Jul 20, 2024  
2024-2025 WNCC College Catalog 
2024-2025 WNCC College Catalog

Education (Early Childhood), AAS

Location(s): Alliance, Scottsbluff, Sidney

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The Early Childhood Education program at WNCC is designed for majors interested in working with young children from birth through eight years of age. This coursework enhances careers in teaching and paraprofessional employment opportunities in preschool programs, private and public schools, Head Start programs, family childcare homes and centers, and other positions working with young children.

Program Outcomes

At the conclusion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Understand young children’s characteristics, needs, and multiple interacting influences on children’s development and learning to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for each child.
  • Understand that successful early childhood education depends upon partnerships with children’s families and communities; understand and value the importance and complex characteristics of children’s families and communities; use this understanding to create respectful, reciprocal relationships that support and empower families; and understand the importance of providing opportunities for families to be involved in their children’s development and learning.
  • Understand that child observation, documentation, and other forms of assessment are central to the practice of all early childhood professionals; know and understand the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment; and know about and use systematic observations, documentation, and other effective assessment strategies in a responsible way, in partnership with families and other professionals, to positively influence the development of every child.
  • Understand that teaching and learning with young children is a complex enterprise, and its details vary depending on children’s ages, characteristics, and the settings within which teaching and learning occur; know the essential concepts, inquiry tools, and structure of content areas, including academic subjects, and can identify resources to deepen their understanding; and use their own knowledge and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate meaningful, challenging curriculum that promotes comprehensive developmental and learning outcomes for every young child.
  • Use their knowledge of academic disciplines to design, implement, and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for each child; know the essential concepts, inquiry tools, and structure of content areas, including academic subjects, and can identify resources to deepen their understanding.
  • Identify and conduct themselves as members of the early childhood profession; know and use ethical guidelines and other professional standards related to early childhood practice; perform as continuous, collaborative learners who demonstrate knowledgeable, reflective, and critical perspectives on their work, making informed decisions that integrate knowledge from a variety of sources; and serve as informed advocates for sound educational practices and policies.
  • Engage in field experiences and clinical practice that are planned and sequenced; develop the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to promote the development and learning of young children across the entire developmental period of early childhood, in at least two of three early childhood age groups (birth - 3 years, 3 - 5 years, 5 - 8 years) and in a variety of settings that offer early education, including early school grades, child care centers and homes, and Head Start programs.

Associate of Applied Science

AAS.1312 (60-62 credits)

This degree provides students with current information related to evidence-based practices and supports them in their continued development as early childhood professionals.


  • Students should consult with their faculty advisor about elective courses that best suits their career and academic goals.

Technical Standards

  • Differentiate lesson plans/activities to fit the needs of children of varying ages and stages of development.
  • Create an environment to maintain physical and mental health and safety of all children at varying ages and stages of development.
  • Create the environment to maximize learning of all children.
  • Implement lesson plans/activities that integrate core curriculum.
  • Integrate technology into lesson plans/activities to fit the needs of all children.
  • Communicate with all families in a manner that addresses family diversity.
  • Include all families in a family-school partnership.
  • Maintain an encouraging classroom for all children.
  • Observe and document each child regularly to accurately assess strengths and weaknesses and record progress.
  • Plan the program to meet the needs of all children and families.
  • Incorporate professional development activities into a personal growth plan.

Program Requirements

AAS General Education Core: 15-17 Credits

View listing of General Education Courses.  

  • Written Communication Credits: 3 *
  • Oral Communication Credits: 3
  • Quantitative Reasoning Credits: 3-4 *
  • Social or Lab Science Credits: 3-4
  • Personal Development Credits: 3

*Written Communication and Quantitative Reasoning course selections are dependent on writing and math proficiency based on assessment. Students should consult with their academic advisor about specific general education courses required.

Electives: 6 Credits

Total AAS Credits: 60-62 Credits

Recommended Plan of Study

Total Semester Credits: 15

2nd Semester

Total Semester Credits 15-16

3rd Semester

Total Semester Credits: 16-17

Total Semester Credits: 14

Total AAS Credits: 60-62

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