Last Updated

5/19/2020 12:09:27 AM

Early Childhood Credential Transfer Pathway Level IV, Associate in Applied Science

(formerly Early Childhood Education)

Curriculum EDU.ECE.AAS (C220A)

The field of early childhood education is filled with many exciting career opportunities! Potential careers include working directly with young children and their families through teaching in public and private schools, Head Start programs, child care centers, and family child care homes. Career opportunities also include supporting those who work directly with young children in occupations that include administration, curriculum development, policy advocates and lobbyists, coaches and mentors, licensing representatives, and providers of professional development. Our state and nation is currently facing a critical need for well-prepared early childhood practitioners, with an anticipated growth in career opportunities of 14% (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014).

At Triton College, we have a variety of pathways designed to support your professional growth. Whether you are interested in earning a Gateways Credential or are planning to transfer to a four-year program, we have the courses and opportunities to meet your education and career needs.

Our courses are designed around the following 3 Pathways: Career Pathways, Credential Continuing, and Credential Transfer.

The ECE Career Pathway Certificate is designed for students who are in the field or seeking immediate employment and are pursuing Gateways Credentials to secure employment or progress within a current role. This pathway is designed with convenient on and off ramps—you can pursue a Level 2 Credential, for example, then later decide that you would like to attain your Level 3 Credential.

The ECE Credential Continuing Pathway Certificate or degree is designed for students who are seeking employment and/or working in the field and who plan on progressing through each of the credentials with the goal of attaining their A.A.S. Courses are laid out in a three to four semester sequence, with milestones of credential attainment marked along the way.

The ECE Credential Transfer Pathway is designed for students who are planning to transfer to a four-year university. This sequence of courses supports the attainment of the Level 3 Gateways Credential and either the A.A. or A.S. degree, and maximizes the number of courses that will directly transfer to a partnering four-year institution.

Each of our Pathways is designed to support the attainment of Gateways Credentials. The Gateways Credential is recognized by the Illinois Department of Human Services Bureau of Child the Care and Development. Credentials are required for varied Circles of Quality in ExceleRate Illinois and can be used as a prerequisite for employment within early learning programs. To earn your Level 2-4 ECE Gateways Credential, you are required to follow a prescribed course of study.

Daytime morning field experiences are requirements for all ECE classes, progressing from basic observation to a supervised observation/preparation class which precedes student teaching in the Lab School at Triton College.

College and state medical assessments and background inquiry checks are required of all individuals working with young children.

All program electives may not transfer to four year colleges/universities.

The Early Childhood Credential Continuing Pathway Degree is designed for students who are taking early childhood courses to attain a Gateway Level 4 credential to meet ExceleRate/employer requirements with attainment of the A.A.S. as an end goal.


At the successful completion of the Associate in Applied Science Degree in Early Childhood Credential Transfer Pathway Level IV program, the graduate will be able to:

  • apply Developmentally Appropriate Practice in all aspects of curriculum and instruction;
  • demonstrate a strong understanding of the developmental characteristics and needs of children birth through age eight;
  • utilize observation, documentation, and assessment to inform their practices with young children;
  • establish respectful and reciprocal relationship with children and their families;
  • create classroom environments that promote respect and acceptance for human diversity; and
  • exhibit professional practices that are aligned with NAEYC Professional Standards and Code of Ethical Conduct.

Associate in Applied Science Degree

Semester One

ECE 110Early Child Development

3 credits

ECE 111Introduction to Early Childhood Education

3 credits


MAT 102 #Liberal Arts Mathematics

3 credits


MAT 117 #Math for Elementary School Teachers II

3 credits


RHT 101 #Freshman Rhetoric & Composition I

3 credits


PSY 100Introduction to Psychology

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:15

Semester Two

ECE 118 #Health, Nutrition & Safety

3 credits

ECE 121 #Language Development & Activities

3 credits

SPE 101 #Principles of Effective Speaking

3 credits

General education (recommended):

ART 110Looking at Art

3 credits


PHL 101Introduction to Philosophy

3 credits


PHL 105World Religions

3 credits



1 credit

Total Credit Hours:16

Semester Three

ECE 138 #Observation, Assessment, Curriculum and Guidance of Young Children

3.5 credits

ECE 146Child, Family & Community

2 credits

ECE 231 #Science and Math for Children

3 credits

ECE 233 #Creative Activities for the Young Child

3 credits

HTH 281First Aid CPR AED

2 credits

MUS 110Listening to Music

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:16.5

Semester Four

ECE 142 #Students With Disabilities in School

3 credits


HIS 152History of the United States Since 1877

3 credits


SOC 100Introduction to Sociology

3 credits


Electives (strongly suggested for credential, but may not transfer):

ECE 251 #Practicum

4 credits

ECE 252 #Seminar

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:13

Total Credit Hours: 60.5

See ECE course descriptions.

See Humanities and Social or Behavioral Science General Education and Associate in Arts degree requirements for Physical or Life Sciences or Mathematics requirements.

Note: A minimum grade of "C" is a requirement for each ECE course in all ECE programs.

Chairperson: Ayelet Miller, Email:, Ext. 3989