JWCC students interacting with young children

Early Childhood Education

Instruction by experts in early childhood education and a state-of-the-art early childhood lab provide a strong foundation for childcare workers and teachers. Practical experience is also gained from job shadowing beginning freshman year. Students learn to plan, organize, and implement activities to nurture the academic, social, and physical development of children from birth to pre-kindergarten. As an Illinois Gateways Entitled program* for Early Childhood Education and for Infants and Toddlers, students earn credentials to meet statewide standards; this status also facilitates transferring to Illinois four-year colleges to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Children creating art with markers and paint

Career Opportunities

  • Teacher
  • Child Care Administrator/Director
  • Nanny
  • EC Aide
  • Preschool Instructor
  • Licensed Day Care Provider

Get Started Now!

Work with a counselor to get your personalized plan!

Suggested Degree Plan for Early Childhood Education (AAS)
Do not use this degree plan as a substitute for an advisor. Always meet with an advisor to discuss your specific needs for completing the program before signing up for classes each semester.
First Semester Details
EDU 102 Foundations of Early Childhood Education Details 3
An introduction to early childhood education philosophies and methods. Students are introduced to the fundamentals of planning developmentally appropriate interactions and techniques. Topics of study include age appropriate methodology, guiding child behavior, internal and external environments, and regulations affecting child care in today's changing world.
Prerequisites: (none)
EDU 124 Health & Safety for Young Children Details 3
Introduction to the health, safety and nutritional needs of young children. Topics include eating habits, menu planning, safe food storage and handling, recognizing common health concerns, creating a safe environment, and principles of child first aid and CPR for infants and children.
Prerequisites: (none)
EDU 150 Caring for Infants and Toddlers Details 3
Study of the specialized needs of infants and toddlers, including the development of routines and environments that promote effective cognitive, motor and language development. Emphasis is placed on providing appropriate care, stimulating environments, and assessing the needs of infants and toddlers. Cultural and social diversity and the creation of partnerships with families and childcare facilities are integrated throughout the course.
Prerequisites: (none)
EDU 165 Creative Arts & the Young Child Details 3
This course focuses on the importance of how music, creative movement, dramatic play and the arts stimulate early childhood play and learning. Emphasis is on understanding children’s developmental stages and determining what are appropriate learning opportunities, interaction and environments.
Prerequisites: (none)
ENG 101 Rhetoric and Composition I Details 3
An introductory course in writing at the college level with attention to skills needed at each stage of the writing process. Placement in ENG 101 presupposes competence in English grammar, mechanics, punctuation, and spelling. IAI: C1 900.
Prerequisites: ENG 099 with a grade of "C" or above or appropriate placement score
FYE 101 Blazing Your Trail Details 1
Directed to new students, this course provides a supportive transition to the culture of higher education. Course objectives aim at preparing students for the college experience by acquiring effective learning techniques and by becoming aware of available college resources for academic and personal growth. This course also develops students' abilities, which will assist them with the complexities of college life.
Prerequisites: (none)
Second Semester Details
CMN 101 Introduction to Speech I Details 3
An introduction to the basic principles of oral communication as applied to public speaking. The course emphasizes the mastery of oral communication skills through a variety of exercises in which the student speaks before the group. Involves analysis of such topics as preparation, organization, and delivery. IAI: C2 900.
Prerequisites: (none)
EDU 175 Current Topics & Issues in EC Details 2
This course provides students the opportunity to explore and discuss current topics and issues impacting the federal, state, or local early childhood landscape. Topics will be determined at the time of course offering.
Prerequisites: (none)
EDU 202 Child Growth and Development Details 3
The study of the development of the child from birth to age 12. Emphasis is given to the physical, motor, social, emotional, language, perceptual, cognitive, moral, psychological, and personality development. Observation of infant, preschool, or school-age child is required.
Prerequisites: (none)
EDU 245 STEM in Early Childhood Details 3
This course focuses on the importance of math and science for early childhood and early elementary education programs. Emphasis will be on the techniques that provide engaging math and science experiences, while providing an organized, sequential approach to creating a developmentally appropriate math.
Prerequisites: (none)
EDU 271 Child, Family and Community Details 3
An overview of the philosophies and specific techniques of developing partnerships with families in today's diverse society. Techniques to promote family involvement, communication, commitment, support and acceptance for the educational advantage of the child are emphasized. Field experiences and observations are required. Investigation of community resources that serve families.
Prerequisites: (none)
PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology Details 3
Basic introduction to the major areas of psychology--the study of behavior and the mind. Areas of emphasis include human development, personality theory, learning, thinking, stress and motivation, mental illnesses, and biological and social aspects of behavior. Course will combine research with real life application throughout. IAI: S6 900.
Prerequisites: (none)
Third Semester Details
EDU 215 Observation & Assessment in EC Details 3
Students will learn the methods of authentic, alternative classroom based assessment with young children. Opportunity given to gain knowledge and skills to observe, interpret and use information to respond to and support children's learning and development. Typical and atypical children will be studied and evaluated. Child observation is required.
Prerequisites: EDU 102
EDU 235 Guidance of the Young Child Details 3
This course will examine research and theory related to social and emotional development in young children. Students will explore teaching methods with an emphasis on positive guidance, family engagement, cultural competence and designing appropriate environments. This course requires three 1½ hour observations at a licensed childcare center or kindergarten classroom.
Prerequisites: (none)
EDU 255 Lang/Lit. & Social Studies in EC Details 4
This course will examine the purpose, scope, sequence, material and methodology of teaching language, literature and social studies in the early childhood setting. Students will learn how children acquire language and learn social study concepts. Materials and techniques will be provided for teaching young children about language, language arts, literature, pre-reading, reading fluency, and social studies about places, cultures and events around the world.
Prerequisites: (none)
EDU 260 Curriculum for Early Childhood Programs Details 3
Philosophy, principles and methods for planning and implementing an educationally and developmentally age appropriate program for young children from infancy through eight years of age. Students will develop effective approaches to promote learning and assessment, family and community relationships and creative interdisciplinary environments.
Prerequisites: EDU 102 and one of the following: EDU 165, EDU 245 or EDU 255
Various MAT Gen. Ed. Requirements (AAS) Details 3
AAS degree-seeking students must select at least one course from the listed classes.
MAT 100 Technical Mathematics Details 3
A course designed to cover mathematical processes and problems that relate to career, technical and workforce applications. Specific topics include fractions; decimals, ratio, proportion and percentage; measurements; and area and volume.
Prerequisites: (none)
MAT 109 Elementary Statistics Details 3
A study of the collection and interpretation of statistical data. Specific topics include description of sample data, probability, probability distributions, sampling, estimation, testing hypotheses, correlation, and regression. IAI: M1 902.
Prerequisites: MAT 020 with a grade of "C" or above within two semesters, appropriate placement score, or consent of department
MAT 113 College Algebra Details 3
This course is intended for students who plan to continue their college mathematics education or to meet college transfer requirements. Topics include advanced factoring of higher order polynomials; solving quadratic inequalities; advanced topics in relations, functions and their graphs; zeroes and graphs of polynomial and rational functions; and exponential and logarithmic functions.
Prerequisites: MAT 020 with a grade of "C" or above within two semesters, appropriate placement score, or consent of department
MAT 114 Trigonometry Details 3
This course is intended for students who plan to continue their college mathematics education or to meet college transfer requirements. It is the study and analysis of the sine, cosine, tangent, secant, cosecant, and cotangent function; show these functions are used to solve many types of problems involving the sides and angles of triangles; and how these functions are used to solve many types of problems involving cyclic patterns, some that vary with time. Topics include definitions, properties and manipulation of trigonometric functions; applications of trigonometric functions; analytic trigonometry; trigonometric form of complex numbers; and polar coordinates, equations and graphs.
Prerequisites: MAT 020 with a grade of "C" or above within two semesters, appropriate placement score, or consent of department
MAT 220 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I Details 4
A course designed to introduce the concepts of derivative and integral to the student interested in pursuing degrees related to engineering, science or mathematics. Specific topics include functions and graphs; slopes and rates of change; limit theory and continuous functions; formal differentiation; application of differentiation; integration; and applications of integration. IAI: M1 900-1, MTH 901.
Prerequisites: MAT 113 and MAT 114 with grades of "C" or above within one academic year, appropriate placement score, or consent of department
MAT 234 Calculus for Social Scientists Details 4
A course designed to introduce the business and social science student to the concepts of derivative and integral. Applications of these concepts stress the use of calculus to solve business and social science problems. Specific topics include relations and functions; algebraic functions; exponential and logarithmic functions; derivatives; applications of derivatives; advanced derivative techniques; integrals; advanced integration techniques. IAI: M1 900B.
Prerequisites: MAT 113 with a grade of "C" or above within one academic year, appropriate placement score, or consent of department
Fourth Semester Details
EDU 205 Exceptional Child Details 3
An overview for education majors and those entering special education, presenting the history and philosophy of the various types of special education for exceptional children. Observations and field experience is required.
Prerequisites: (none)
EDU 251 Child Care Administration Details 3
This course introduces the student to the principles and practices of establishing and/or administering a child care program. The student will focus on administrative techniques in such areas as finances, purchasing, personnel management, client policies, regulatory agencies and public relations.
Prerequisites: (none)
EDU 298 Early Childhood Education Practicum Details 3
This course is an integration of knowledge gained in the child care curriculum through supervised practical experience in the field of child care. Students are expected to demonstrate competency in a broad range of duties associated with the occupations represented by the cooperating agencies and/or schools. Upon successful completion of this class, students will gain a solid range of experience needed to earn credentials needed for professional development of skills in the childcare industry.
Prerequisites: Completion or co-enrollment in all required early childhood education courses or consent of department
Various Early Childhood Education Elective Details 3
All courses with an EDU prefix, except those already required for degree completion.
EDU 100 Introduction to Education Details 3
An introduction to teaching as a profession in the American educational system. Presentation of a variety of perspectives on education including historical, philosophical, social, legal, and ethical issues in a diverse society. Includes organizational structure and current trends in school governance. Classroom observation as a field experience component is required.
Prerequisites: (none)
EDU 195 Special Topics in Education Details 1-4 (Varies)
Deals with current topics in education not covered in other courses are covered. Topics will vary at discretion and need of the department. No topic will be offered more than twice within three years. May be repeated three times with different topics. Topic to be listed on student's permanent academic record.
Prerequisites: Consent of department
EDU 201 Educational Psychology Details 3
A study of the application of the principles of psychology to the field of education and a review of educational research in the areas of motivation, intelligence, measurement, evaluation, the learning process, learning styles, and the impact of culture in education. Observational experiences may be included. (Same as PSY 201)
Prerequisites: PSY 101
EDU 204 Introduction to Technology in Education Details 3
This course introduces educators to the knowledge and skills required to demonstrate their proficiency in the current technology standards. The course focuses on both knowledge and performance and includes hands-on technology activities.
Prerequisites: (none)
EDU 290 Field Experience in Education Details 1
Documented field experience involving observation and interaction with children and teachers in a classroom setting to be determined by the JWCC supervising instructor. Dual supervision is provided by JWCC instructors and the partnering school’s teachers. 0 lecture, 2 lab hours.
Prerequisites: (none)
EDU 293 Children's Literature Details 3
This course introduces students to the significant works, authors and trends in literature written for children as well as the role that literature plays in teaching. Emphasis will be placed on identifying various literary genres and showing future teachers the best strategies for using this information in the classroom.
Prerequisites: (none)
EDU 295 Advanced Special Topics in Education Details 1-4 (Varies)
Deals with current topics in education not covered in other courses. Topics will vary at discretion of the instructor. No topic will be offered more than twice within three years. May be repeated with different topics to maximum of four credit hours. Topic to be listed on student's permanent academic record.
Prerequisites: Consent of department
Various General Education Requirement Details 3
Any course that falls under John Wood Community College's list of approved General Education courses for communications, natural science, mathematics, humanities, or social & behavioral science may be taken. Students should always discuss with their advisor which general education course would be best for to them to take to best achieve their particular goals.
Prerequisites: Varies by course