Early Childhood Education - Home

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.

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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.

Program length

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).

Transfer possibilities

Graduates with the Associate in Applied Science-Transfer (AAS-T) Degree in Early Childhood Education can apply to the Bachelor of Applied Science in Teaching. This program leads to teacher licensure with endorsements in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education. There are also a variety of other transfer options to continue in fields such as Early Childhood Education, Children’s Studies, and Human Development. See a program advisor for more details.

Students intending to transfer into a four-year program are asked to work closely with their academic advisor.

Special features

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 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.

Krissy Kim
Director of Education Programs

Leesa Thomas
Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education

Angela Merritt
Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education

Davida Sharpe-Haygood
Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education

Jacqueline Coles
Program Coordinator

Adjunct Assistant Professors

Ana Arana
Greg Brazell
David Ferguson
Kelly Foster
Sharon Iverson
Michael Koetje
Sharene Leek
Heather Robinson
Olga Webstad
Juniper White (I-BEST)

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