There is no resource more valuable than children, and caring for them is the greatest responsibility an adult can undertake. To prepare adults for this task, Pierce College's Early Childhood Education program provides comprehensive, compassionate training on the physical, emotional, intellectual, and social needs of children from birth to age 8.
The program combines hands-on training in the on-site laboratory school, as well as in community childcare centers and classrooms, with college-level classroom instruction aimed at creating skilled, kind, and understanding teachers. Students learn to develop and apply curriculum methods and to meet the needs of children as individuals and within their social and familial situations.
Classes are offered days, evenings, Saturdays, and online to accommodate busy students.
Enrollment is open throughout the year. Start in the fall, winter, spring, or summer quarters.
There are no prerequisites for entering Pierce's Early Childhood Education program.
An initial certificate can be earned in one quarter (12 credits). The short certificate of specialization is achievable in two quarters (20 credits). The state credential takes about one year of full-time study (47 credits). The associate's degree option requires about two years (96 credits).
Pierce College's associate's degree option transfers directly to The Evergreen State College (Olympia and Tacoma campuses). In addition, many individual Early Childhood Education courses transfer to established four-year teacher training programs, including those at Central Washington, Pacific Lutheran, Washington State, and City universities.
Students intending to transfer into a four-year program are asked to work closely with their academic advisor.
Additional help and support may be available for students in need of English language training or basic adult learning skills. Pierce's Early Childhood Education program works with the Integrated Basic Education Skills Training (I-BEST) support program to assist students in need of English as a Second Language or Adult Basic Education training, or who are pursuing their GED.
Pierce College's Paraeducation program is designed for people already working as teaching assistants in school districts within the Pierce College service district. It provides the training necessary for them to achieve paraprofessional status.
This professional-technical program offers an associate's degree in paraeducation, preparing students for employment as valuable members of instructional teams contributing meaningfully to learner-centered activities. Positions include education assistant, guidance specialist, instructional aide, transitional specialist, playground assistant, special education assistant, teacher aide and tutor. Coursework covers the Washington State Competencies and Skill Standards for Paraeducators. EDUC 130, EDUC 204, EDUC 230. PARED 110, PARED 130 and PARED 210 are offered through a contracted agreement with the Bethel School District.
Pierce College affiliated preschools will not discriminate against applicants or students on the basis of race, religion, sex or national origin. This policy includes, but is not limited to, racial, religious or sexual admissions, scholarship programs, athletic programs or extracurricular activities that are a part of the school's regular programs and similar activities. The school will not maintain separate classes, separate buildings or other separate facilities along racial, religious or sexual lines.
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