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Academic Programs

Search for a program and select a campus to narrow your search.

To view requirements, contacts, starting salaries, and more, click on the program name.

General classes like English and math can be taken at any campus, even if your program classes can’t be.

AA*, AS* = An associate degree that allows you to transfer in as a junior to Colorado four-year public schools.

Early Childhood Education Degrees

Offered at: Boulder, Larimer, Westminster

A.A. in Early Childhood Education

60 credits
(4-5 semesters)

ECADA logoThis A.A. degree prepares students to transfer to one of several four-year institutions in Colorado to earn a Bachelor's degree and CDE License (see list of schools below). With this degree you will be qualified to teach preschool up to third grade (ages 0-8).

Early Childhood Education degree for transfer: See required courses.

See early childhood course descriptions.

Offered at all campuses and online.

A.A.S. in Early Childhood Education

60 credits
(4-5 semesters)

This A.A.S. degree provides training for a career involving the care and education of young children from birth through age eight. Courses in theory and internship are combined to provide a comprehensive base of growth and development. Early intervention, high-risk, gifted, and developmentally delayed issues are included. As part of this degree, you will earn two certificates - Foundations in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Director. The program meets or exceeds all Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) Office of Early Childhood licensing requirements.

Early Childhood Education A.A.S. degree: See required courses.

See early childhood course descriptions.

Accelerated Option: A full-time option is available for this degree to meet the needs of the workforce and provide a flexible learning opportunity for ECE professionals. Complete the A.A.S. degree in 3-4 semesters. Learn more.

Certificates

Early Childhood Director

30 credits
(3 semesters)

This certificate program prepares students to meet state education requirements for CDHS Director certification. Curriculum development, child growth and development, and administrative skills are among focus areas. CDHS also requires experience hours. Please contact Ingrid De Ruiter, Child Care Evaluations Coordinator, at (303) 866-6190 or ingrid.deruiter@state.co.us for more information about their requirements..

Offered at all campuses and online.

Director certificate: See required courses.

See gainful employment information.

Accelerated Option: Complete this certificate in two semesters. Learn more.



Foundations of Early Childhood Education

16 credits
(2 semesters)

ECEThis certificate program provides students with the knowledge, techniques, and strategies to become qualified to be an early childhood teacher in Colorado. It meets or exceeds the education requirements for CDHS “Early Childhood Teacher (ECT).” CDHS also requires experience hours. Please contact Sara Herron at (303) 866-5860 or sara.herron@state.co.us for more information about their requirements.

Early Childhood Teacher certificate: See required courses.

See gainful employment information.

Accelerated Option: Complete this certificate in one semester. Learn more.



Infant-Toddler Nursery Supervisor

13 credits
(1 semester)

This certificate program provides students with a solid foundation in the growth and development of infants and toddlers, plus advanced exposure in developing and implementing appropriate nurturing and developmental experiences. Working closely with parents is incorporated, as well as the issues of early intervention, high risk, and developmental delays. This certificate meets the requirements for CDHS "Infant-Toddler Nursery Supervisor."

Offered at all campuses and online.

Nursery Supervisor certificate: See required courses.


Early Childhood Education for Paraeducators

20 credits
(2 semesters)

This certificate program prepares you to work as a preschool paraeducator, or “para” to support teachers in inclusive classrooms. Students receive a wide range of knowledge and skills including a solid foundation in the normal patterns of growth and development, various disabilities, giftedness, developmentally appropriate teaching techniques, and learning styles of children with developmental delays.

Offered at all campuses and online.

Early Childhood Paraeduator certificate: See required courses.

See gainful employment information.

Transfer Options

Your A.A. degree in early childhood education will transfer to the following four-year schools. If you wish to transfer to a school not on this list, be sure to contact that institution about transfer credits accepted.

  • Adams State University (B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies with Elem. Ed. Licensure)
  • Colorado State University (B.S. Early Childhood Education)
  • Fort Lewis College (B.A. Early Childhood Education)
  • Metropolitan State University of Denver (B.A. Early Childhood Education)
  • University of Colorado Denver (B.A. Education and Human Development – Early Childhood)
  • University of Northern Colorado (B.A. Early Childhood Teacher Education)
Learn more about transferrring:

Hands-on Experience with Children

Early Childhood Education students gain excellent field experience by observing and working in the classroom (as part of ECE 102, Introduction to Early Childhood Lab Techniques, and the ECE 180 and ECE 280 Practicums).

Early Childhood Education Jobs & Salaries


Entry Average Experienced
Preschool, Child Care Center Director $30,247
$46,463
$54,571
Child Care Worker $18,079
$24,400
$27,561
Teacher Assistant $20,896
$27,274
$30,463
Preschool Teacher* $21,677
$31,641
$36,623
Kindergarten Teacher* $31,023
$45,547
$52,808
Elementary School Teacher* $36,049
$50,180
$57,246
* Except special education
Colorado Dept. of Labor & Employment
Occupational Employment Statistics Survey (2014)

Learn more about employment and career pathways in this industry.

from our blog
* Degree with designation