Child Development
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Child Development


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AWARD OFFERED Associate in Applied Science Degree, Certificate, Transfer


Admission Requirements and Curriculum
Program Application

Preschool teachers play a vital role in the development of children. What children learn and experience during their early years can shape their views of themselves and the world and can affect their later success or failure in school, work, and their personal lives. Preschool teachers use games, music, artwork, films, books, computers, and other tools to teach basic skills and introduce children to concepts in mathematics, language, science, and social studies. Teacher assistants provide instructional and clerical support for classroom teachers and tutor and assist children in learning class material using the teacher’s lesson plans. They record grades, set up equipment, and help prepare materials for instruction. Teacher assistants also are called teacher aides or instructional aides. Some assistants refer to themselves as paraeducators or paraprofessionals.
The Child Development Associate in Applied Science Degree program is designed to prepare students for employment in preschool programs. Graduates may be employed as teacher assistants in public kindergartens, as teachers or directors in private and preschool programs, and as teacher assistants in Head Start. Classes in this program are designed to meet the Alabama state minimum standard qualifications for a director, program director, and teacher in a licensed child care center.
The Associate in Science Degree program is designed for individuals who plan to continue their education and earn a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education.
The Child Development Certificate program offers the student background knowledge of all stages of child growth and development; training and practical experience in conducting all types of learning activities with children; knowledge and application of techniques in positive guidance and discipline, health, safety, and first aid practices, and a basic knowledge of the state minimum standards for daycare centers and homes.
Employment of teacher assistants is expected to grow by 10 percent between 2006 and 2016, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Median annual earnings of teacher assistants in May 2006 were $20,740. The middle 50 percent earned between $16,430 and $26,160 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $31,610. (Source: U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Completion of the Child Development Program at Wallace State Community College provides students with a specialized quality education with the necessary knowledge and skills to become successful caregivers and administrators in early care and education programs or assistants in public school systems.

Teachers of young children play a vital role in the development of children. Positive experiences during children’s early years are critical for brain development and can shape their views of themselves and the world. What children learn and experience in the first five years can affect their later success or failure in school.

Preschool teachers use a variety of teaching strategies and materials to teach basic skills and introduce concepts to children in all subjects. Teacher assistants provide instructional and clerical support for classroom teachers. They may also tutor and assist children.

There will be an increased demand for preschool programs as the population of children ages 3 to 5 is expected to rise. Because children between these ages are typically enrolled in preschool, the demand for preschool teachers increases when this population increases. (U.S. Department of Labor). Employment of preschool teachers is projected to grow 17 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for preschool teachers was $27,130 in May 2012. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $18,090, and the top 10 percent earned more than $48,660. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Preschool Teachers.)

Wallace State Community College offers several options in Child Development. Students can earn a Short Certificate, Associate in Applied Science Degree, or fulfill the education component portion of the CDA Credential awarded by the Council of Professional Recognition by taking three courses. Child Development courses also fulfill the Department of Human Resources training hours requirement in all six areas they require each year.

The Child Development Associate in Applied Science Degree program is designed to prepare students for employment in preschool programs. Emphasis is upon developing competency in guiding the experience of preschool children. Graduates may be employed as teacher assistants or aides in public school systems, as teachers or directors in private and preschool programs and as teacher or an assistant in Head Start. Classes in this program are designed to meet the Alabama state minimum standard qualifications for a director, program director, and teacher in a licensed child care center.

Some child development courses from WSCC will be accepted for transfer to other four year universities to obtain a B.S. Degree in Early Childhood Education. Please consult STARS transfer guide for the latest information.

The Child Development Certificate program offers the student background knowledge of all stages of child growth and development; training and practical experience in conducting all types of learning activities with children; knowledge and application of techniques in positive guidance and discipline, health, safety, and first aid practices, and a basic knowledge of the state minimum standards for daycare centers and homes. All classes required for the certificate will also apply toward an Associate in Applied Science degree if desired.

Wallace State also offers courses to fulfill the educational requirement for a CDA Credential awarded by the Council for Professional Recognition. Please see the college catalog and http://www.cdacouncil.org for details.



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For more program information contact:
Dr. Marcie Hill, Child Development Program Director
Phone: 256/352-8383
Email: marcie.hill@wallacestate.edu