Associate of Applied Science in Inclusive Early Childhood Education
Linda J. Hamaide, M.Ed., program director
An early childhood educator with an associate of applied science degree in Inclusive Early Childhood Education is a person who can work with and meet the needs of children, families, and other educators from infant/toddler/child care through the primary grades. Early childhood teachers are trained as generalists, learning how to work with all children, including those with disabilities and children with diverse cultural backgrounds.
The education of an early childhood practitioner integrates both theory and practice. Students are exposed to basic ideas and concepts in the classroom, and then have the opportunity to put those ideas and concepts to practical use in educational settings.
Graduates with an associate of applied science degree in early childhood education are employed in both public and private schools, and may serve as family child care providers, family advocates, parent educators, administrators, or staff trainers. They meet the requirements of federal No Child Left Behind legislation, which require that paraprofessionals in public schools have a minimum of two years of college. Individual state pre-kindergarten programs typically require an associate's or bachelor's degree. Graduates will be eligible for licensure in the state of Ohio as an Educational Paraprofessional Associate.
Graduates of this program will be held to the standards of the National Association for Education of Young Children and the standards for professional practice of the state of Ohio. Graduates must satisfy degree requirements as stipulated by BGSU associate degrees. Additionally, in order to be recommended for licensure, graduates must have a final GPA of at least 2.5. Most of the coursework in the associate of applied science degree can be applied to BGSU's bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education, providing all admission standards are met for entry into the bachelor's degree program.
Inclusive Early Childhood Education Associates Program Admission
Following admission to the University, the student is responsible for contacting the Inclusive Early Childhood Education program at BGSU Firelands.
The following criteria will be met before students may enroll in any course with a clinical component or field experience:
- Participate in a personal interview in which attitude and enthusiasm for the program will be considered;
- Pass a criminal history background check allowing them to enter clinical settings, as required by Ohio law;
- Meet all physical requirements to perform the essential functions of a student educator, as evidenced by a completed physical examination (less than 1 year old) and a two-step tuberculosis test on file with the program;
- Submit evidence of auto insurance policy;
- Apply for professional liability insurance through BGSU upon entering a clinical practice*;
- Review and agree to comply with guidelines in the Student Associates Handbook.
In order to be recommended for licensure, the student will meet the following criteria:
- Earn a C or better in the following courses:
- EDHD 2010 Introduction to Education
- EDTL 2040 Foundations of Early Childhood Education
- HDFS 3030 Approaches to Pre-K Teaching and Learning
- COMM 1020 Speech Communication, or COMM 3060 Interpersonal Communication
- Have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher
Students are responsible for the following expenses related to participation in the clinical directed practice:
- Pre-clinical physical examination, including immunizations and tests;
- Textbooks and supplementary materials required;
- Transportation to and from clinical sites;
- Costs involved in the Red Cross certification courses in Pediatric CPR and First Aid and a course of Communicable Diseases;
- Professional dress;
- BGSU nametag.
Note: Professional liability insurance coverage is provided by BGSU and is not a student expense.
Graduates of this program will possess the following knowledge, skills, and behaviors:
- Constructivist Pedagogy: The student will be able to generate and implement interdisciplinary curriculum and instruction that actively engages young children and facilitates their developmental growth and learning based upon individual needs, backgrounds, research, and content standards.
- Developmental and Diverse Perspectives: The student will be able to use knowledge of child development to assess the needs and progress of all children and to create an inclusive classroom environment that reflects cultural diversity and multiple perspectives.
- Collaboration with Families, Communities, and Other Professionals: The student will be able to collaborate effectively with families, communities, and other professionals to meet the individual needs of young children and their families by contributing assessment data and instructional knowledge, listening reflectively, and engaging in mutual decision making.
- Commitment to Professionalism and Reflective Practice: The student will be able to act as an early childhood professional who reflects on her/his practice, makes decisions based upon the ethics of the professional, and works to improve the lives of young children and their families.
Designed to provide a basic college education, the associate of applied science in early childhood education is founded on the concept of a strong general education in the humanities, mathematics, science, and other areas. Students are introduced to a variety of learning opportunities in child development and early childhood curriculum and pedagogy. A key component of this program is hands-on field or clinical experiences. Students pursuing the associate of applied science in Early Childhood Education complete a minimum of 64 credit hours and approximately 300 field hours.