • Retrieve the Program Approval Process and Information packet at least two weeks prior to the start of the semester.  Students can obtain the packet by contacting the Program Manager or visiting the Department of Social Sciences at the Western Campus.
  • Complete ODJFS form 1175 and the BCI/FBI check at an approved ODJFS site using code 5104.013 and return the receipt of completion for background check and ODJFS form 1175 to the Program Manager at least two weeks prior to the start of ECED-1010 Introduction to Early Childhood Education: Children's Development and Programs.  Social Security Card and picture ID required for Webcheck background process to be completed.  Students under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • All BCI and FBI background check information must be submitted to the Program Manager.  Students whose reports have not been submitted as per policy, or who do no tmeet the Prohibitive Offenses Rehabilitation (listed in ODJFS Appendix A to Rule 5101:2-13-09) will not be permitted to continue enrollment in the Early Childhood Education programs or teacher education courses, as student will be unable to complete required field and observation experiences as part of the program requirements approved by the Ohio Department of Education and the program Accreditor, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). 

Other Information

  • The student is eligible for the Pre-Kindergarten Associate Teacher's license when the associate degree is completed with an overall GPA of 2.0, a GPA of 2.5 in all Early Childhood and Education courses, and with completion of 345 hours of faculty supervised field work earning a 3.0 in ECED-1860 Experience with Young Children in Early Childhood Settings, ECED-2870 Early Childhood Education Student Teaching Practicum and ECED-2990 Early Childhod Education Student Teaching Seminar.
  • Pre-Kindergarten Associate teacher's license can be applied for after the student passes the licensure exam. The licensure exam is a requirement of the Ohio Department of Education and is not affiliated with Cuyahoga Community College.
  • Application requirements for the Early Childhood Education degree and the Pre-Kindergarten Associate degree licensure are the same.

Program Outcomes

This program is designed to prepare students to demonstrate the following program outcomes:

  1. Support the diverse ways in which children learn by interpreting and applying knowledge of child growth and development.
  2. Include and value children, families and communities, create respectful reciprocal relationships, support and involve all families in their children’s development and learning.
  3. Use observation, documentation, and other appropriate assessment tools for: planning curriculum, identifying special needs, deepening understanding of child development, communicating with families and professionals and improving teaching practices.
  4. Create an inviting and enriched environment that supports children’s optimal growth and development within the context of group living.
  5. Design, implement and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for all children.
  6. Integrate and use a variety of respectful, responsive teaching strategies.
  7. Demonstrate acceptance of all children and families, support cultural diversity, develop a program based on anti-biased principles and interact and relate to all persons in a responsive, respectful manner.
  8. Display positive leadership qualities within an early childhood environment.
  9. Use reflective and ethical practices in the classroom, advocate, access resources, practice appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication, listen and interact respectfully, use Standard English in writing and speaking.

Suggested Semester Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCredit Hours
ECED-1010 Introduction to Early Childhood Education: Children's Development and Programs 4
MATH-1xxx 1000-level MATH course or higher 3
SPCH-1000 Fundamentals of Interpersonal Communication 3
Select one of the following: 3
College Composition I  
Honors College Composition I  
Select one of the following: 3
General Psychology  
Honors General Psychology  
 Credit Hours16
Second Semester
BIO-1050 Human Biology 3
BIO-105L Human Biology Laboratory 1
ECED-1301 Language and Literacy in an Integrated Curriculum 3
ECED-1311 Art and Creative Expression in an Integrated Curriculum 3
EDUC-1011 Introduction to Education 3
Select one of the following: 3
College Composition II  
Honors College Composition II  
 Credit Hours16
Summer Session
ECED-2300 Child Behavior and Guidance 3
EDUC-2050 Human Diversity in Education 3
 Credit Hours6
Third Semester
ECED-1321 Math and Science Inquiry in an Integrated Curriculum 3
ECED-1331 Music and Movement in an Integrated Curriculum 3
EDUC-1411 Individuals with Exceptionalities 3
ECED-1860 Experience with Young Children in Early Childhood Settings 3
ECED-2500 Infant/Toddler Development, Relationships, and Programs 3
 Credit Hours15
Fourth Semester
ECED-2401 Families, Communities, Schools 3
ECED-2870 Early Childhood Education Student Teaching Practicum 2
ECED-2990 Early Childhod Education Student Teaching Seminar 3
PSY-2110 Educational Psychology 3
 Credit Hours11
 Total Credit Hours64