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Education and Early Childhood


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The Education and Early Childhood Development program is designed to prepare students for a career in early childhood/child development instruction, administration, or in related child care professions.  Students successfully completing the program will have obtained the minimal competencies needed to provide quality childcare, which integrate child development and developmentally appropriate practices.accreditation logo

The program will provide the lower-level academic and technical courses for continuing educational experiences in early childhood education and child development The program provides the necessary academic requirements needed to satisfy state (Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services) credential requirements.

The AAS Early Childhood Development Degree at Wharton County Junior College is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, www.naeyc.org. The accreditation term runs from June 2019 through June 2021.



Early Childhood

The mission of the Early Childhood Program is to specifically assist students in increasing their knowledge about child development and best practices in Early Childhood Education in order to support the fullest achievement of each student's potential and to facilitate the creation of optimum children's programs in the larger community.  To accomplish this, the department offers two awards:

Level I Certificate: 15 semester credit hours (TSI Waived)
AAS Degree: 60 semester credit hours (must meet TSI requirements in Reading, Writing, and Math)

Salary: In the Gulf Coast Workforce Region (retrieved June 2020 from Workforce Solutions) 

For preschool teachers with an Associate’s Degree-Average salary of $23,000 (52 weeks) and a projected growth of 16.9% for career opportunities from 2016-2026

For teacher’s assistants in public schools (paraprofessional aides)-Average salary of $16,000 (for 180 days of employment), which includes additional benefits provided in health care and retirement with a  projected growth rate of 21.8% from 2016-2026

The program in Early Childhood Development provides work-place experiences recommended by the U.S. Department of Labor Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS).


The mission of the Department of Education/Early Childhood is to serve students who are interested in transferring to the university for a teaching certificate. Teaching certificates are not awarded at WCJC, but the lower division courses leading to eventual certification are.  Students may choose the AA in Elementary Education, which is aligned with the elementary teacher certification courses at neighboring universities and is followed in conjunction with academic advising with the transfer university..

Students pursuing secondary education may complete an Associate of Arts degree in General Studies to become “core complete” before transferring. 

The program is committed to meeting students' requirement to participate in field experiences in programs for children ages birth through age 12 years in neighboring school districts, Head Start Centers, and private programs.

Requires Texas Success Initiative (TSI)  requirements be met:

Associate of Arts in Elementary Education

Associate of Arts degree in General Studies for students following the 2 + 2 transfer plans for secondary education at neighboring universities.

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