Jul 25, 2024  
2024-2025 Course Catalog 
2024-2025 Course Catalog


Early Childhood Education, AAS

Location(s): Ankeny

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The Early Childhood Education-Associate degree is designed to extend and expand on those skills developed in the Early Childhood Education diploma program and to broaden the student’s background in general education. Required coursework includes participation in the DMACC Child Development Center. Essential skills needed to successfully complete the required lab courses include the ability to maintain awareness of active children in a group setting, to demonstrate stamina while engaging in multiple tasks and activities with children, to respond quickly and appropriately to children’s changing needs and to keep children safe. Further competence in early childhood education is developed through coursework in building relationships between home, program and community, and a community-based internship.

Students completing the Early Childhood Education Associate in Applied Science degree may take one of the many jobs available in early childhood education working with infants and toddlers, preschoolers or school-age children, such as lead, assistant or associate teaching in child care centers, preschools, child development homes and public and private schools, home visiting or program coordination and management in early childhood programs. Students who intend to teach in a Pre-K through third-grade setting will need to transfer to a teacher licensure institution and should contact the Early Childhood Education program chair or program advisor regarding transfer agreements with four-year institutions.

Current health and immunization records are required for each student. In addition, DHS criminal history record checks and fingerprinting are required. Criminal convictions or documented history of abuse may prevent students from participating in labs, field experience and internship. Students unable to complete these classes will not receive a degree in Early Childhood Education.

Students who possess the following personal characteristics are generally successful in the Early Childhood program:

  1. Effective written and verbal communication skills
  2. Physical stamina
  3. Ability to make quick decisions
  4. Ability to establish positive relationships with diverse people
  5. Responsibility, dependability and maturity
  6. Ability to manage demands of personal life

Program Details

Pathway: Education, Communication, & the Humanities

More information on this Pathway.

Students may start any semester.

Selected courses in this program are offered at other campuses.

Graduation Requirements

To earn an Early Childhood Education AAS degree, a student must complete the standard core requirements for the degree plus the Early Childhood Education program required courses, maintain a 2.50 grade point average, and receive a grade of C or above in ECE 158  , ECE 159  , ECE 243  , ECE 268  , ECE 343  , ECE 359  , and ECE 932 .

Recommended Course of Study

A recommended course of study, listed below, has been created to ensure that each student completes the program in the minimal amount of time required. However, the course of study can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each student.

Semester 4

Total Credits Required to Complete This AAS Degree - 64

*Total credits are calculated using the least number of credits needed to satisfy the option requirements.  

Fixed Costs

Tuition……………………………………………………………………………………..$193.00 per credit

The costs for each program are estimates and subject to change.

Varied Costs

Costs Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3 Semester 4
Books (approximate) 650 350 600 500
Supplies   55   55   55   55
Physical Exam 150      
Program Fees   85   50   55  

Approximate total for the program: $15,012**

**Program entry requirements are not included in the total approximate cost.

What Kind of Work Will You Do?

  • Plan and carry out indoor and outdoor curriculum and routines to support children’s learning and development.
  • Plan, conduct and assess small group and large group learning experiences.
  • Observe and assess children’s development and learning.
  • Maintain the health and safety of the children in a group.
  • Use positive strategies to guide children’s development and learning
  • Promote family involvement in your early childhood program.
  • Carry out administrative duties of an early childhood program.
  • Represent the positions of the field to families, community partners and policymakers.

What Skills and Abilities Will You Need?

  • Demonstrate responsibility, dependability and punctuality on the job.
  • Make quick decisions, stay calm and show leadership in urgent situations.
  • Be physically able to perform required care of children.
  • Establish positive relationships with diverse children and their families.
  • Guide children in ways that promote the development of self-regulation.
  • Apply theories of early childhood education in planning, implementing and assessing child-initiated and teacher-guided activities for children.
  • Work cooperatively with, and supervise, other staff members.
  • Use good written and oral communication skills.
  • Be physically able to perform required care of children.
  • Develop and maintain accurate records.
  • Advocate for the needs of children and their families.
  • Maintain emotional stability and psychological health to work with children, families, clients, colleagues and college personnel.
  • Demonstrate professional dispositions such as honesty, integrity, caring and empathy.
  • Practice professional behavior, ethical conduct and confidentiality.


What Else Should I Consider about this Program or Career Choice?

  • Students must complete some classes at the DMACC Ankeny Campus and in the DMACC Child Development Center or in one of our community partner settings.
  • Classes meet during daytime, late afternoon and evening hours.  Some classes are available online.  Some classes are available at the Urban campus.
  • Students need transportation to internship or community partner labs.
  • Expected starting salary $19,422 (2013-2014 Placement Report).

Program Competencies

  1. Establish a safe, healthy learning environment
  2. Advance physical and cognitive development of children
  3. Support social and emotional development and provide positive guidance
  4. Establish positive relationships with diverse families
  5. Apply effective observation, documentation and assessment practices
  6. Analyze the importance of community relationships and services in supporting children and families
  7. Ensure a well-run purposeful program responsive to participant needs
  8. Demonstrate workplace basic skills of listening, writing, computing, problem-solving, interpersonal relationships, leadership and time management
  9. Maintain a commitment to professionalism


Nondiscrimination Statement

Des Moines Area Community College shall not engage in nor allow discrimination covered by law against any person, group or organization. This includes in its programs, activities, employment practices, or hiring practices, and harassment or discrimination based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, genetic information (in employment) and actual or potential parental, family or marital status. Veteran status in educational programs, activities, employment practices, or admission procedures is also included to the extent covered by law. Lack of English language proficiency will not be a barrier to admission and participation in career and technical education programs.

Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against may file a complaint through the College Discrimination Complaint Procedure. Complaint forms may be obtained from the Executive Campus Dean’s office, the Executive Academic Deans’ office, the Judicial Officer, or the EEO/AA Officer, Human Resources. ADA questions and concerns may be directed to the Section 504/ADA Coordinator at 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd, Bldg 6, Ankeny, IA 50023, phone 515/964-6857, dso@dmacc.edu. Title IX questions and concerns may be directed to the Title IX Coordinator at 2006 S. Ankeny Blvd, Bldg 1, Ankeny, IA 50023, phone 515/964-6216, Title9@dmacc.edu. Questions or complaints about this policy may be directed to the Director of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, John C. Kluczysnki Federal Building, 230 S. Dearborn Street, 37th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604-7204, phone 312/730-1560, fax 312/730-1576, TDD 800-877-8339 Email OCR.Chicago@ed.gov.

DMACC offers career and technical programs in the following areas of study:
Agriculture, Natural and Environmental Science
Architecture, Engineering, and Construction
Arts, Design, and Visual Communication
Business, Management, and Marketing
Education, Public, and Human Services
Health Science
Hospitality and Culinary
Information Technology
Transportation & Logistics

Entrance requirements for specific programs can be found at Academic Pathway website.(2024)

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