May 26, 2024  
Catalog 2024-2025 
Catalog 2024-2025

Associate of Arts (AA) Concentration in Early Childhood Education

Associate of Arts (AA) with MTA Transfer

Program Code: 380 ∙ Credit Hours: 63-66 ∙ Contact Hours: 73-77

Dean: Michele Andrews Program Coordinator: Jennifer Wixson


Associate level early childhood education professionals have the knowledge and skills needed to immediately enter the workforce and teach and care for children birth to age eight in a variety of programs and settings. Graduates are prepared to direct and teach in child care centers, teach in public and private preschools and Head Start programs, and to serve as instructional aides in pre-kindergarten-grade 3 elementary classrooms.

Graduates are also prepared to transfer with the MTA and early childhood education coursework needed for bachelor completion programs through the University Center. Students can reference the individual guided pathway sheets for Lake Superior State University (LSSU) BS in Early Childhood Education and Spring Arbor University (SAU) Elementary Education with the ZS Endorsement. The guided pathways promote the course selections in the associate degree that will efficiently transfer to the selected senior institution bachelor completion program. There is also a guide sheet for completion of LSSU Elementary Education with the ZS Endorsement on the Lake Superior State campus.

Program Learning Outcomes: 

  1. Describe the developmental and learning characteristics of early childhood, from birth through age 8, across developmental domains and they understand each child as an individual with unique developmental variations influenced by socio-cultural contexts. 
  2. Demonstrate an understanding that successful early childhood education depends upon educators’ partnerships with the families of the young children they serve. They know about, understand, and value the diversity in family characteristics and communities and how to use this understanding to create respectful, responsive, reciprocal relationships with families and to engage with them as partners in their young children’s development and learning. 
  3. Demonstrate an understanding that the primary purpose of assessments is to inform instruction and planning in early learning settings. They know how to use observation, documentation, and other appropriate assessment approaches and tools that are ethically grounded and developmentally, culturally, ability, and linguistically appropriate to document developmental progress and promote positive outcomes for each child. 
  4. Use a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate and culturally and linguistically relevant, anti-bias, and evidence-based teaching approaches that reflect the principles of universal design for learning. They understand that teaching and learning with young children is dependent on children’s ages and individual characteristics, the settings in which teaching and learning occur, and the positive, caring, supportive relationships and interactions they form in their work with young children. 
  5. Apply knowledge of the content of the academic disciplines (e.g., language and literacy, the arts, mathematics, social studies, science, technology and engineering, physical education) and of the pedagogical methods for teaching each discipline. They apply this knowledge using early learning standards and other resources to make decisions about spontaneous and planned learning experiences and about curriculum development, implementation, and evaluation to ensure that learning will be stimulating, challenging, and meaningful to each child. 
  6. Identify and participate as members of the early childhood profession as informed advocates for young children, for the families of the children in their care, and for the early childhood profession; as followers of ethical guidelines and other early childhood professional guidelines; through professional communication skills that effectively support their relationships and work young children, families, and colleagues; and through reflective and intentional practice in their daily work with young children. 

General Education Requirements: 38-41 Credit Hours

Humanities: 9 Credit Hours

ENG 240  - Introduction to Children’s Literature (3 credit hours)

And TWO (2) Additional Humanities courses from at least two (2) categories in General Education Requirements  

Science: 8-9 Credit Hours

TWO (2) Science courses from two (2) categories in General Education Requirements  

Social Science: 9-10 Credit Hours

PSY 255  - Child Psychology (3 credit hours)

And TWO (2) Additional Social Science courses from at least two (2) categories in the Social Science area in General Education Requirements  


Suggested Sequence for Full-time Students: