Quality early childhood programs are vital to the future success of young children. The Early Care and Education (ECE) program prepares students who are entering the field as well as students already employed in the field through coursework infused with a variety of learning experiences, on-site placements for labs in local early care and public school settings, and interactions with faculty and community professionals. The curriculum for ECE’s certificates and associate degree are designed to help students become committed, capable, and compelled early care and education professionals. Recent graduates are employed as public school teacher assistants, as teachers or teacher assistants in Head Start and other early care programs, and as directors of early care programs.
The ECE program offers an associate degree and three certificates. Credit for courses in the certificates may be applied toward the associate degree. Students interested in earning a baccalaureate degree should speak with a program advisor, as transfer agreements are maintained with area universities.
Additional Requirements for Early Care and Education
In addition to meeting general admission requirements, Early Care and Education majors are required to meet the specific requirements outlined below:
- Credit towards graduation requirements for ECE courses more than five years old must be approved by the program director.
- A grade of “C” or better is required for ECE courses fulfilling prerequisite and graduation requirements.
- A student must be able to enter and/or remain in all lab and/or field experiences to progress within the ECE program. Prior to the first day of lab or field experiences, students must provide proof of eligibility to work with young children by completing the following forms that are available from the program director:
- South Carolina Department of Social Services Health Assessment and Medical Statement forms documenting that the student has no significant problems that would interfere with their ability to care for children including tuberculosis status.
- South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Check for Criminal History or federal (FBI) fingerprint-based criminal history background check indicating a record that complies with South Carolina Department of Social Services Child Care Regulations.
- Tri-County Technical College ECE Discipline Policy indicating adherence to positive child guidance techniques.
- ECE Self-Assessment of Technical Standards
- In addition to College tuition and fees, ECE students will incur expenses for professional liability insurance and supplemental printed materials. Student should contact the program director for additional details.
Scheduling and Entry Options
Students may enter any term. Part-time day students should allow additional terms to complete degree requirements. General Education course requirements can be completed at any time during the program. Courses can be completed in any order subject to the completion of course prerequisites.
The ECE program’s associate degree is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, 1313 L Street NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005-4101, Telephone: 202-232-8777.
ProgramsAssociate in Applied ScienceCertificate