Early Childhood Education and Family Studies - One Year Certificate

Certificate | mhcc.edu/ChildDevelopment

Faculty Adviser

Yolanda Buenafe: 503-491-7129 | Room ECC106 | Yolanda.Buenafe@mhcc.edu

The Early Childhood Education and Family Studies program prepares students to work with young children and their families in a variety of settings and sets the stage for those who wish to pursue higher levels of education and training. It is a broad-based foundation of theory and practice intended to support both those who have a definite career goal and those who are exploring potential options for working with children and families.

Coursework and practicum experiences emphasize the understanding and application of typical child growth and development theories, positive guidance approaches, high quality interactions and engaging curriculum experiences with children, and fostering development in all domains for children birth to five.

As an open entry program, we welcome students of diverse backgrounds and ages. All students must demonstrate the necessary emotional stability and maturity, the cognitive skills and abilities, and the physical stamina and responsiveness needed by professionals in this field. Students with challenges in any area should consult the program adviser for individual planning.

Students must fulfill all program competencies and expectations with or without accommodations, including those of our practicum courses in classrooms with young children. The number of practicum (co-op) placement sites is limited and students may only enroll in these courses with program faculty permission.

Graduates are prepared to be employed in a variety of capacities including working with children birth to five in early learning programs, assisting with instruction in the primary grades, and advocating for families in education and social service settings.

  • Promote learning environments designed to optimize children’s development in all domains
  • Develop positive relationships with families and community
  • Provide a rationale for effective observation, documentation and assessment of children’s development
  • Support Developmentally Appropriate Practices and all relevant guidelines
  • Use content knowledge and inquiry tools to analyze meaningful curriculum\\n
  • Demonstrate an exemplary work ethic and uphold the standards of the profession

For the most part, courses that fulfill general education requirements can be taken in any term. Students should work with the faculty adviser(s) to create a custom academic plan based on course placement levels, career goals, and full time/part time status.

Admitted students may also log on to Navigate to start the process of building an academic plan based on this major and can notify an adviser for review.

Students must earn a grade of “C” or better in all program (ECE) courses.

Plan of Study Grid
First Quarter
FallCredits
ECE125 The Early Childhood Professional 3
ECE140 Introduction to Early Childhood Education 3
ECE158 Learning Environments 3
ECE170 Health, Safety and Nutrition 3
WR121 English Composition (Course offered online) 4
 Credits16
Second Quarter
Winter
ECE144 Early Childhood Observation Techniques 2
ECE145 Techniques of Positive Guidance 3
ECE147 Infant/Toddler Caregiving 3
ECE166 Seminar - Beginning 1
WE280CDC1 Internship 3
Select one of the following: 4-6
Quantitative Reasoning I  
Beginning Algebra II (Course offered online) (or higher)  
 Credits16-18
Third Quarter
Spring
ECE135 Math Concepts in Early Childhood 3
ECE171 Families and Diversity 3
ECE173 Exploring Art 3
HE261 CPR - Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation 1
Human Relations 3
 Credits13
 Total Credits45-47

ECE125 The Early Childhood Professional

Credits 3Fall

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

This course introduces students to the professional expectations of early childhood teachers and caregivers by linking National Association for the Education of Young Children's (NAEYC) policies, standards and code of ethics to our everyday work. The theme of lifelong learner is also used as a structure for students to plan, implement and evaluate their own professional development plans through the Child Development and Early Education program resources.

ECE135 Math Concepts in Early Childhood

Credits 3Spring

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

The course focuses on how young children explore math concepts through play. Adult support requires knowledge of how to select and present suitable materials, tools and experiences to set the foundation for later academic learning in this area. The relevant guidelines of both the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) are presented.

ECE140 Introduction to Early Childhood Education

Credits 3Fall

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

This course introduces the foundations of early childhood education, historical and theoretical perspectives, and diverse program models. Topics include developmental stages of children from birth through age six, intentionality in approaches to teaching, and developmentally appropriate, inclusive practices.

ECE144 Observation Techniques

Credits 2Winter

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels. Students must have ready access to a licensed program for young children and permission to observe individuals. Out-of-class time is required to complete the observation assignments.

This course provides an introduction to typical observation techniques in early childhood programs and prepares students for second-year coursework in individualization. Emphasis is placed on the collection and presentation of objective data regarding children's behavior. Anecdotal recording is the focus.

ECE145 Positive Guidance

Credits 3Winter

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

This introductory course is designed to familiarize the student with the principles of positive guidance. Early childhood educators must bring a professional set of values and strategies to their classroom work with young children. Direct and indirect techniques for helping children manage behavior and build their social and moral thinking are presented.

ECE147 Infant/Toddler Caregiving

Credits 3Winter

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

An examination of caregiving techniques for infants and toddlers, with emphasis on group care practices for this age range. The course deals with practical aspects of routines such as nutrition and feeding, diapering, sleep, etc. The importance of supporting attachment and promoting autonomy is discussed. Techniques for individualizing care in a group setting are emphasized. Students explore activity planning as well as patterns of concept and skill development.

ECE158 Learning Environments

Credits 3Fall

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

This course emphasizes the critical role of the learning environment for promoting children's physical, cognitive, and social skills. Topics include defining indoor and outdoor interest areas, developmental stages of play, skill assessment and activities, and materials and strategies to enhance play for young children.

Additional Course Fee: $20.00

ECE166 Seminar - Beginning

Credit 1Winter

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels. Co-requisite: WE280CDC1.

This initial seminar focuses on discussion of issues, concerns and skills such as work ethic, positive guidance strategies and supporting children and other adults in the routines and transitions of an early childhood classroom.

ECE170 Health, Safety and Nutrition

Credits 3Fall

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

Information on licensing requirements and group care needs of young children is provided. Safe and healthy practices, nutritional needs and the unique aspects of group care for children from infancy through preschool age are discussed, including the responsibilities of a mandatory reporter.

ECE171 Families and Diversity

Credits 3Spring

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

This course focuses on families as a social system, cultural and structural diversity, values differences, and parenting styles. Anti-bias curriculum and approaches provide a key foundational system for building classroom community and partnering with families.

ECE173 Creative Art Experiences

Credits 3Spring

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, each with a grade of "C" or better; or placement above stated course levels.

Overview of the importance of sensory and creative art experiences for young children. Students engage with a variety of media as they explore developmentally appropriate processes. Students link creative art activities to children's development in all domains.

Additional Course Fee: $20.00

ECE236 Social/Emotional Development

Credits 3Winter

Registration Requirement: ECE140, ECE144, and ECE145

The importance of establishing relationships and exploring strategies to support children's social/emotional development is the primary focus of this course. Topics include identity, relationship building, fostering prosocial behavior, utilizing positive guidance techniques, and problem solving approaches for challenging behavior.

ECE243 Language and Literacy

Credits 3Fall

Registration Requirement: ECE158 and ECE147.

This course provides an overview for supporting language and literacy for children from birth to age five. Topics include identifying typical speech and language milestones in the early years, strategies to promote a literacy rich environment, evaluating age appropriate children's literature, and designing developmentally appropriate curriculum experiences.

ECE244 Observation and Documentation

Credits 3Fall

Registration Requirement: ECE144, ECE145 and ECE166.

The focus of this course is using observation to individualize curriculum and routines for young children. The student should be familiar with the use of anecdotals and other assessment tools. Child development knowledge, practical classroom experience, and effective basic guidance strategies are enhanced by using observation and assessment to individualize children's experiences.

ECE246 Home/School Relations

Credits 3Spring

Registration Requirement: ECE171.

This course focuses on building and maintaining positive and respectful relationships with family and community members. Students explore role identification, family centered approaches, and collaboration with home/school/community partnerships.

ECE248 Special Needs and Inclusion

Credits 3Winter

Registration Requirement: ECE140, ECE144, ECE145 and ECE171.

Developmental differences in young children are explored as well as an overview of the philosophy and practical issues of inclusion. The focus is on individual adaptations and collaborations with family members and other professionals. Content topics may include information on specific disabilities as well as educational and community resources for children with special needs.

ECE256 Science in Early Childhood

Credits 3Winter/Spring

Registration Requirement: ECE135, ECE144, and ECE258.

This course presents developmentally appropriate experiences for early childhood in the physical, life, and social sciences. The focus is on guided exploration, inquiry strategies, and hands on experiences. Content topics may include scientific processes such as investigations, use of science tools, and promoting a developing sense of self within the context of social and community relationships.

Additional Course Fee: $10.00

ECE258 Curriculum Development

Credits 3Fall

Registration Requirement: ECE158, WE280CDC1, and ECE166.

The principles of developmentally appropriate practices (DAP) serve as the foundation for intentional teaching in early childhood education. Students will use the principles of DAP to explore, design, and evaluate meaningful curriculum experiences that are reflective of children's emerging interests and linked to age appropriate objectives.

Additional Course Fee: $20.00

ECE260 Values and Issues in Early Childhood Education

Credits 3Winter

Registration Requirement: ECE 145, ECE171, ECE 285

This course explores ethical issues in the profession, using the National Association for the Education of Young Children's (NAEYC) Code of Ethics as a basis for discussion. Professional values as a tool for decision making will be the focus. The importance of advocacy, conflict resolution and problem-solving strategies as well as anti-bias curriculum will be featured.

ECE261 Child Development Principles

Credits 4Winter

Registration Requirement: RD090 and WR090, or IECC201R and IECC201W, with a "C" or better; or placement above stated levels.

Surveys basic theories and principles of development from the prenatal period to adolescence. Examines various influences on development. The focus includes age-appropriate expectations and the significance of research findings for each stage. Students cannot get credit for both ECE261 and ED261.

ECE285 Seminar - Intermediate

Credit 1Fall

This seminar accompanies the intermediate level of ECE cooperative education experience. It focuses on discussion of issues, concerns and skills such as objective observation, developing relationships with children, families, and classroom staff, and emerging leadership skills for managing small group experiences.

ECE286 Seminar - Advanced

Credit 1Fall/Winter/Spring

Registration Requirement: ECE166. Concurrent enrollment in WE280CDC2.

This seminar accompanies the advanced level of ECE cooperative education experience. It focuses on discussion of issues, concerns and skills such as developing relationships with children, families and classroom staff, managing routines and transitions and guiding children in classroom activities.