Early Childhood Education

  • Overview
  • Mission
Provides a strong background in early childhood education and liberal arts. The curriculum integrates coursework with hands-on exposure to an innovative and progressive curriculum for young children and direct experience in a variety of early childhood settings. With a dedicated Early Childhood Education Lab classroom and a partnership with Elms College that provides a streamlined pathway to a bachelor’s degree, GCC is the place to start or advance your career in early childhood education and care!
early-care-and-education
  • Curriculum documents

    To plan degree completion, see the course descriptions in the academic catalog which specify the planned semester(s) in which required classes are to be scheduled.

  • This is just one way you might complete the Early Childhood Education program in 4 semesters over 2 years of full-time study, or 8 semesters over 4 years of part-time study. (Sample course sequences assume that all pre-requisites have been satisfied and the student is prepared for college-level work.) For a detailed list of required courses, optional electives and program information, download the Early Childhood Education program description from our official academic catalog.

    Course descriptions are also available in the catalog. Find courses

    Sample 2 Year Sequence of Courses
    Fall 1Spring 1Fall 2Spring 2

    ENG Comp. I
    Natural or Physical Science course (3 credits)
    EDU 101
    EDU 103
    EDU 123

    ENG Comp. II
    Natural or Physical Science course (4 credits)
    PSY 101
    EDU 112
    EDU 201

    Humanities or Fine Arts course (3 credits)
    PSY 233
    EDU 215
    Humanities or Fine Arts course (3 credits)

    ENG 241
    MAT 116
    SOC 203
    EDU 216

    Sample 4 Year Sequence of Courses
    Fall 1Spring 1Fall 2Spring 2

    ENG Comp. I
    EDU 101

    ENG Comp. II
    EDU 201

    Humanities or Fine Arts course (3 credits)
    EDU 103
    EDU 123

    ENG 241
    EDU 112
    PSY 101

    Fall 3Spring 3Fall 4Spring 4

    Natural or Physical Science course (3 credits)
    SOC 203

    Humanities or Fine Arts course (3 credits)
    Natural or Physical Science course (4 credits)

    EDU 215
    PSY 233

    EDU 216
    MAT 116

Student learning outcomes

Students completing a course of study in this program will be able to:

What’s next

Teach and care for children in community-based early childhood settings, working with families and children ages birth, infant-toddler, or pre-school (birth through age 5). This degree prepares students to become eligible for Lead Teacher Certification and prepares students for teaching positions in programs such as: Head Start; Girl’s Club; YMCA; independent state and nationally accredited centers; licensed family day care, etc. To work towards a top-level teaching or leadership position in the field of community-based early education and care, students should plan to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Care. A bachelor’s degree prepares for advancement, leadership, and optimal employment opportunities within the field. Note: This type of bachelor’s degree does not prepare students for public school licensure. It is not necessary to take the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) nor complete a secondary major for this pathway. Several 4-year schools offer bachelor’s programs in early education and care that support a pathway for employment in community-based settings.

  • Elms College offers a bachelor’s completion degree in Early Care and Education on the GCC campus.
  • UMass-Amherst University Without Walls (UWW) offers a bachelor’s in Early Care and Education provided fully online.

The Education Department believes in the centrality of and the right to optimum care and education of all young children. The Early Childhood degree serves as a catalyst for change and betterment at each stage of professional development for those who seek to care for and educate infants, toddlers and preschoolers. The department strives to offer current and research-informed preservice as well as ongoing professional development opportunities via face-to-face courses in both the day and evening as well as online.