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Early Childhood Education Program

Early Childhood image representing building blocksThe Early Childhood Education (ECE) program is a two year program delivered online that leads to an associate degree. It is for students who are interested in working with young children age birth to five and their families. Students will acquire an understanding of developmental patterns for children birth to five in such areas as cognition, emotion, social interaction, and physical growth. Students will also acquire knowledge in parent engagement and the necessary skills required to administer an early childhood program. Preparing teachers and administrators of Native American Head Start facilities nationwide is the primary focus of this program. A secondary focus is imparting an understanding of Native American culture as it applies to children in early childhood programs.

The certificate of completion in Early Childhood Education is designed to prepare students for the CDA competency exam. Courses will focus on child growth and development from birth to age five, with emphasis on planning a safe, healthy and supportive learning environment for children, including strategies in positive guidance. Hands on experience will supplement reading and study. The program will give students resource materials, and a basic foundation of knowledge. Classroom practicum is also incorporated.

Degree Program - Associate of Arts

Degree Program - Certificate of Completion

Degree Audit Form

Curriculum Map - General Education

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Head Start is one of the leading employers for early childhood education, spending over $7,233,541,000 across the nation in 2015. With the Head Start Program Performance Standards and the Head Start Act, Office of Head Start continues to demand staff qualifications and competency requirements for teacher assistants, teachers, management staff and directors.  Requiring Head Start programs to ensure no less than 50% of all Head Start teachers, have a baccalaureate degree in child development, early childhood education or equivalent coursework. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2016, “employment of preschool teachers is projected to grow 7% from 2014 to 2024”. Growth is expected due to a continued focus on the importance of Early Childhood Education and the transition of being kindergarten ready.  (BLS, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2016)

According to the May 2016 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates from the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the following are the national median salaries.  Starting salaries will generally be less than median salaries.  Some positions may require a bachelor’s degree.

Teacher Assistant $25,410
Preschool Teacher  $28,790

To learn more about the Early Childhood Education Program, contact:

Vicki Thomas  ECE Department Chair     
Ann Cameron  ECE Advisor Office Phone: (906) 632-6896
Sheryl Hammock  ECE Faculty & Developer  Office Phone: (906) 248-8436

“As a requirement for my job I was asked to return to school to obtain a degree in Early Childhood, not being a traditional student this goal was a little intimidating. With the help of the online Early Childhood classes and the online format (Moodle) I was able to continue working full time while pursuing my degree. I was also able to interact with the instructors who were knowledgeable and had real life experiences to share. Thank you, Bay Mills Community College Early Childhood Education program, without your wonderful assistance; I may not have ever reached my goal.”   
-- Cathy Nash, Family Service Coordinator - Sault Tribe Early Childhood Education Programs

ECE Bachelor Degree Coming Soon!