Teachers of infants through fourth grade can anticipate teaching and learning with energetic children on a daily basis. Early childhood is the most important period for physical, social, emotional and cognitive growth. Teaching young children is a rewarding experience, but it also requires curiosity, patience, and stamina. During the impressionable years of infancy through age 9, children are most influenced by highly engaged teachers.
Northampton’s associate degree in Early Childhood Education is offered on campus and online. It is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children Associate Degree Accreditation. Courses in the major combine theory and application of teaching methods with special focus on the arts, best inclusionary practices and diversity. Students are provided with field experiences in the community and at the two accredited campus lab schools, Reibman Hall and Hannig Family Children’s Center. There, students gain knowledge and skills to effectively engage children in learning and building relationships.
The arts-infused learning environments at the NCC lab schools give our students hands-on experience working with children and families in classrooms from infancy through kindergarten. Throughout the four semesters of an AAS degree program, students study psychology, child development, building arts-inspired learning environments and diversity. They learn to develop curriculum that is emergent, standard-based and individualized to meet the unique needs of each child. Finally, students complete a student-teaching internship, where they work with children under the supervision of an experienced early childhood educator.