Early Childhood Education

Starting in September 2013, we will have a new certificate in ECE. Read more about the COCC Certificate in Child, Family, and Community Studies.

Mission Statement

Our belief in early childhood education is that children begin learning from prenatal experiences to each and every experience thereafter. We believe young children benefit from well-designed, developmentally appropriate, and culturally relevant curriculum that reflects children's active role in learning. We believe in the inclusion of all children in quality programming. We also believe children are served best when families, schools, and communities work together as partners through close and ongoing collaboration.

Program Description and Degree Options
At Central Oregon Community College, the Early Childhood Education (ECE) program provides students with an interest in early childhood, including the early primary elementary years, with a foundation in the theoretical, social, historical, and legal aspects of early childhood programming. The Associate Degree programs in Early Childhood Education at Central Oregon Community College provide the foundational knowledge, field experiences, and common skills and strategies that prepare students for multiple roles within the field of early childhood education. While the program prepares students for direct work with young children in classroom and educational settings, many associate degree-seeking students have additional professional goals (many requiring further education) including but not limited to--
  • Early childhood educator roles such as an infant/toddler, preschool/pre-kindergarten, or K-grade 3 classroom teacher, family child care provider, Head Start teacher, or paraprofessional in public schools;

  • Home-family support roles such as family advocate, child protective services worker, or parent educator; or

  • Professional support roles such as early childhood administrator in a childcare or Head Start program, staff trainer, peer/program mentor, or advocate at the community, state, or national level.

Career pathways is a system developed to help guide students toward specific professional goals by providing a defined list of courses offering expert training. The various courses help lead students to completion certificates and/or degrees that identify the student as being qualified to work in a particular field.

Career pathways can be used by students recently graduated from high school OR by adults who have been out of school for quite some time. In either case, career pathway students need to have the desire to help themselves and the desire to explore the possibilities of a new profession.

COCC ECE Career Pathways Roadmap.

The road to teacher certification and licensure in Oregon.

Download the ECE Student Handbook (pdf)
Updated 2011

COCC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution. 

For more information, contact the Social Science office at (541) 383-7230

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