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Child Development

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Child Development

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Grayson College offers a Child Development Associate of Applied Science degreecertificates, and Occupational skills awards. The Child Development AAS degree programs are also available in an online format. 

This 60-hour degree explores child growth and development and how to interact and provides the strongest education and foundations for all children birth through adolescence with a focus on birth through age eight.  This degree has you in early childhood classrooms from the first semester working and learning.  This degree allows for many careers in a variety of fields like child care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, Early Childhood Intervention, and Head Start.


Click here to view the Program Learning Outcomes.


The child development and early childhood education program offers 3 levels of certification. The certifications are designed to build to the Associates Degree.

Occupational Skills Award
Child Development Associate Training --The 3-course professional education part of the CDA credential, a national certification by the Council for Professional Recognition
Child Development
Certificates
Child Development Certificate
Child Care Administrator Certificate
Associates of Applied Science in
Child Development and Early Childhood Education

Child Development Mission

The mission of the Grayson College Child Development Program is to prepare students to enter the workforce with knowledge and skills to meet the unique demands of working with children and their families. The twofold purpose of the program is: (1) to equip students with the knowledge of child development and early childhood education in the forms of theoretical frameworks, current research, and practical foundations in the field, and (2) to provide practice and instruction in how to effectively implement knowledge into nurturing, stimulating and appropriate environments for young learners.

Students will be in high-quality Texas Rising Star (TRS) early childhood education classrooms and public schools for observation and practice of skills learned in courses.

Potential Careers

Instructional Assistants in Head Start
Paraprofessionals in public schools
Child care administrators
Early childhood education teachers
A professional in private and public agencies with focus on children, child-rearing, foster care and adoption
Early Childhood Interventionist*
Child Life Specialist*
Numerous other degrees and careers use the foundation of this child development and ECE knowledge skills like therapies: art, music, play, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.*

*requires more education past an AAS degree


End of Program Student Learning Outcomes

Our Program Student Learning Outcomes are the NAEYC Standards for Initial Early Childhood Professional Preparation

1.  Promoting child development and learning
Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs are grounded in a child development knowledge base. They use their understanding of young children’s characteristics and needs, and of multiple interacting influences on children’s development and learning, to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for each child.


2. Building family and community relationships
Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that successful early childhood education depends upon partnerships with children’s families and communities. They know about, understand, and value the importance and complex characteristics of children’s families and communities. They use this understanding to create respectful, reciprocal relationships that support and empower families, and to involve all families in their children’s development and learning.

3. Observing, documenting, and assessing to support young children and families
Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that child observation, documentation, and other forms of assessment are central to the practice of all early childhood professionals. They know about and understand the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment. They know about and use systematic observations, documentation, and other effective assessment strategies in a responsible way, in partnership with families and other professionals, to positively influence the development of every child.

4. Using developmentally effective approaches
Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that teaching and learning with young children is a complex enterprise, and its details vary depending on children’s ages, characteristics, and the settings within which teaching and learning occur. They understand and use positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation for their work with young children and families. Candidates know, understand, and use a wide array of developmentally appropriate approaches, instructional strategies, and tools to connect with children and families and positively influence each child’s development and learning.

5. Using content knowledge to build meaningful curriculum
Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs use their knowledge of academic disciplines to design, implement, and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for each and every young child. Candidates understand the importance of developmental domains and academic (or content) disciplines in early childhood curriculum. They know the essential concepts, inquiry tools, and structure of content areas, including academic subjects, and can identify resources to deepen their understanding. Candidates use their own knowledge and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate meaningful, challenging curriculum that promotes comprehensive developmental and learning outcomes for every young child.

6. Becoming a professional
Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs identify and conduct themselves as members of the early childhood profession. They know and use ethical guidelines and other professional standards related to early childhood practice. They are continuous, collaborative learners who demonstrate knowledgeable, reflective and critical perspectives on their work, making informed decisions that integrate knowledge from a variety of sources. They are informed advocates for sound educational practices and policies.

7. Early childhood field experiences
Field experiences and clinical practice are planned and sequenced so that candidates develop the knowledge, skills and professional dispositions necessary to promote the development and learning of young children across the entire developmental period of early childhood – in at least two of the three early childhood age groups (birth – age 3, 3 through 5, 5 through 8 years) and in the variety of settings that offer early education (early school grades, child care centers and homes, Head Start programs).

Conceptual Framework

Guiding Principles
Based on our mission statement and vision, as well as NAEYC standards, the following guiding principles govern our program:

1. Students and their success in our program is the foundational cornerstone of the program. Developmentally appropriate practices and adult learning strategies are incorporated in all courses. The program recognizes each student is an individual that has been molded by his or her own age, gender, abilities, strengths, areas of growth, family of origin, the community and culture in which he or she is embedded.

2. Learning opportunities are designed to teach using active learning in order to allow students to practice in skill building and application of principles. Courses range from broad knowledge to specific skill development.

Interactive learning opportunities are diverse and allow students to learn new knowledge, practice skills and demonstrate mastery. Learning opportunities include field experiences, projects, activities, and assignments where students practice and demonstrate skill.

The most effective teaching strategies are the field experiences. Field experiences offer students the chance to examine children and their diversity including different ethnicities, cultures, socioeconomic status and ability levels (including exceptionalities). In addition, field experiences have the student observing in different educational philosophies like Montessori and High Scope. (NAEYC Standards 1,4 and 5)

3. Faculty develop and demonstrate innovative and research-based teaching practices that are student-centered and active in order to promote learning, interaction and retention. nstructors are always observing and doing formative assessment of the students for understanding and mastery of the student learning objectives. Changes in content and teaching strategies are based off of the assessments. (NAEYC Standard 3 and 4)

4. Children, their families and the community guide our program. Each and every child is unique with their own temperament and abilities, and deserves to have the best chances and opportunities for optimal development. Part of working with the whole child is supporting the families and communities in which the children live to support and encourage development in all domains.

Our goal is to equip our college students to provide developmentally appropriate interactions and environments to children to promote optimal development and to share with others, and to advocate for children with their parents and their community in order to change policies for all children. (NAEYC Standard 1, 2 and 6)


“The Associates of Applied Science in Child Development and Early Childhood Education at Grayson College is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs of the National Association for the Education of Young Childrenwww.naeyc.org. The accreditation term runs from July 2013 through July 2020.”

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