Associate of Arts - Early Childhood Education Emphasis

The Associate of Arts in early childhood education is designed to serve students either as a stand-alone associate degree, or as a university transfer degree. The transfer option allows students to complete specific lower division courses at TMCC and obtain an Associate of Arts degree in early childhood education; and then transfer to UNR as a junior to complete a bachelor of science degree in human development and family studies. Students are encouraged to obtain academic advisement from early childhood education faculty to facilitate the university transfer process.

Emphasis Outcomes

Students completing this emphasis will:

  • Demonstrate competence in the knowledge and skills defined in the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation (ECADA) Standards for Initial and Advanced Early Childhood Professional Preparation Programs.
    1. Promoting Child Development and Learning
    2. Building Family and Community Relationships 
    3. Observing, Documenting, and Assessing to Support Young Children and Families
    4. Using Developmentally Effective Approaches
    5. Using Content Knowledge to Build Meaningful Curriculum
    6. Becoming a Professional
  • Demonstrate proficiency as a preschool teacher in an early childhood program.
  • Demonstrate the scope of knowledge and skills required to gain entry into a baccalaureate degree program.


The AA Degree - Early Childhood Education is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation (ECADA).

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Field Experience and Practicum Experience:

All ECE degrees require courses with field experience and practicum experience in early childhood classrooms with young children (birth to age five). Field experiences and practicum experiences are focused student teaching experiences that require the student to demonstrate specific skills in an early childhood classroom with young children. 

  • Students must complete the practicum experience through TMCC.
  • Students are required to have fingerprints, an approved background check, and a clear TB test prior to enrolling in courses with field experience or practicum experience. If a student fails to meet these requirements, or if the background check is not approved, the student will not be permitted to participate in courses with field experience or practicum experience.
  • Students must meet all of the prerequisite/corequisite requirements, as well as have the practicum instructor’s approval prior to enrolling in a practicum course.
  • Two semesters of practicum are required. Students must complete the practicum courses in two, consecutive fall and spring semesters, during the final year of the ECE program of study.
  • Students must work with the practicum instructor to arrange a practicum schedule and placement site.

AA/AS degrees are designed for students who plan to transfer to a four-year college or university.  

To earn an AA/AS degree, students must:

  1. Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 (see requirements for graduation.)
  2. Complete a minimum of 15 units within the college.
  3. Satisfy General Education requirements for the AA/AS.
  4. Have no financial or library obligation to the college.
General Education Requirements
Must include ENG 102 or ENG 114 1
Fine Arts3
American Experiences and Constitutional Change
Mathematics 3
Fundamentals of College Mathematics (or higher)
Human Nutrition
Social Science3
General Psychology
Additional College Requirements
HDFS 232Diversity in Children[3]
Foreign Language0
U.S. and Nevada Constitutions 3[3]
American Experiences and Constitutional Change
Degree Requirements 2
ECE 204Principles of Child Guidance3
ECE 250Introduction to Early Childhood Education3
HDFS 201Lifespan Human Development3
HDFS 202Introduction to Families3
HDFS 232Diversity in Children3
SOC 101Principles of Sociology3
ECE 231
Preschool Practicum: Early Childhood Lab
and Preschool Practicum: Early Childhood Lab 4
Emphasis Requirements:
ECE 130Infancy3
ECE 190Professionalism in Early Care and Education3
ECE 200The Exceptional Child3
ECE 210Observation, Documentation and Assessment of Young Children3
ECE 245Practicum Seminar 42
ECE 251Curriculum in Early Childhood Education3
Total Units60-63

If you do not place into ENG 102 or ENG 114 you will complete the degree with three additional units (63 units overall.)


Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (C) or better, and a minimum grade of "C" must be earned in each degree and emphasis requirement.


Course may also count toward degree requirements. Please consult with Academic Advisement.


Students must complete the practicum experience through TMCC.

Plan of Study Grid
1st semesterUnits
ECE 190 Professionalism in Early Care and Education 3
ECE 250 Introduction to Early Childhood Education 3
ENG 101
Composition I
or Composition I for International Students
HDFS 201 Lifespan Human Development 3
Mathematics 6 3
 Semester Total15
2nd semester
ECE 130 Infancy 3
ECE 204 Principles of Child Guidance 3
ECE 210 Observation, Documentation and Assessment of Young Children 3
HDFS 232 Diversity in Children 3
SOC 101 Principles of Sociology 3
 Semester Total15
3rd semester
ECE 200 The Exceptional Child 3
ECE 231 Preschool Practicum: Early Childhood Lab 2
ECE 251 Curriculum in Early Childhood Education 3
HDFS 202 Introduction to Families 3
NUTR 121 Human Nutrition 3
PSY 101 General Psychology 3
 Semester Total17
4th semester
ECE 231 Preschool Practicum: Early Childhood Lab 2
ECE 245 Practicum Seminar 2
Fine Arts 5 3
Humanities/U.S. and Nevada Constitutions 6 3
Science 5 3
 Semester Total13
 Total Units60

See approved General Education list for the AA/AS Degree.


See program recommendations or requirements.