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Associate of Applied Science - Early Childhood Education

What to Expect for Your Early Childhood Education Courses*

* Course formats may temporarily differ because of Covid-19 restrictions

  • All courses (except field-placement courses) can be taken virtually
  • Some courses have an in-seat option
  • Classes are in the evenings and Saturday mornings to accommodate work schedules
  • Fieldwork is required
  • Monthly attendance is required for field-placement courses (ECE160, ECE170, and ECE290). Weekly attendance is required for summer field placement courses.

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FREE HighScope Training*

Free Dual Credit Child Development Associate (CDA) courses for Columbia Public School Students

Tuition assistance available for Child Development Associate (CDA) courses for currently employed teachers*

*Applies to Boone County Residents - funding made available through Boone County Children's Services Fund

Early Care and Education (ECE) Professionals nurture, educate, and care for young children from birth to eight. More than three-fourths of a child’s brain capacity is developed in the first five years. ECE professionals create learning opportunities that stimulate children’s physical, emotional, intellectual, and social growth to support optimal development. They are a part of new discoveries every day as children explore their interests, develop their talents and learn the social skills to thrive in our diverse society. If you enjoy interacting with children, helping them explore their world, and discover their potential then a degree in Early Childhood from MACC might be right for you.

Program Information

The MACC Early Childhood Education program prepares graduates to support children and families by providing responsive care and quality education as a teacher/caregiver or director in a childcare center, family childcare home, a Head Start, or Early Head Start program. Successful graduates can also be parent educators, enter public schools as a paraprofessional, or continue their education in this field. MACC Early Childhood Education classes are offered in the evening for the convenience of the working student. The Early Childhood Education program also offers a 32 credit hour certificate, a Certificate of Specialization, and the Child Development Associate credential.

Employment Opportunities

More than 1.4 million people worked in the childcare profession in 2006 and that number is expected to grow faster than average for all professions in the next decade. Many of these early care and education professionals work for other employers, but about 35% of all workers in this profession have the entrepreneurial spirit and enjoy the benefits of being self-employed. The proportion of children being cared for by parents or relatives is expected to continue to decline, spurring additional demand for early care and education personnel.

As formal Pre-K education becomes more widely accepted and desired, employment opportunities will increase in the field. An associate degree will be the entry-level educational requirement for these positions. Qualified persons interested in this work should have little difficulty finding and keeping employment, and those individuals with a college education can typically expect and demand higher earnings. Earnings for self-employed workers vary depending on the number of hours worked, the number and age of the children served, and location.

Academic Map

This academic map is a suggested semester-by-semester schedule of courses based upon the AAS degree requirements as outlined in the academic catalog. In order for you to graduate in two years, specific milestones, courses, and other requirements (e.g. prerequisites) must be met in a timely manner. To ensure that milestone courses are completed, it is important that you, when possible and appropriate, enroll in any needed developmental coursework during the first semester(s) of enrollment. Additionally, enrolling for courses during the summer session is an option and can reduce your regular course load and allow you to stay on track to graduate in two years. Finally, keep in mind this map does not substitute for academic advisement. If you have questions, see your advisor and refer to the MACC website for current information.

*A grade of "C" or better must be achieved in all required Early Childhood Education courses (prefix "ECE") to earn an AAS or Certificate in Early Childhood Education or an Early Learning Assistant Certificate.

Course Semester Hours Milestone
  First Semester (Fall)
   Biological or Physical Science 3-5  
 ECE110  Foundations of Early Care & Education - Fall Only 3  
 ECE130  Essentials of Infant/Toddler Care - Fall Only 3  
 HST105 or
 HST106 or
 American History to 1865 or
 American History from 1865 or
 Introduction to American Government
 LAL101  ^Composition I 3 LAL101
 SKL101  College Orientation 1 SKL101
  Second Semester (Spring)
 BOA152 or
 MTH140 or
 MTH142 or
 ^Business Math/Electronic Calculations - Spring Only  or
 ^Precalculus Algebra or
 ^Quantitative Reasoning or
 ^Elementary Statistics
3  BOA152 or
 MTH140 or
 MTH142 or
 ECE120  Nutrition, Safety & Health - Spring Only 3  
 ECE140  >Play as Learning - Spring Only 3  
 ECE160  ^Beginning Lab in Infant Toddler Setting (or ECE150 in Summer) - Spring Only 2  
 ECE165  ^Assessment in Early Childhood I - Spring Only 1  
 ECE210  ^Early and Middle Childhood - Spring Only 3  
  Third Semester (Summer)    
 ECE150  >^CDA Seminar (or ECE160 in 2nd Semester) - Summer Only 2  
  Fourth Semester (Fall)    
 ECE170  ^Beginning Lab in Preschool - Fall Only 2  
 ECE175  ^Assessment in Early Childhood II - Fall Only 1  
 ECE220  ^Working with Families & the Community - Fall Only 3  
 ECE230  ^Guidance & Inclusion in Early Childhood - Fall Only 3  
 ECE240  ^Emergent Language & literacy - Fall Only 3  
 ECE250  ^Curriculum & Planning in Early Childhood - Fall Only 3  
   Humanities*** 3  
  Fifth Semester (Spring)
   Directed Electives**** 6  
 ECE260 or
 ^Professional Issues in Early Childhood - Spring Only or
 ^Foundations of Education in a Diverse Society
 ECE270  ^Management of Early Childhood Programs - Spring Only 3  
 ECE290  ^Early Childhood Practicum - Spring Only 3  
 ECE296  ^Early Childhood Capstone - Spring Only 1  
  Minimum Required Hours for Degree 65  

**It is strongly recommended that students successfully complete the Milestone courses as planned on the academic map to ensure completion of the degree in two years. In addition, if students do not successfully complete the Milestone course(s), they are strongly encouraged to re-enroll in the course(s) the following semester.

>Articulation Credit from secondary programs or credit-by-credential with a current CDA.

^Please refer to the course descriptions for pre/co-requisite and placement information. You can only register for these courses if you have met the prerequisite, placed into the course and/or enroll in the co-requisite course(s).

***Recommended Humanities:
     FLN101 Elementary Spanish
     PHI152 Introduction to Ethics
     PHI251 Religions of the World
     Any Literature designated Humanities

****Directed Electives:
     BUS112 Principles of Management
     ECE145 CDA Preparation and Observation
     PSY101 General Psychology
     PSY205 Human Lifespan Development
     SOC101 Sociology
     SOC211 Sociology of the Family
     Any course from the 42-hour general education block 


Additional Graduation Requirement
Missouri law, included in Senate Bill 807, requires every college student pursuing an associate’s or bachelor's degree at a public institution to pass the Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement Examination with at least a 70 percent to graduate. The rule will apply to the incoming class of first-time college students in the fall of 2019 and all students thereafter.

This academic map is not a contract, either expressed or implied, between MACC and the student, but represents a flexible program of the current curriculum which may be altered from time to time to meet the academic objectives of the college. MACC specifically reserves the right to modify, delete, or add to any academic map at any time within the student’s period of study at the college.