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Early Childhood Education

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Academic Programs

Early Childhood Education - Associate in Applied Science (042)

This program aligns to the AAS/Gateways ECE Level 4 credential.

The Early Childhood Education program provides the academic background and practical experience for people interested in careers in education, including infant, preschool and school-age child care in early childhood centers, family child care homes, parent education, and early childhood program supervision. Coursework focuses on theory, research and program practice pertaining to children prenatal to early school age. Students will have the opportunity to observe and assess children's behaviors and to work directly with children in a supervised setting. This program provides a comprehensive course of study, including physical, cognitive, social and emotional development of young children, curriculum development, literature and language arts, creative activities for teaching art, music, math and science, behavior guidance, health and nutrition, and one supervised practicum experience.

Credential Program Description

Students enrolled in Early Childhood programs at Sauk Valley Community College will be eligible to complete credentials through Gateways to Opportunities state professional development system for ECE levels 2, 3 and 4. Benefits of this credentialing process increase a student's employability through ExceleRate Illinois and make students eligible for scholarship opportunities and wage differentials. Students must earn a "C" or better in all ECE courses used to fulfill Gateways credentialing requirements.

Work and Employment

The early childhood education program is designed to educate professionals for a diverse and challenging field. Employment opportunities for graduates of the early childhood education program are very positive, whether pursuing a career in a group day care, preschool setting, or in family care.

Criminal History Check Policy

Illinois law requires licensed early childhood programs to conduct a criminal background investigation on applicants for employment. Employment of individuals who have been convicted of committing or attempting to commit offenses that may put children in harm's way is prohibited. Laws vary according to the agency and their licensing body.

Students who perform classroom observations through coursework at Sauk Valley Community College may be required by the selected school/site to undergo a criminal background check prior to placement. Students may be denied at any observation site based on the results of that check.

Students who feel their criminal background may exclude them from observation or employment should seek counseling with SVCC faculty or advising staff early in their program to determine how it may affect their participation and eligibility.

Follow this link for career information.

Program Contacts at Sauk Valley Community College

  • Academic Advising, 815-835-6354
  • Beth Smaka, Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education, 815-835-6388

Total Hours Required - 62-63 Hours

Major Field Requirements - 46-47 Hours

  • ECE 109 - Found of Infant & Toddler Care (4 Semester Hours)

    This course provides students with an overview of the development of children birth through age three. Students will explore physical, social, emotional, cognitive and linguistic growth, as well as factors that affect learning and development. Emphasis will be placed on the role of family and community partnership in effective care-giving programs. Student will also design developmentally-appropriate curriculum, including observation and formal and informal assessment techniques. Students will demonstrate understanding of the Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale (ITERS) by performing an evaluation in an infant/toddler classroom setting. Students will participate in a minimum of 50 hours of required field experience. Semester hour(s): 4 Lecture/Lab Hours: 4 lec/week

  • ECE 114 - Child Care and Development (3 Semester Hours)

    This course provides an overview of the theory and principles of human growth and development from conception through adolescence. Content includes an in-depth study of the inter-relatedness of physical, cognitive, social, and emotional aspects of development. Development is studied in the context of family, gender, culture, language, ability, socioeconomics, diversity, and society. Special emphasis will be on the theories of Piaget, Vygotsky, Erikson, and Gardner. Field observations are required. Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI) ECE 912 Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • ECE 115 - Prin Early Child Educ (3 Semester Hours)

    This survey course provides an overview of early childhood care and education including historical and cultural perspectives, organization, structure, programming, and evidence-based practices. Professional and evidence-based practices of highly qualified early childhood educators are outlined with an emphasis on their ability to enhance development and learning of each and every child between the ages of birth and eight. Considerations for diversity of culture, language, race, socio-economic status, gender, ethnicity, and ability will be included. Students will spend a minimum of 15 hours of observation in diverse early childhood settings. Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • ECE 118 - Parent-Teachr-Child-Comm Relat (3 Semester Hours)

    This course focuses on the child in the context of family, school and community. An analysis of the contemporary American family will be discussed, with emphasis on the individual family interactions within the larger societal context. The course will examine the interplay of diverse cultures, lifestyles, language and communication with the role of school and other community institutions. Students will gain an understanding of their professional role in supporting practices that strengthen respectful family/child relationships through effective use of community and family resources. Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI) ECE 915 Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • ECE 202 - Lang Develop in Young Children (3 Semester Hours)

    Students will be introduced to the perspective, concepts, and methods of language development in young children. The relationship between the structure and function of language and the growth process will be emphasized. Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • ECE 207 - Math for the Young Child (3 Semester Hours)

    This course is an exploration of early mathematical content and concepts that are relevant to young children ages 0-6. Students will learn what mathematics looks like during the early years and learn strategies to recognize and promote mathematical understanding in young children. Particular emphasis will be on the following concepts: numbers, measurement, shapes, patterns, spatial relations, analysis of data. Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

    OR

    MAT 106 - Applied Mathematics (3 Semester Hours)

    Applied mathematics is a fundamental course for students in technical and career programs. The course includes fundamental mathematics, algebra, geometry, right triangle trigonometry, business mathematics, and statistical concepts which are applied to the solution of practical problems. Scientific notation, metrics and use of the calculator are also covered. Prerequisite: MAT 075 with a grade of C or higher or appropriate placement score, or one year of high school algebra with grade of C or higher, or High School Math 1 with grade of C or higher. 3 Semester hour(s) Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

    OR HIGHER
  • ECE 228 - Child Health-Nutrition-Safety (3 Semester Hours)

    This course provides an overview of the health, safety and nutritional needs of young children and early childhood practices to ensure the health and well-being of each child in a group setting. Content includes roles and responsibilities of adults in meeting children's diverse needs, the promotion of healthy life style practices, understanding common childhood illnesses and injuries, meeting health, nutrition and safety standards, and planning nutritious meals that are appropriate for each child. Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • ECE 240 - Observ & Assess Young Children (3 Semester Hours)

    This course focuses on authentic, alternative, classroom-based assessment in young children and how to appropriately use standardized test information. The course will further provide the student with the knowledge and skills to interpret and use information gained to plan curriculum that is responsive to and supportive of children's learning and development. Students will have the opportunity to engage in assessment processes through means of classroom observations, providing each student with a stronger understanding of child development skills. Students learn about and explore a variety of age, individually, linguistically and culturally appropriate formal and informal assessments to gather and share information on each child's skills, abilities, interests and needs, birth through age 8. This class requires a 20-hour observation clinical component. Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • ECE 250 - Early Childhood Practicum I (3 Semester Hours)

    A supervised field experience designed to utilize and develop the student's learned training and educational skills in a chosen field. All students are required to spend six hours per week at an early childhood site as agreed upon with advisor. Prerequisite: Students may register for practicum only with the consent of the SVCC practicum coordinator or the student's assigned academic counselor. Completion of first and second semester courses in the ECE suggested program. Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 6 lab/week

  • ECE 275 - Curric Dev Early Child Classrm (3 Semester Hours)

    The principles involved in planning, implementing and evaluating developmentally appropriate, evidence-based curriculum for young children are studied. The course focuses on relationships among developmental theory, philosophy, practice and development of curriculum based on the needs and interests of young children including those who are culturally, linguistically, and ability diverse. The analysis of a wide range of early childhood curriculum models is emphasized. Field experiences are required. Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • EDU 102 - Computer Education for Teacher (3 Semester Hours)

    This course is designed to meet the needs of education majors. This course will introduce students to the fundamentals and skills necessary to effectively integrate computers into teaching. This course is designed for the student with minimal computer experience. 3 Semester hour(s) 3 lec/week

    OR

    CIS 109 - Introduction to Computers (3 Semester Hours)

    This introductory course consists of the study of computer hardware, software, operating systems and communications, networking, Internet, systems and program development life cycles and their role in business decision making. The use of Internet, multimedia, security, and ethics will be emphasized throughout the course. In addition, laboratory experience will be gained with a survey of Microsoft Windows and business computer software applications programs in word processing, electronic spreadsheets, database management, presentation graphics, and Internet. Prerequisite: None. Students having no experience with computers are encouraged to first take OAS 103-Keyboarding. 3 Semester hour(s) Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI): BUS 902 Lecture/Lab Hours: 2 lec, 2 lab/week

  • EDU 210 - Diversity in Education (3 Semester Hours)

    This course is designed to introduce preservice teachers to the basic principles and foundations of educating for diversity. The course will explore schooling in and for a global society. Emphasis will be on material evaluation and selection, curricular design, and the relationship between diversity, classroom procedure, and educational policy. 3 Semester hour(s) Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • EDU 220 - Students/Disabilities School (3 Semester Hours)

    An introductory overview of the field of special education in which students will be introduced to the various disability categories that occur in the population including an overview of characteristics of individuals with disabilities and the diversity of the population of people with disabilities. Services and methodologies will be examined, including federal and state requirements for eligibility. Students will be encouraged to develop critical thinking skills in regards to current controversies in the field. 3 Semester hour(s) Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI): ECE 913 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • EDU 221 - Children's Literature (3 Semester Hours)

    Students in this course will examine and evaluate reading materials published for children between preschool and junior high. Students will also explore the role that literature plays in children's growth and development and the ways in which literature can be incorporated into various settings. Prerequisite: ACT standard score in English of 20 or above; suitable scores on the current English placement test, or grade of ""C"" or higher in ENG 099. 3 Semester hour(s) Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

    OR

    LAN 161 - Beginning Spanish I (4 Semester Hours)

    A study of functional Spanish with emphasis on speaking the language. Practice in reading and writing simple Spanish. 4 Semester hour(s) Lecture/Lab Hours: 4 lec/week

    OR HIGHER
  • PED 220 - Rhythms & Games for Children (3 Semester Hours)

    Methods of administering, supervising and teaching the major areas of rhythms, games, testing and apparatus in the elementary school grades. The course is designed to fit the needs of the classroom teacher in approaching the area of learning. 3 Semester hour(s) Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lecture NOTES: All courses may be selected as an elective course in all programs. All one credit activity courses may be repeated for a total of two credits.

General Education Requirements - 15 Hours

  • Communications (ENG 101 and COM 131 Required) 6 Semester hour(s)
  • Physical Science (BIO 120 Recommended) 3 Semester hour(s)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (PSY 103 & SOC 251 Required) 6 Semester hour(s)

SVCC Requirement - 1 Hours

  • FYE 101 - First Year Experience (1 Semester Hours)

    The focus of this course is how to be successful in college. Study skills, goal setting, academic planning, time and money management, and information research skills are among the core topics included in this course. Within a supportive environment, students will share their college experiences and develop connections with fellow students and SVCC staff. 1 Semester hour(s) Lecture/Lab Hours: 1 lec/week

Suggested Program

First Semester - 16 Hours

  • BIO 120 - Environmental Health (3 Semester Hours)

    An examination of the environmental effects on human physiological systems, resulting in diverse problems such as heart disease, cancer, and other health related concerns. This course is designed to assist the student in making informed, responsible decisions affecting personal and environmental wellness. 3 Semester hour(s) Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • ECE 114 - Child Care and Development (3 Semester Hours)

    This course provides an overview of the theory and principles of human growth and development from conception through adolescence. Content includes an in-depth study of the inter-relatedness of physical, cognitive, social, and emotional aspects of development. Development is studied in the context of family, gender, culture, language, ability, socioeconomics, diversity, and society. Special emphasis will be on the theories of Piaget, Vygotsky, Erikson, and Gardner. Field observations are required. Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI) ECE 912 Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • ECE 115 - Prin Early Child Educ (3 Semester Hours)

    This survey course provides an overview of early childhood care and education including historical and cultural perspectives, organization, structure, programming, and evidence-based practices. Professional and evidence-based practices of highly qualified early childhood educators are outlined with an emphasis on their ability to enhance development and learning of each and every child between the ages of birth and eight. Considerations for diversity of culture, language, race, socio-economic status, gender, ethnicity, and ability will be included. Students will spend a minimum of 15 hours of observation in diverse early childhood settings. Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • FYE 101 - First Year Experience (1 Semester Hours)

    The focus of this course is how to be successful in college. Study skills, goal setting, academic planning, time and money management, and information research skills are among the core topics included in this course. Within a supportive environment, students will share their college experiences and develop connections with fellow students and SVCC staff. 1 Semester hour(s) Lecture/Lab Hours: 1 lec/week

  • PED 220 - Rhythms & Games for Children (3 Semester Hours)

    Methods of administering, supervising and teaching the major areas of rhythms, games, testing and apparatus in the elementary school grades. The course is designed to fit the needs of the classroom teacher in approaching the area of learning. 3 Semester hour(s) Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lecture NOTES: All courses may be selected as an elective course in all programs. All one credit activity courses may be repeated for a total of two credits.

  • PSY 103 - Introduction to Psychology (3 Semester Hours)

    This course is designed to introduce the student to major concepts, theories, principles, and research in the field of psychology. This course will survey the scientific study of human and animal characteristics and behavior. Major topics from biological, behavioral, cognitive, personality, developmental, abnormal, and social psychology theory and research will be emphasized. Universal characteristics and individual differences will be explored 3 Semester hour(s) Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI): S6 900 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

Second Semester - 15 Hours

  • ECE 202 - Lang Develop in Young Children (3 Semester Hours)

    Students will be introduced to the perspective, concepts, and methods of language development in young children. The relationship between the structure and function of language and the growth process will be emphasized. Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • ECE 275 - Curric Dev Early Child Classrm (3 Semester Hours)

    The principles involved in planning, implementing and evaluating developmentally appropriate, evidence-based curriculum for young children are studied. The course focuses on relationships among developmental theory, philosophy, practice and development of curriculum based on the needs and interests of young children including those who are culturally, linguistically, and ability diverse. The analysis of a wide range of early childhood curriculum models is emphasized. Field experiences are required. Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • EDU 210 - Diversity in Education (3 Semester Hours)

    This course is designed to introduce preservice teachers to the basic principles and foundations of educating for diversity. The course will explore schooling in and for a global society. Emphasis will be on material evaluation and selection, curricular design, and the relationship between diversity, classroom procedure, and educational policy. 3 Semester hour(s) Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • ENG 101 - Composition I (3 Semester Hours)

    A basic course in essay writing with emphasis on exposition, ENG 101 stresses knowledge and application of the rhetorical modes. ENG 101 presupposes competence in grammar, usage, and mechanics. Prerequisite: ACT standard score in English of 22 or above; required scores on the current English placement test, or grade of C or higher in ELA 099. 3 Semester hour(s) Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI): C1 900 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • SOC 251 - Human Sexuality and Marriage (3 Semester Hours)

    This course assesses psychological, sociological and biological perspectives on human sexuality, courtship and marriage in the contemporary United States. Emphasis is placed on sex-role acquisition as part of the general development of personality; the psychosocial aspects of dating, courtship, family planning, parenthood, marital dissolution and remarriage; family functions and problems; alternatives to the traditional family; and the changing nature of family life. 3 Semester hour(s) Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI): S7 902 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

Third Semester - 16-17 Hours

  • ECE 109 - Found of Infant & Toddler Care (4 Semester Hours)

    This course provides students with an overview of the development of children birth through age three. Students will explore physical, social, emotional, cognitive and linguistic growth, as well as factors that affect learning and development. Emphasis will be placed on the role of family and community partnership in effective care-giving programs. Student will also design developmentally-appropriate curriculum, including observation and formal and informal assessment techniques. Students will demonstrate understanding of the Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale (ITERS) by performing an evaluation in an infant/toddler classroom setting. Students will participate in a minimum of 50 hours of required field experience. Semester hour(s): 4 Lecture/Lab Hours: 4 lec/week

  • ECE 118 - Parent-Teachr-Child-Comm Relat (3 Semester Hours)

    This course focuses on the child in the context of family, school and community. An analysis of the contemporary American family will be discussed, with emphasis on the individual family interactions within the larger societal context. The course will examine the interplay of diverse cultures, lifestyles, language and communication with the role of school and other community institutions. Students will gain an understanding of their professional role in supporting practices that strengthen respectful family/child relationships through effective use of community and family resources. Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI) ECE 915 Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • ECE 228 - Child Health-Nutrition-Safety (3 Semester Hours)

    This course provides an overview of the health, safety and nutritional needs of young children and early childhood practices to ensure the health and well-being of each child in a group setting. Content includes roles and responsibilities of adults in meeting children's diverse needs, the promotion of healthy life style practices, understanding common childhood illnesses and injuries, meeting health, nutrition and safety standards, and planning nutritious meals that are appropriate for each child. Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • EDU 220 - Students/Disabilities School (3 Semester Hours)

    An introductory overview of the field of special education in which students will be introduced to the various disability categories that occur in the population including an overview of characteristics of individuals with disabilities and the diversity of the population of people with disabilities. Services and methodologies will be examined, including federal and state requirements for eligibility. Students will be encouraged to develop critical thinking skills in regards to current controversies in the field. 3 Semester hour(s) Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI): ECE 913 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • EDU 221 - Children's Literature (3 Semester Hours)

    Students in this course will examine and evaluate reading materials published for children between preschool and junior high. Students will also explore the role that literature plays in children's growth and development and the ways in which literature can be incorporated into various settings. Prerequisite: ACT standard score in English of 20 or above; suitable scores on the current English placement test, or grade of ""C"" or higher in ENG 099. 3 Semester hour(s) Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

    OR

    LAN 161 - Beginning Spanish I (4 Semester Hours)

    A study of functional Spanish with emphasis on speaking the language. Practice in reading and writing simple Spanish. 4 Semester hour(s) Lecture/Lab Hours: 4 lec/week

    OR

    HIGHER

Fourth Semester - 15 Hours

  • ECE 207 - Math for the Young Child (3 Semester Hours)

    This course is an exploration of early mathematical content and concepts that are relevant to young children ages 0-6. Students will learn what mathematics looks like during the early years and learn strategies to recognize and promote mathematical understanding in young children. Particular emphasis will be on the following concepts: numbers, measurement, shapes, patterns, spatial relations, analysis of data. Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

    OR

    MAT 106 - Applied Mathematics (3 Semester Hours)

    Applied mathematics is a fundamental course for students in technical and career programs. The course includes fundamental mathematics, algebra, geometry, right triangle trigonometry, business mathematics, and statistical concepts which are applied to the solution of practical problems. Scientific notation, metrics and use of the calculator are also covered. Prerequisite: MAT 075 with a grade of C or higher or appropriate placement score, or one year of high school algebra with grade of C or higher, or High School Math 1 with grade of C or higher. 3 Semester hour(s) Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

    OR

    HIGHER
  • COM 131 - Intro to Oral Communication (3 Semester Hours)

    This course combines communication theory with the practice of oral communication skills. This course: (1) develops awareness of the communication process; (2) provides inventional, organizational, and expressive strategies; (3) promotes understanding of and adaptation to a variety of communication contexts; and (4) emphasizes critical skills in listening, reading, thinking, and speaking. 3 Semester hour(s) Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI): C2900 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • ECE 240 - Observ & Assess Young Children (3 Semester Hours)

    This course focuses on authentic, alternative, classroom-based assessment in young children and how to appropriately use standardized test information. The course will further provide the student with the knowledge and skills to interpret and use information gained to plan curriculum that is responsive to and supportive of children's learning and development. Students will have the opportunity to engage in assessment processes through means of classroom observations, providing each student with a stronger understanding of child development skills. Students learn about and explore a variety of age, individually, linguistically and culturally appropriate formal and informal assessments to gather and share information on each child's skills, abilities, interests and needs, birth through age 8. This class requires a 20-hour observation clinical component. Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 3 lec/week

  • ECE 250 - Early Childhood Practicum I (3 Semester Hours)

    A supervised field experience designed to utilize and develop the student's learned training and educational skills in a chosen field. All students are required to spend six hours per week at an early childhood site as agreed upon with advisor. Prerequisite: Students may register for practicum only with the consent of the SVCC practicum coordinator or the student's assigned academic counselor. Completion of first and second semester courses in the ECE suggested program. Semester hour(s): 3 Lecture/Lab Hours: 6 lab/week

  • EDU 102 - Computer Education for Teacher (3 Semester Hours)

    This course is designed to meet the needs of education majors. This course will introduce students to the fundamentals and skills necessary to effectively integrate computers into teaching. This course is designed for the student with minimal computer experience. 3 Semester hour(s) 3 lec/week

    OR

    CIS 109 - Introduction to Computers (3 Semester Hours)

    This introductory course consists of the study of computer hardware, software, operating systems and communications, networking, Internet, systems and program development life cycles and their role in business decision making. The use of Internet, multimedia, security, and ethics will be emphasized throughout the course. In addition, laboratory experience will be gained with a survey of Microsoft Windows and business computer software applications programs in word processing, electronic spreadsheets, database management, presentation graphics, and Internet. Prerequisite: None. Students having no experience with computers are encouraged to first take OAS 103-Keyboarding. 3 Semester hour(s) Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI): BUS 902 Lecture/Lab Hours: 2 lec, 2 lab/week