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Early Childhood A.A.S.
The Program (HEGIS Code 5503)
The Early Childhood Program is designed to give students the academic background and practical skills necessary to work effectively with young children and their families. Graduates will be prepared to use nationally recognized, evidence based best practice techniques in order to promote developmentally appropriate physical, social, emotional, and cognitive growth in young children.
Using National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) Standards, Student Learning Outcomes are as follows:
- Promoting child development and learning
- Building family and community relationships
- Observing, documenting, and assessing to support young children and families
- Using developmentally effective approaches to connect with children and families
- Using content knowledge to build meaningful curriculum
- Becoming a professional
The program consists of 62 hours of academic credit. It includes 21 hours in specific early childhood courses. Important features of the program include two fieldwork placements in early childhood settings that allow students to gain practical experience. The two fieldwork experiences allow students to complete working with either infants or toddler aged groups and with preschool through early elementary aged children. Jefferson students benefit from a variety of fieldwork placement sites that include Head Start, Fort Drum Child Development Centers, Campus Early Childhood Learning Center, a variety of local day care centers, preschools, and NYS universal pre-K, licensed family day care, group family day care, public and private schools.
In addition, students have the opportunity to participate in the Early Childhood Club. The Club has completed several service projects that benefit local children and their families. Recently club members have attended the New York State Association for the Education of Young Children’s conference several times.
Career opportunities in the field of professional care and education of young children are excellent. Graduates of this program find employment as teachers of preschool, infant, toddler and school-age child care programs, early childhood specialists, family advocates, family day care providers, trainers, home visitors, teacher assistants, and program directors. Places of employment include Head Start, military child development centers, YMCA, early intervention agencies, Department of Health, Office of Children and Family Services, and private and public day care centers and schools. Earnings will vary with type of program, education, experience, and geographic location.
Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive an associate of applied science degree that prepares the graduate to join the early childhood workforce. With changing job requirements in the field of early childhood, many students decide to continue their educational studies in early childhood or in a related Bachelor’s degree program.
Although the program is designed to prepare graduates to enter the workforce after completing the Associate degree, many of our graduates choose to pursue a baccalaureate degree. Jefferson has partnered with some select academic institutions and developed agreements that help students transfer smoothly to specific baccalaureate programs. Currently, formal agreements exist with SUNY Cobleskill, Early Childhood Studies, B.S.* and Excelsior College. Students also experience successful transfer to other SUNY colleges such as SUNY Empire State College and SUNY Cortland.
* This degree completion program is offered through SUNY Cobleskill in Watertown at the Jefferson Higher Education Center. Class meets two nights per week. The baccalaureate degree can be earned in three years or less.
Gwendolyn Francis-Frey, Associate Professor of Early Childhood
Application and Admissions Information
Office of Admissions
315-786-2277 or Toll Free 1-888-435-6522