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Associate of Arts Major in Early Childhood Education (AAECE)

Lead Faculty: Dr. Enid Acosta-Tello

The Associate of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education (AAECE) is based on a conceptual framework of current theory, contemporary perspectives, and sound research findings. Focus is on knowledge, attitudes, skills, practice, reflection, and supervised field experiences needed to become efficient, competent, and effective professionals in the field of early childhood education.The AAECE is designed to include the competencies and guidelines as established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Child Development Associates National Competency Standards (CDA). The completion of the AAECE degree program meets course work requirements of the state of California Child Development Permits.

Non-residents of California, military personnel or their dependents, and international candidates should contact the Department of Education of the state in which they reside or intend to reside, or the Ministry of Education of the country in which they live, to determine specific requirements for employment. State or country specific coursework, in addition to the AAECE degree program, may be required to obtain a permit, license or credential necessary for employment. Candidates assume the responsibility for determining and meeting these requirements.

Background Check

Agencies/schools collaborating with the School of Education to provide field experience, may require a background check and TB clearance prior to acceptance of a student into their facility. Candidates who do not have a Certificate of Clearances may not be able to attend the field experience component of the course and therefore, may be unable to complete their program of study. Any fee or cost associated with background checks and TB testing is the responsibility of the student.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify cultural diversity as it pertains to early childhood teaching.
  2. Demonstrate communication skills that meet ethical, professional and legal guidelines and necessary to effectively work with families, school personnel, and other professionals.
  3. Demonstrate developmentally, linguistically, and culturally appropriate child-centered lessons, including cognitive, language, social, emotional and physical dimensions.
  4. Review developmentally, linguistically and culturally appropriate assessment instruments.
  5. Apply an interweaving of theory and practice into a child-centered curriculum which shows competence in selection of teaching strategies designed to create diverse developmentally appropriate, safe, learning environments.


To receive an Associate of Arts degree majoring in Early Childhood Education, candidates must complete at least 90 quarter units of which 45 quarter units must be in early childhood education core courses including supervised field experience and of which 31.5 quarter units must be taken in residence at National University. Also, as part of the 90 quarter units, candidates must complete the Associate of Arts General Education Requirements. Refer to the section on undergraduate admission procedures for specific information regarding application and placement evaluation.

Requirements for the Major (10 courses; 45 quarter units)
Core Requisite(s):

Program Information

Online Education

This program is available online.