For related HMS programs, see Related Programs Listing.
Human Services (with a Specialization in Early Childhood Development)
Purpose: The Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Development is designed to prepare highly skilled graduates for employment in a variety of early childhood settings, to update and enrich the capacities of those persons presently employed in the child development field, and to prepare students for transfer to a bachelor degree program in child development, education, or related field. Graduates develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to design, implement, assess, and model for others excellent practices informed by Virginia’s Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals and the National Association for the Education of Young Children Professional Preparation Standards.
Occupational Objectives: Graduates may be employed in a variety of early childhood settings providing the care and education for children from birth to age eight such as: Preschools • Child Development Centers • Public Schools • Private Schools • Family Child Care Programs • Head Start Centers • Hospital-Based Child Care Programs • On-Site Child Care Programs in Business and Industry • Faith Sponsored Programs • Before-And-After School Programs. Occupational titles may vary according to the workplace and the duties involved. Among the specialties are the following: Director • Assistant Director • Master Teacher • Lead Teacher • Teacher • Assistant Teacher • Paraprofessional • Family-Based Caregiver • Provider • Classroom Aid.
Admission Requirements: In addition to the requirements for general admission to the college, a personal interview with the program head is recommended. Placement tests in some areas may be required.
Program Requirements: The Early Childhood program at NRCC combines general education with specialized courses to prepare students to become professional child care workers. To get the most benefit from the program, students should work closely with their faculty advisor in planning their curriculum including internship experiences. Some courses in the program may transfer to a four-year institution should students decide to continue their education beyond the community college program. Students who plan to transfer after completing the Associate of Applied Science degree requirements in Early Childhood should inform their academic advisor at the beginning of studies to determine the appropriate courses to meet transfer requirements.
Students must successfully complete two supervised internships that include on-the-job teaching experiences in early childhood settings, approved by the Program Head. Application for internship should be made the semester prior to placement. It is recommended that at least one internship be completed in the NRCC Head Start Early Learning Center and one internship be completed in the community. Students should note that early childhood programs require a criminal background report and a child abuse central registry search, and a TB test as a prerequisite to beginning the internship experience. A program may deny participation for findings on the reports. Affiliation agreements prevent the placement of a student who is denied internship participation at one program into an internship agreement at another program.
Inability to meet the internship requirements prevents the student from satisfactorily achieving the course objectives resulting in failure of the course.
Students are required to go through an oral interview at the conclusion of the program for assessment purposes. Upon satisfactory completion of the four-semester program, students are awarded the Associate of Applied Science degree in Human Services with a Specialization in Early Childhood Development.
For more information about this program visit the department webpage.