Seminole State College offers several options to prepare you for an exciting career as a childcare professional:
This two-year Associate in Science (A.S.) degree program prepares students for employment as early childhood teachers, early childhood curriculum coordinators, preschool teachers or VPK preschool teachers. The curriculum includes major courses in art and creative expression, music and movement, and child growth and development, as well as general education requirements. All students will participate in internship opportunities.
In response to the educational trend of inclusion, the A.S. Degree in early childhood education will now offer students the opportunity to achieve the added credential of Early Intervention Specialist within the duration of their degree program curriculum to meet the requirements of this specialization. In this course, students will learn more about educational approaches, legal and medical implications, and the personal and social growth of children who are labeled as exceptional.
Students may apply for this specialization after they have completed 36 credits from within the "Required Major Field" and "Major Field Electives" sections of the A.S. degree program with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher. This specialization can normally be obtained within one year. It is designed to prepare students to obtain employment as a certified teacher's aide in public school settings or private industry, and to meet the individual needs of children that require special care in a preschool setting.
To recognize the expertise our students acquire in their pursuit of education in the field of early childhood education, our department will issue a certificate of specialization as a childcare center manager upon completion of these four courses:
Early Childhood Education Infant/Toddler Specialization
This 12-credit-hour certificate recognizes the completion of a series of courses needed by early childhood teachers who wish to complete the college-credit requirements for a staff credential to work in group care settings with children under the age of five. This certificate is upward-compatible with the Early Childhood Education A.S. degree.
Early Childhood Education: Preschool Specialist Certificate (College Credit National CDA)
The Early Childhood Preschool Specialization Certificate, along with 480 hours of work experience, meets the requirements of the National CDA and the State of Florida Staff Credential requirements. This 12-credit-hour certificate recognizes the completion of a series of courses needed by early childhood teachers who wish to pursue college-credit study to complete the educational requirements of the National CDA Certificate.
The CDA Credential is awarded to childcare providers who have demonstrated their skill in working with young children and their families by successfully completing the CDA Assessment Process.
The National CDA is one of the staff credentials recognized by the State of Florida Department of Children and Families. It must be renewed after three years initially, then every five years thereafter, and can be applied for credit toward Seminole State's A.S. degree programs.
To recognize the expertise our students acquire in their pursuit of education in the field of early childhood education, our department will issue a certificate as a specialist in preschool education upon completion of these four courses:
Educational Assisting Certificate
This 15-credit-hour certificate prepares students for employment as educational paraprofessionals, instructional coordinators, substitute teachers and other positions that provide educational assistance in an instructional setting. It also provides supplemental training for persons currently employed in the occupation. This program focuses on broad, transferable skills and stresses understanding and demonstration of the following elements of public-service: planning, management, technical and production skills; underlying principles of classroom technology; reading and learning strategies; and methods and other educational issues. This certificate is upward-compatible with the Early Childhood Education A.S. degree.
Early Childhood Professional Certificate (ECPC)
This program prepares students who work with children three-five years old in a licensed childcare setting to provide quality care to young children. The program includes, but is not limited to, competencies related to planning of curriculum, health, safety and knowledge of developmentally appropriate practices. At the completion of the program, students will receive a staff credential recognized by the Department of Children and Families. This program is equivalent to the National Child Development Associate (CDA).
Students must complete the following requirments before an Early Childhood Professional Certificate (ECPC) is awarded:
Seminole State's Early Childhood Education A.S. degree program provides students with a diverse educational foundation, and Seminole State is the only community college in the tri-county area that offers this degree.
Graduates of Seminole State's Early Childhood Education Programs are highly recruited by local childcare centers. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment opportunities for childcare professionals are expected to increase faster than the average of all other occupations.