Early Childhood Education

The Early Childhood Education program prepares students to become highly qualified teachers, assistant teachers, family daycare providers, or administrators of early education programs for children ages birth through age eight. Students will gain a broad understanding of the specific needs of young children and develop strategies for meeting those needs.

Students who complete the Early Childhood Administrative Certificate are eligible to apply for an early childhood administrative specialist certificate with the New Mexico Office of Child Development; the permanent certificate is granted upon completion the Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education. 

The Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education includes lower-division courses required for entry into the Teacher Education Program (TEP) at NMSU Las Cruces. Please note that students are required to pass a security background check to take practicum courses. Past criminal violations may prevent a student from completing the degree and from being hired by school systems or other child care facilities upon graduation.

Graduation Requirements

Early Childhood Administrative Certificate: WorkKeys® scores of level 4 in Reading for Information, level 4 in Locating Information, and level 4 in Applied Mathematics; cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher; the last 15 credits taken at NMSU.

Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education: ENGL 111G Rhetoric and Composition with a C or higher; placement into college-level math and reading courses or completion of developmental courses with a C or higher; cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher; the last 15 credits taken at NMSU.

ECED 115. Child Growth, Development, and Learning

3 Credits

This basic course in the growth, development, and learning of young children, prenatal through age eight, provides students with the theoretical foundation for becoming competent early childhood professionals.

ECED 125. Health, Safety, and Nutrition

2 Credits

This course provides information related to standards and practices that promote children's physical and mental well being sound nutritional practices, and maintenance of safe learning environments.

ECED 135. Family and Community Collaboration

3 Credits

This beginning course examines the involvement of families and communities from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds in early childhood programs. Ways to establishes collaborative relationships with families in early childhood settings is discussed.

Prerequisite(s): ECED 115 and ENGL 111G.

ECED 215. Curriculum Development Through Play

3 Credits

The beginning curriculum course places play at the center of curriculum in developmentally appropriate early childhood programs. It addresses content that is relevant for children birth through age four and developmentally and culturally sensitive ways of integrating content into teaching and learning experiences. Information on adapting content areas to meet the needs of children with diverse abilities and the development of IFSP's and IEP's is included. Consent of instructor required.

Prerequisite(s): ECED 115 and ENGL 111G.

Corequisite(s): ECED 220.

ECED 220. Early Childhood Education Practicum I

2 Credits

The beginning practicum course will provide experiences that address curriculum content that is relevant for children birth through age four in developmentally and culturally sensitive ways. Consent of instructor required.

Prerequisite(s): ECED 115 and ENGL 111G.

Corequisite(s): ECED 215.

ECED 225. Curriculum Development and Implementation II

3 Credits

The second curriculum course focuses on developmentally appropriate curriculum content in early childhood programs, age 3 through third grade. Development and implementation of curriculum in all content areas, including literacy, numeracy, the arts, health and emotional wellness, science, motor and social skills, is emphasized. Information on adapting content areas to meet the needs of children with diverse abilities and the development of IEP's is included. Consent of instructor required.

Prerequisite(s): ECED 115, ENGL 111G.

Corequisite(s): ECED 230.

ECED 230. Early Childhood Education Practicum II

2 Credits

The second field-based curriculum course focuses on practicing developmentally appropriate curriculum content in early childhood programs, age 3 through third grade. Consent of instructor required.

Prerequisite(s): ECED 115, ENGL 111G,.

Corequisite(s): ECED 225.

ECED 235. Introduction to Language, Literacy and Reading

3 Credits

This course is designed to prepare early childhood professionals for promoting children's emergent literacy and reading development. Through a developmental approach, the course addresses ways in which early childhood professionals can foster young children's oral language development, phonemic awareness, and literacy problem solving skills, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

Prerequisite(s): ECED 115 and ENGL 111G.

ECED 245. Professionalism

2 Credits

This course provides a broad-based orientation to the field of early care and education. Early childhood history, philosophy, ethics and advocacy are introduced. Basic principles of early childhood systems are explored. Multiple perspectives on early care and education are introduced. Professional responsibilities such as cultural responsiveness and reflective practice are examined.

ECED 255. Assessment of Children and Evaluation of Programs

3 Credits

This basic course familiarizes students with a variety of culturally appropriate assessment methods and instruments, including systematic observation of typically and non-typically developing children. Crosslisted with: SPED 255

Prerequisite(s): ECED 115 and ENGL 111G.

ECED 265. Guiding Young Children

3 Credits

This course explores various theories of child guidance and the practical applications of each. It provides developmentally appropriate methods for guiding children and effective strategies and suggestions for facilitating positive social interactions. Strategies for preventing challenging behaviors through the use of environment, routines and schedule will be presented.

ECED 270. Program Management

3 Credits

Technical knowledge necessary to develop and maintain a quality early care and education program. The course will focus on sound financial management and vision, laws and legal issues that affect programs and state and national standards including accreditation requirements.

Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

ECED 275. Curriculum for Diverse Learners and Their Families

3 Credits

Implementation of family-centered programming that includes developmentally appropriate and culturally responsive curriculum. The course will also cover the establishment and maintenance of healthy and safe learning environments. Consent of instructor required.

ECED 276. Effective Program Development for Diverse Learners and Their Families

2 Credits

Practical experience in observing and carrying out the role of the director/administrator in the implementation of family-centered programming that includes individually appropriate and culturally responsive curriculum in a healthy and safe learning environment. Consent of instructor required. Restricted to ECED majors.

Corequisite(s): ECED 275.

ECED 280. Professional Relationships

3 Credits

Development of staff relationships that will foster strong professional relationships with and among families, communities and advisory boards. Issues of staff recruitment, retention, support and supervision will lay a foundation for positive personnel management. Working effectively with board, advisory groups and community members and agencies will be addressed. Consent of instructor required.

Corequisite(s): ECED 281.

ECED 281. Professional Relationships Practicum

2 Credits

Practical experience in the development of staff relationship that will foster professional relationships with families, communities and boards. Issues of staff recruitment, retention, support and supervision will lay a foundation for positive personnel management. Consent of instructor required. Restricted to ECED majors.

Corequisite(s): ECED 280.

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