Early Childhood Education

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Prerequisites & Curriculum

For those who do not already have an Associate Degree in ECE or ECFS, the following prerequisite courses are required and can count as elective credits toward the B.A.S. degree.  All prerequisite courses must be accounted for PRIOR to beginning the BAS cohort in fall. Waiver tests for up to 3 of the ECE prerequisites are available to applicants who have 2 or more years' experience working with children in a formal setting. Waived courses do not count as credit toward the degree, but do count as meeting admissions requirements.  If you have questions about these waivers or need special accommodations, please contact Annie Garrett, Program Manager.

  • course(EDUC&115) – Child Development
  • course(ECED&107) – Health, Safety and Nutrition
  • course(EDUC&130) – Guiding Behavior
  • course(ECED&170) – Environments
  • course(EDUC&150) – Child, Family, Community
  • course(ECED&160) – Curriculum Development
  • course(ENGL&101) – English Composition I

Important Information about Prerequisites

  • Equivalent courses from other colleges may be substituted for any/all of these prerequisites.
  • Candidates with equivalent prior learning from employment and professional development experience may inquire about testing out of these courses.
  • If you have not taken these courses but wish to apply, please contact our program manager to discuss these alternatives.


The degree provides professional development training for early care and education professionals, allowing them to keep pace with the increasing professionalization of the field. The curriculum is designed to align with accreditation standards established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). We aim to prepare educators who are skilled in addressing and undoing barriers of inequity and misinformation. This emphasis upon anti-bias education forms the foundation of our curriculum and programming.

The following is a list of courses included in the Bachelor of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education curriculum. These courses will be hybrid (blend of in-person and online learning) with in-person classes offered two nights per week at Seattle Central College.

In addition to the 60 credits of upper-division courses listed on this page, students must complete 60 elective and 60 general education credits in order to complete the ECE B.A.S. degree. Elective and general education requirements can be fulfilled by associate degree or past college/university credits. Most students will already have the majority of electives completed upon entrance into the program. Meet with Program Manager Annie Garrett to see how your past credits fit in the ECE B.A.S. degree requirements.

Course Sequence for ECE BAS Upper Division Courses

This program of study is outlined by quarter, and courses should be taken in the indicated sequence. These courses will be taken in cohort which is a group of 30 students who moves through the program together; currently we offer one virtual (2 nights per week at 6:30pm) cohort and one fully online cohort starting each fall. The number of quarters listed here is minimal; most students will need to add general education and/or elective credits to their Education Plan in order to complete the degree. Individual student experiences, educational and training background, and personal schedules and demands all may affect the time it takes to finish this program. Also, in general, summer quarter is not considered one of the full-time quarters in the program. Upon admission, students are invited to work with the program manager for assistance developing their full Education Plan.
See our Program Planning Sheet  for more detail.

course sequence ece
Note: In addition to the above courses, students will be taking one (or more) general education course or elective each quarter

Information Literacy for Undergraduate Research Students will develop critical thinking skills in the research process and examine strategies for locating and using information resources. This course emphasizes proficiency using electronic resources and other research tools and retrieval techniques. The course explores information policy issues such as copyright, censorship and freedom of information.

Cognition and General Knowledge Early Childhood Education Approaches and History Students will synthesize changes in early care and education over time including the social, political and societal trends behind them. Using a historical approach, students will analyze key influences in the history of the field of early care and education and reflect upon the diversity embedded in this field. Additionally, students will observe and differentiate between models of early care and education. Students will incorporate these ideas into the development of their own teaching philosophy and recognize its importance to practice.

Cognition and General Knowledge Students will demonstrate developmentally appropriate instruction of key content in early education, including science, math and reasoning. Students will apply learning theory to their instruction and design strategies to teach math and science content based on the understanding of cognition.

Language, Literacy and Communication Students will distinguish between different modalities pertaining to understanding literacy and the young child. Students will apply understanding of the processes through which children communicate by designing and demonstrating strategies to support them. Students will analyze emerging research on literacy and young children and develop instructional strategies that reflect current best practices.

Creative Expression Students will analyze the meaning of creativity using music, art, movement and imaginative play to promote development across domains (physical, cognitive, social-emotional). Students will examine different approaches to creativity, design curriculum incorporating creativity and demonstrate developmentally appropriate practices supporting creativity in the classroom.

Practicum: Interactions Students will identify, discuss and apply best practices in teacher-child interactions. Students will improve instruction through reflection on their interactions with children. Students will use a coaching platform to receive feedback on their work from peers and instructors. Students will observe and critique interactions in a minimum of two programs serving different age groups.

Anti-Bias Education Students will deconstruct their own biases and reflect on biases present in the communities of practice and the system in which our children live. Students will apply the principles of anti-bias education to their instruction and receive peer and instructor coaching to improve their responsiveness to cultural, linguistic and ability diversity. Students will discuss how embedded bias can impact identity development and formulate strategies to counter structural bias.

Partnership and Collaboration in Early Care and Education Students will examine the impact of the ecological theory on early learning environments. Students will integrate family and community into the early learning program and demonstrate cultural competence. Students will generate ideas for collaboration with family and communities to support child development and apply them to their practice.

Inclusive Early Childhood Education Students will observe and differentiate between models of inclusion in early learning settings, across age groups. Students will develop strategies for providing appropriate education to a variety of learners, including children with special needs, dual language learners, and children undergoing adverse childhood experiences. In the course, students will apply principles of inclusive early care and education to an environment in compliance with state law and district/program policy.

Children and Media Students will critically evaluate various perspectives on using electronic media (computers, tablets, television, etc.) in early childhood programs. Students will analyze and interpret current research and recommendations and formulate a policy on classroom use. Appropriate use of classroom technology will be explained and practiced. Students will develop strategies for communicating with families regarding the use of electronic media.

Social and Emotional Foundations of Early Learning Students will examine the dimensions of social and emotional development in children from birth to age 8 and analyze the relationship between social and emotional development and behavior. Students will construct strategies to support social and emotional development and demonstrate competency in teaching practice that promotes positive behavior and social and emotional development.

Linguistically Diverse Learners Students will compare the benefits and logistics of monolingual and multilingual programs for children, families and communities. Students will apply principles of language development and learning theory to modify instruction for students who are multilingual. The class will design multilingual activities and materials to promote family and community involvement. Students will develop plans to integrate languages into multilingual programs as appropriate.

Child Development and Assessment Students will examine child development holistically and across physical, cognitive, social and emotional domains. The importance of play in child development will be argued. Students will also discuss the importance of planning and preparing an effective system of ongoing assessment to support child development. Students will learn how to use assessment information to adjust their teaching and promote child development. Students will become familiar with screening tools and the process for identifying children for early intervention referrals.

Leadership and Professional Community Students will examine the professionalization of the early care and education field. The class will identify professional organizations in early care and education and their role in the community and create a paper, research brief, presentation or other recourse to contribute to a journal, conference or workshop.

Capstone Students will use an inquiry approach to research, design and implement significant change in an educational setting. Students will also reflect upon their coursework, research and teaching, and produce a culminating document that will include a revised teaching philosophy.

B.A.S. General Education Requirements (for a total of 60 general education courses) Communication (ENGL&101 and ENGL&102 or &235)---10 Natural World---10 (at least one lab class) Visual/ Literary Performing Arts---15 QSR requirement (college-level math at 100 or higher)---5 Individual, Cultures and Societies---20 *Note on General Education Requirements: All students will transfer in general education credits earned during previous education. Therefore, the number of general education credits you will need to complete while enrolled in the Bachelor of Applied Science degree program will depend upon the number of qualifying credits transferred in. Please contact Program Manager Anne Garrett to arrange an unofficial evaluation of your transcript and discuss steps for an official evaluation.


Applied Learning Opportunities:
Practicum and Capstone

The program incorporates an embedded practicum in most all upper division ECE BAS courses (60 total credits) through a coaching platform in which students upload video of themselves teaching for peer and instructor feedback. Practicum participation is an essential part of the program and required of all students. Currently, students must spend at least 5 hours per week working directly with early learners at their practicum site. This takes place at the student’s place of employment, or, if the student is not currently working at an early childhood setting, at an internship site. Students are responsible for identifying their own practicum site, but are welcomed to reach out to the program manager for access to our practicum finder tool and/or personalized suggestions.

The Early Childhood Education B.A.S. degree includes significant applied learning opportunities. The practicum (5 credits) and capstone (5 credits) are designed to ensure real-world, practical applications of the concepts and tools learned.

The practicum and capstone course descriptions can be viewed on the curriculum page.

Credit for Prior Learning

We encourage B.A.S. students to apply for Prior Learning Assessment credits if their previous coursework, training, work experience or military service warrants. Eligibility for prior learning should be explored with the B.A.S. manager and then the faculty coordinator upon admittance to the program.

Students may have up to 25 percent of the 180 total program credits covered through successful completion of Prior Learning Assessment. A maximum of 15 credits of early childhood education upper-division courses may be covered through Prior Learning Assessment. The college recognizes the importance and relevance of prior leaning assessment and has made strides in making this easily accessible for students.

  • North follows the recommendations made by the American Council on Education when evaluating military training and education records. The college’s Office of Veterans Services will help active and veteran military personnel contact appropriate faculty to work with.
  • Students may work with faculty to receive credit through the Prior Experiential Learning Portfolio (PELP) program. This method is appropriate for persons who have acquired knowledge and skills in ways that are not covered by “traditional” tests and transcripts. We expect this will be the method used for most Prior Learning Assessments of upper-division ECE coursework.
  • Students may test out of specified general education courses by taking the final examination.

If you think you may qualify for Prior Learning Assessment credits, please contact Program Manager person(agarrett) for more general information. Please note that Prior Learning Assessment cannot be conducted until a student is admitted to the program.