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Karen Stooksbury
Associate Professor/Coordinator of Early Childhood Education
423.585.2648

Elisabeth.Mandracchia
Associate Professor
Early Childhood Education
423.585.6939

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The Early Childhood Education program prepares students to assume management, supervisory, and teaching positions in child development early learning center programs and/or transfer to a baccalaureate program at a four-year institution. The program is also designed to meet the education and retraining needs of those already employed in early childhood occupations.

Program Goals: Graduates of the Early Childhood Education Program are able to:

  • Promote development and learning of young children
  • Build family and community relationships
  • Observe, document, and assess to support young children and families
  • Design, implement and evaluate experiences to promote positive learning outcomes for young children
  • Identify and conduct themselves as members of the early childhood profession

Program Options

Walters State Community College offers two options to its students who wish to pursue a career in early childhood education:

Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education

What can you do with an Associate of Applied Science Degree?
Typical job opportunities:

  • Head Start Teacher or Assistant Teacher
  • Child-care and Education Center Administrator
  • Child-care and Education Center Teacher or Assistant Teacher
  • Pre K , Kindergarten or Elementary School Classroom Assistant

(Please note that teaching Kindergarten through third grade requires a four-year degree)

Preparing for the CDA (Child Development Associate Credential)
Students who are interested in preparing for a CDA credential can take the required courses to prepare for the CDA at Walters State. The AAS program includes the coursework that supports educational requirements for the CDA credential. This credential is awarded by the Council for Professional Development.

Check with an Early Childhood Education advisor for a list of courses which are needed to meet educational requirements for National Child Development Associate (CDA) credentialing preparation.

A.A.S. in Early Childhood Education Curriculum

Associate of Science in Early Childhood Education

This degree requires 41 hours of general education and 19 hours of early childhood education or related courses totaling 60 hours. This degree is designed for students who plan to transfer to a four-year college or university. The program of study should be designed with the transfer institution in mind.

To become a licensed teacher in pre-K and kindergarten through third grade classrooms in the state of Tennessee, students must complete a four-year degree in a teacher education program. An Early Childhood Education advisor will be able to provide information about articulation agreements with four-year colleges and universities in the area.

A.S. in Early Childhood Education

Technical Certificate in Early Childhood Education

The Early Childhood Education Certificate prepares the student for employment in the field of childcare/early education by providing the necessary training to complete the Child Development Associate (CDA) credentialing process. It is also designed for students who are already employed in an early care situation and desire to improve their knowledge and competency in working with young children. The coursework in the completed technical certificate will apply to the Associate of Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education.

Technical Certificate in Early Childhood Education