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Early Childhood Education

highland student playing with two toddlers in a classroom

The early childhood certificate program prepares students for the many positions in this field. This program is a direct link to the shaping of the next generation, as graduates guide children through their social, cognitive, and emotional development. The associate of applied science (AAS) degree prepares students to care for young children while simultaneously teaching social and developmental functions. The two-year degree includes general education requirements and leadership curriculum.

Students completing this degree are eligible for a Gateways to Opportunity Level 4 credential, an industry recognized  credential. This degree is designed as a nontransferable program, however, some 4-year institutions may accept courses for transfer. Students should meet with the ECE Coordinator and advisor for more information.

Learn more from our Admissions team on how to apply!

Possible Career Paths

Looking to shape the next generation with a rewarding career? Highland’s program prepares you to guide young learners through social, cognitive and emotional development, in the classroom and beyond.

Highland student with a kindergarten student in her lap arranging blocks in a classroom setting

The field of early childhood covers children, birth through eight years of age. Potential careers include working directly with young children and their families through teaching in public and private schools, Head Start programs, child care centers, and family child care homes. Opportunities are both in the classroom as well as field workplace experience to practice skills learned.


Early Childhood Education – AAS (Program Outcomes)
Early Childhood Education – AA (Program Outcomes)
Early Childhood Education Certificate Infant/Toddler – Certificate
Early Childhood Education Certificate Infant/Toddler – Level 2 – Certificate
Early Childhood Education Certificate Infant/Toddler – Level 3 – Certificate
Early Childhood Education Certificate Level 2 – Certificate
Early Childhood Education Certificate Level 3 – Certificate

Highland instructor playing puppets with a young girl in a classroom setting

Department Contacts

Vicki Schulz, Student Advisor
Rachel Stewart, Mentor and Coach

Program Faculty

Melissa Johnson, Early Childhood Education Instructor


If you’ve held any qualifying position in child care or early learning, you’re eligible for full coverage of expenses remaining after financial aid, including your tuition, fees and textbook costs!
Additional perks:

  • A gifted Kindle Pro and new loaner laptop.
  • A toolkit and borrowed classroom supplies.
  • A full-time mentor and coach to guide you.

Learn more about the Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity (ECAC) Scholarship.

Highland has 200-plus additional scholarships available through our Foundation.