Your experience in the Early Childhood Education degree program provides you with the knowledge and skills to support positive learning experiences for young children. Through classes and three practicum placements, you will engage in real early childhood environments that will prepare you for a variety of positions in the field.
Why Great Bay?
- Grants, Scholarships, Teaching Assistance – The Early Childhood Education Program now offers teachers working in the field opportunities for tuition assistance through grants and scholarships.
- Experienced faculty and highly qualified, mentoring teachers in community placements provide real life opportunities to put college classroom learning into action
- Partnerships for practicum placements located throughout Rockingham and Strafford County.
- Student starting in the ECE Certificate or Advanced Certificate can apply credits towards the degree at any point
- Lead teacher or associate teacher in child care program
- Head Start teacher
- Center director of a child care program
- Site director for before and after school program serving children K-6
- Paraprofessional in a public school
- Paraprofessional in special education preschool or early intervention infant/toddler program
Transfer Credit Policy
In addition to Great Bay transfer credit policies, transfer of courses in Early Childhood Education more than five years old from the time of acceptance will be evaluated by the program coordinator on an individual basis.
Ganim-Smith is passionate about Great Bay and her program. “We offer high quality education, affordability, small class sizes and the ability of students to get to know the professors. I know all of my students and they know me, and I like that,” she said.
Grants, Scholarships, Teaching Assistance
The Early Childhood Education Program now offers teachers working in the field opportunities for tuition assistance through the following grants and scholarships. For more information, contact Jennifer Ganim-Smith at [email protected]
The Early Childhood Tuition Assistance program allows teachers working in the field an opportunity to increase competency by taking one approved Early Childhood Education course per semester. Fifty to 100% of tuition of the course will be covered by the grant depending on the course selected.
The program allows teachers working in the early childhood field the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills by taking up to two ECE courses per semester with 100% of tuition covered by the grant.
T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood New Hampshire provides comprehensive scholarships to enable early educations to take coursework leading to a degree by making it possible for them to afford both the time and expense of going to school.
Early Childhood Apprenticeship Program combines college instruction and work experience to enhance the quality of care for children while increasing the apprentice’s skill level and wages.
Theory, lab, and credit hours may vary depending on the elective course chosen.
*ECEXXX: ECE109, ECE116, ECE200, ECE203, ECE204, ECE214 or TCHP215, ECE250
**Open Elective may be any college credit course, including ECE courses.
Total Overall Credits: 61-64
Program Specific Requirements
Students enrolled in the ECE program must demonstrate emotional stability to withstand the ever-changing circumstances and are able to respond quickly and appropriately as events require in the early childhood environment.
Students are also expected to have the maturity to accept direction and guidance, exercise sound judgment, and maintain confidentiality and sensitive interpersonal relationships with teachers, fellow students, children and families.
All students are welcome to enroll in Early Childhood classes; however, when enrolled in ECE112G, ECE202G and ECE212G where field placements are required, they must be able to meet technical standards for the field and New Hampshire Child Care Licensing Bureau requirements for health and background checks for child care personnel. It is recommended that students begin the background check process upon entering the ECE program if not already employed in a NH child care program. See the department chair for more information.
Prospective students with special needs requiring accommodations that may affect their practicum placement or employment options are advised to discuss specific career objectives with the program coordinator during the admissions process.
Technical Standards have been established to provide insight to students as to the skills and abilities required to function successfully in the ECE program and eventually the profession. Applicants who do not feel they can successfully meet these should contact the ECE program coordinator before applying to the program.
Students enrolling in the Early Childhood Education program must have sufficient strength, stamina, motor coordination, and sensory capabilities to perform the following:
• Standing for sustained periods of time, walking, running, bending, sitting on the floor and on child-size furniture to meet the child’s needs and accomplish tasks.
• Frequent lifting, moving and transferring children, especially infants and toddlers.
• Sufficient visual and hearing acuity to ensure a safe environment and the ability to respond quickly to children, colleagues, and professional partners in the event of an emergency.
• Sufficient verbal ability to express and exchange information and ideas as well as to interpret important instructions to and from children, colleagues and parents.
• Sufficient skills in written expression to accurately record children’s daily progress and milestones as well as medications administered, accident and suspected child abuse/neglect reports, etc.
• Ability to work with frequent interruptions, to respond appropriately in unexpected situations, and to cope with extreme variations in workload and stress levels.
• Students must have reliable transportation to travel to and from practicum settings and have sustained health as outlined in Child Care Personnel Health form to fulfill time commitment as agreed in the Practicum contract.
• Ability to respond to children’s personal needs, including changing diapers, in a manner that safeguards the health and safety of the student, children, and staff.
• Ability to work in a professional and respectful manner with a diverse range of children and their families including those from different races, cultures, religions, and ethnicities as well as children with a wide range of disabling conditions.
• Ability to maintain professional boundaries in both the school and home environments.
• Ability and disposition to adhere to and practice the Code of Ethical Conduct set forth by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Health, Safety and Internship Considerations
• Required GBCC Health Form on file with the Department chair prior to ECE112G or senior practicum placements if not completing site hours in work settings.
• Required New Hampshire Child Care Personnel Health Form on file that indicates that the student has no apparent health problems that would prohibit him/her from caring for children prior to practicum.
• Required background check of “clear” or “non-disqualifying” prior to practicum. The cost of the record check and fingerprinting is the responsibility of the student.
• Completion of practicum hours during regular morning hours in order to meet the course requirements.
• Transportation to and from the practicum site is the responsibility of the student.
• Participation in an internship requires the student to follow the College Immunization Policy. Depending upon the site, the student may be required to possess and maintain professional liability insurance.
• For unpaid internships, the student must possess and maintain accident insurance.
• Faculty work closely with students to identify appropriate placements for Practicum and take into consideration location of the facility, licensing status, mentor qualification and ages of children served. Current job sites may not be an option for all placements.
• All practicum sites are subject to practicum coordinator approval.
Note: Students who do not successfully complete the health and background requirements will not be able to successfully complete the program.
The Early Childhood Education program meets the standards for teacher preparation according to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
These are adapted from Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators (naeyc.org)
Standard 1: Child Development and Learning in Context
Students understand early childhood developmental domains and see each child with unique developmental variations, learning and developing within relationships and multiple contexts, including families, cultures, languages, communities, and society, using this knowledge to make evidence-based decisions.
Standard 2: Family-Teacher Partnerships and Community Connections
Successful early childhood education depends upon partnerships with the families and knowing about, understanding, and valuing the diversity in family characteristics. Students understand how to create respectful, responsive, reciprocal relationships with families and identify ways to engage with them as partners and understand methods to build connections between early learning settings, schools, and community organizations.
Standard 3: Child Observation, Documentation, and Assessment
The primary purpose of assessment is to inform instruction and planning in early learning settings. Students use observation, documentation, and other appropriate assessment approaches and tools, in ways that are ethically grounded and developmentally, culturally, ability, and linguistically appropriate, and value of assessment partnerships with families and professional colleagues.
Standard 4: Developmentally, Culturally, and Linguistically Appropriate Teaching Practices
Teaching and learning vary depending on children’s ages, characteristics and the setting in which this occurs. Students demonstrate positive, caring, supportive relationships and interactions, and use teaching skills that are responsive to the needs of each child including developmentally appropriate and culturally and linguistically relevant, anti-bias, and evidence-based teaching approaches.
Standard 5: Knowledge, Application, and Integration of Academic Content in the Early Childhood Curriculum
Students understand many academic disciplines and strategies for teaching them. They apply this knowledge using early learning standards to make decisions about spontaneous and planned learning experiences and about curriculum development, implementation, and evaluation to ensure that learning will be stimulating, challenging, and meaningful to each child.
Standard 6: Professionalism as an Early Childhood Educator
Students identify and participate as members of the early childhood profession and know how to advocate for young children, families, and the profession. They know and use ethical and other early childhood professional guidelines, and communicate effectively in their work with young children, families, and colleagues. Students practice collaboration, reflective and intentional practice as members of the profession.
Practicum Placement Sites
Here are examples of community sites where students have completed Practicum
- Seacoast Community School
- Live and Learn Early Learning Center
- Stratham Circle Learning Center
- Robin’s Childsplace
- Imprints Day School
- Appleseeds Day School
- Strafford County Head Start
- Great Bay Kids & Co.
- Portsmouth Head Start
- Portsmouth Early Education Program
- Nurture and Nature Children’s Center
- Rochester Child Care Center
- My School
- Kingston Children’s Center