Early Childhood Education


The Early Childhood Education Program offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS) and an Early Childhood Education, One-Year Certificate, with a focus on family and culture,  preparing students for employment in the field of early childhood education. Additionally, an Entrepreneurship and Small Business Pathways Certificate, a 16-credit Childhood Care and Education Pathways Certificate, a 12-credit Working with Families Pathways Certificate, and a 12- or 13-credit Child Care Directors Pathways Certificate are also offered.

The program emphasizes concepts in growth and development, curriculum design, healthy relationships, positive guidance, developmentally appropriate practice, and cultural sensitivity. The program provides opportunities to apply knowledge and skills with children birth to five years of age in the program’s on-campus lab school or a community-based early education setting. Students must have current inoculations before working directly with children. Second Year AAS degree students need to complete the Central Registry background check to be eligible for the student teaching experience.

If you are interested in related areas of study, see the following sections of this catalog: child care — see child care provider training; elementary school teaching — see Education; Human Development and Family Sciences programs — see Human Services; parent education — see Parenting Education

Graduates with two-year degrees become preschool or infant toddler teachers in child care centers, family child care homes, Head Start programs, or parent cooperatives. They are also eligible to become family advocates. Students plan and implement developmentally appropriate learning experiences to foster young children’s physical, social-emotional, cognitive, and language development. They design and implement developmentally appropriate learning experiences, learn and practice evidence-based teaching strategies and assess children's development.

Some financial assistance is available for Early Childhood Education majors. Contact the Program Chair for more information. 

If interested in a Bachelor’s degree in this field, contact an advisor. LBCC has articulation agreements with Southern Oregon University (SOU), Oregon State University (OSU), and Western Oregon University (WOU). Students may pursue an AAOT with emphasis in Elementary Education or complete the Early Childhood Education AAS degree requirements plus 30 specialized general education credits and transfer to SOU. The AS in Human Development & Family Sciences: Child Development option transfers to OSU with specified general education and program courses.

The AAS degree in Early Childhood Education is designed to be completed in two years, but this assumes that entering students are prepared to take college-level writing and math. If students do not place into WR 121 and MTH 105 on the writing and math portions of the Computerized Placement Test (CPT), students may be required to take pre-college courses that extend completion to beyond two years. Research has shown that students who get started on this work during their first few quarters of college are more likely to finish their degrees than those who postpone it. Linn-Benton offers a summer term that will allow you to gain these skills and stay on track to complete.