Education - Early Childhood

Program Description

Students considering a career in early childhood education or individuals employed at daycares, Head Starts, at-risk preschools, or other early childhood environments can earn an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree in Early Childhood Education or an Associate in Arts (AA) degree in Elementary Education with an Early Childhood Education Emphasis from Arizona Western College. Several certifications in early childhood education are also offered. 

The Early Childhood Education program will prepare students for an entry-level position within the field. Most careers in early childhood education require additional degrees at the university level. Students must obtain TB test as well as a background and fingerprint check before entering any field placement.

Graduates of these programs will successfully complete the following learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of young children’s characteristics and needs, from birth through age 8
  • Support and engage families and communities through respectful, reciprocal relationships
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment – including the use in development of appropriate goals, curriculum, and teaching strategies for young children
  • Utilize a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate teaching/learning approaches
  • Utilize knowledge, appropriate early learning standards, and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate developmentally meaningful and challenging curriculum for each child
  • Demonstrate knowledge about and uphold ethical standards and other early childhood professional guidelines

Degree(s) / Certificates(s)

Title Local Bachelor's
Education - Elementary with Early Childhood Education Emphasis - A.A. Transfer Degree
Early Childhood Education - A.A.S. Occupational Degree -
Early Childhood Education - CERT Occupational Certificate -
Family Childcare Education - CERT Occupational Certificate -
Infant and Toddler Education - CERT Occupational Certificate -
Preschool Education - CERT Occupational Certificate -

Career Outlook

Successful completion of this program may lead to a variety of employment opportunities, most of which require continued higher education at the university level. Below are examples of related occupations and annual mean wages in Arizona according to a May 2019 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Childcare Workers
Attend to children at schools, businesses, private households, and childcare institutions. Perform a variety of tasks, such as dressing, feeding, bathing, and overseeing play.
Teaching Assistants
Perform duties that are instructional in nature or deliver direct services to students or parents. Serve in a position for which a teacher has ultimate responsibility for the design and implementation of educational programs and services.
Preschool Teachers 
Instruct preschool-aged students, following curricula or lesson plans, in activities designed to promote social, physical, and intellectual growth.
Preschool and Daycare Education and Childcare Administrators 
Plan, direct, or coordinate academic or nonacademic activities of preschools or childcare centers and programs, including before- and after-school care.
Kindergarten Teachers
Teach academic and social skills to kindergarten students.
Elementary School Teachers 
Teach academic and social skills to students at the elementary school level.
Kindergarten and Elementary School Special Education Teachers 
Teach elementary school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students. Includes teachers who specialize and work with audibly and visually handicapped students and those who teach basic academic and life processes skills to the mentally impaired.
Preschool Special Education Teachers  
Teach academic, social, and life skills to preschool-aged students with learning, emotional, or physical disabilities. Includes teachers who specialize and work with students who are blind or have visual impairments; students who are deaf or have hearing impairments; and students with intellectual disabilities.
Successful completion of this program may lead to employment in a variety of different occupations and industries. Check the above for additional information.

Contact Information

Department Contact(s)

Social Sciences

Hours of Operation
Faculty/Staff Contact(s)
Name Title Phone Email
Patricia Powers Professor of Education (928) 317-6051
Elizabeth Renaud Professor of Early Childhood Education (928) 344-7560
Michelle Keeling Professor of Education (928) 344-7676