Iowa Western Community College
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Early Childhood Studies

Early Childhood Studies

Just the Facts

Program Start Term: Fall, Spring, Summer
Program Length: 2 Years
Award: A.A.S.

Completed Online: Both
Completed in the Evenings: Day, Evening, Online
Pathway: Career Path
Career Cluster: Social Sciences
Program Locations: Council Bluffs Campus

About the Program

Few careers can give you as much pleasure as teaching the very young, and the Early Childhood Studies program can prepare you for this field. This program gives you a chance to immediately work in an on-campus childcare facility. Students get field experience and practicum in numerous early childhood settings while earning an Associate of Applied Science degree.

The interaction of students and children in Iowa Western's childcare facility is an invaluable teaching tool that helps these future teachers understand how children interact with others, and how they react to the world around them. After two years, graduates can go right into preschools, family childcare homes, and Head Start programs.

If you want a higher-paying position, you can transfer to a four-year institution to work toward a bachelor’s degree. Iowa Western graduates often enter preschool environments or start their own childcare facilities. They’re comfortable in both arenas because of the many hours of interacting with children. 

Career Information

This program is designed for students intending to enter the workforce upon completion of this two-year degree. This program prepares students to become lead teachers and child specialists in preschools, family child care homes, and Head Start programs. Careers in the field of early childhood care and education are plentiful. In fact, employment of preschool teachers is expected to grow by 19 percent from 2008 to 2018, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Continued emphasis on early childhood education is increasing the demand for preschool teachers. Some states are instituting programs to improve early childhood education, such as offering full day and universal preschool. These programs, along with projected higher enrollment growth for preschool age children, will create new jobs for preschool teachers.

Career Coach

Program Outcomes

Upon the successful completion of the program students will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the early childhood profession.
  • Identify developmental characteristics of children.
  • Create a developmentally appropriate curriculum that advances all areas of children's development and learning.
  • Demonstrate a safe, healthy learning environment.
  • Apply a variety of strategies to encourage children's social, physical and emotional development.
  • Demonstrate positive and productive relationships with families, colleagues and other professionals.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills to ensure a well-run, purposeful program, responsive to participant needs.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of career related issues in our society.
  • Describe and demonstrate the development and learning of individual children, recognizing that children develop in a context of culture, language and ability diversity.

Average: $9.47
Entry Level: $8.52
Experienced: $10.77

* Salary information from EMSI Analyst Database.