Early Childhood Education Diploma

Early Childhood Education Diploma

Career Description

The diploma meets current standards for step 8 on the Achieve, MN Center for Professional Development, career lattice. Graduates of this program are prepared to work in an independent/lead role at childcare centers, Head Start programs, school districts, preschools, family childcare and after school programs while laying the foundation for all additional early childhood career and degree pathways. MN state licensing Rule 2 and Rule 3 may determine qualifications based on site/employer. Individual program hiring standards may vary according to community and county.

Program Information

The Early Childhood Education Diploma prepares individuals to independently provide healthy, safe, developmentally appropriate learning environments for children ages birth to age 8 in support of healthy communities and families. The program guides students to study, research, and then utilize reflective practice and intentional teaching strategies through textbook readings, online videos and discussions, and lab/field experiences. Courses assist students in applying child development theory and developmentally appropriate practice using reflective, diverse, teaching and guidance strategies that address the needs of children, families, and communities. Enjoy hands-on experiences while participating in lab/field experiences embedded within select courses throughout all degree options, access to latest research, and convenience of online learning. The diploma has full and part time enrollment options.

Program Outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

  • Integrate child development theory with appropriate practice in early care and education settings;
  • Plan, prepare, and implement effective instruction;
  • Demonstrate effective oral and written communications with families, coworkers, agencies, and early childhood partners;
  • Incorporate and demonstrate diverse teaching and guidance strategies appropriate to addressing the needs of children, families, and communities;
  • Plan, prepare, and implement developmentally appropriate and culturally relevant activities to nurture cognitive, physical, language, social and emotional development;
  • Recognize the importance of play to healthy child development and incorporate play based learning into early childhood environments;
  • Demonstrate the skills of observation and record keeping of child development and learning;
  • Apply professional behavior in daily work with children, families, co-workers and the community;
  • Create and consistently maintain an appropriate, safe, healthy learning environment for children; and
  • Recognize ethical, legal and professional responsibilities

Special Program Requirements

In addition to the program requirements, students must meet the following conditions in order to graduate:

  1. College Cumulative GPA Requirement: cumulative grade point average (GPA) of credits attempted and completed at CLC must be at least 2.0;
  2. College Technical Core GPA Requirement: cumulative GPA of credits attempted and completed towards the technical core of the diploma or degree must be at least 2.0;
  3. Residency Requirement: students must complete 25% of their credits at Central Lakes College.


The Early Childhood Education program requires students to pass a Minnesota background check to participate in all of the field experiences and internships. In addition, CLC is a member of E-LECT (e-learning for early childhood teachers), which offers an associate in applied science (A.A.S.) degree online. Talk with an advisor for more details.

Employment Statistics

For more information regarding employment statistics, career salary information and estimated job growth, follow the resource links below:

Salary information from indeed.com

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Program Course Requirements

CDEV 1102 Introduction to Early Childhood Education, 3 cr
CDEV 1104 Child Growth and Development, 3 cr
CDEV 1106 Child Health, Wellness, Safety, and Nutrition, 3 cr
CDEV 1112 Child Behavior and Guidance, 3 cr
CDEV 1114 Diverse Children and Family Relations, 3 cr
CDEV 2104* Observation and Assessment, 3 cr
CDEV 2106* Creative Activities and the Learning Environment, 3 cr
CDEV 2202 Introduction to Special Education, 3 cr
CDEV 2210* Internship, 3-4 cr
ENGL 1410 Composition I (Goal 1), 4cr OR
ENGL 1420 Honors Composition I (Goal 1), 4 cr OR
ENGL 1422 Practical Writing (Goals 1,2), 3 cr

*Denotes Prerequisites

Program Instructors

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