The Early Childhood Education Program prepares individuals to work in various capacities with children from infancy through age nine. General responsibilities include overseeing developmental and educational activities within the day care and early childhood classroom, structuring the curriculum, and monitoring students’ progress to ensure activities are meeting the children’s needs. Many early childhood educators work under the general supervision of a lead teacher or director, but some may also serve as program directors.
The education program allows students to pursue a variety of options and career paths in the field of education. Practical courses combined with general education offerings and field experiences equip students with both real-life experiences and valuable credentials, whether they are pursuing a sequence of courses to prepare for employment or are ultimately planning to transfer to a four-year institution to complete their bachelor’s degree.
Employment opportunities in elementary education and in secondary education in the United States are projected to increase by more than 12 percent during the period of 2006 to 2016. Students pursuing degrees in elementary education can follow one of two degree programs, depending on whether they will be completing the baccalaureate degree in the state of Maryland or in another state (source: www.bls.gov/oco).
This 30-credit certificate program meets the training requirements for Level 4 of the new Maryland Child Care Credential System. Completion of this certificate prepares individuals to work as lead teachers in a licensed child care facility in the state of Maryland.
The need for highly qualified instructional paraprofessionals has expanded as a result of recent federal legislation. The instructional paraprofessional certificate allows students to concentrate their training in three different areas: language arts, mathematics, or science. These certificates, coupled with 24 additional college level credits, meet the 48-credit hour requirement to be certified as “highly qualified” and provide educational services in a classroom under the direction of a licensed teacher.