Early Childhood Education Associate in Science


The Early Childhood Education (ECE) program provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to create a positive learning environment for young children. Teachers who work in high quality programs for children understand how young children grow and learn and are able to provide materials and activities that are developmentally and interest appropriate. The College must ensure that students enrolled in any ECE program demonstrate emotional stability to withstand the ever-changing circumstances and the ability to respond quickly and appropriately as events require. Students are also expected to have the maturity to accept direction and guidance, exercise sound judgment, 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 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.

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.

  1. Required GBCC Health Form on file prior to ECE112G or senior practicum placements.
  2. Required New Hampshire Child Care Personnel Health Form on file that indicates that the student is in good physical health and has no mental or emotional disturbances that would prohibit him/her from caring for children prior to practicum.
  3. 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.
  4. Students are required to complete practicum during regular morning hours in order to meet the ECE course requirements. Transportation to and from the Practicum site is the responsibility of the student. All practicum sites are subject to practicum coordinator approval.

Note: Students who do not successfully complete the health and backgrounds requirements will not be able to successfully complete the program.

Participation in an internship requires the student to follow the college’s 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. 

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:

  1. Stand 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.
  2. Frequent lifting, moving and transferring children, especially infants and toddlers.
  3. 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.
  4. Sufficient verbal ability to express and exchange information and ideas as well as to interpret important instructions to and from children, colleagues and parents.
  5. 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.
  6. Ability to work with frequent interruptions, to respond appropriately in unexpected situations, and to cope with extreme variations in workload and stress levels.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Ability to maintain professional boundaries in both the school and home environments.
  11. 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 http://www.naeyc.org/positionstatements/ethical_conduct.

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.

Curriculum Recommendations

  • ECE students testing into developmental reading or writing should not enroll into more than one online course their first semester.
  • Students testing into Developmental reading and/or writing should complete those courses during their first semester.
  • Degree students are encouraged to enroll in FYE101 their first semester.
  • Students should expect to take a combination of hybrid, online, day, and evening classes as part of their course work for the degree program. Basic computer skills, including word processing and internet navigation, are needed in order to successfully complete most courses.

First Year - Fall Semester

Course ID Course Theory Lab Credits
ECE100G Early Childhood Growth and Development 3 0 3
Classroom 3, Lab 0, Total 3
ECE116G Child Health, Safety, and Nutrition 3 0 3
Classroom 3, Lab 0, Total 3
ENGL110G College Composition I 4 0 4
Classroom 4, Lab 0, Total 4
MATH145G Quantitative Reasoning 4 0 4
Classroom 4, Lab 0, Total 4
MATH147G Quantitative Reasoning Plus 5 0 5
Classroom 5, Lab 0, Total 5
Early Childhood Education Elective 3
Classroom , Lab , Total 3
Total Credits 14-18

First Year - Spring Semester

Course ID Course Theory Lab Credits
ECE112G Curriculum Planning and Environments in ECE 3 3 4
Classroom 3, Lab 3, Total 4
English Elective 3
Classroom , Lab , Total 3
Science Elective 4
Classroom , Lab , Total 4
Social Science Elective 3
Classroom , Lab , Total 3
Liberal Arts Elective
Classroom , Lab , Total
Total Credits 17

Second Year - Fall Semester

Course ID Course Theory Lab Credits
ECE202G Senior Practicum: Student Teaching 2 6 4
Classroom 2, Lab 6, Total 4
ECE203G Language Arts in Early Childhood Education 3 0 3
Classroom 3, Lab 0, Total 3
ECE214G Appropriate Discipline and Guidance for Young Children 3 0 3
Classroom 3, Lab 0, Total 3
Foreign Language/Humanities/Fine Arts Elective 3
Classroom , Lab , Total 3
Early Childhood Education Elective 3
Classroom , Lab , Total 3
Total Credits 12-15

Second Year - Spring Semester

Course ID Course Theory Lab Credits
ECE200G Math and Science Development in Childhood Education 3 0 3
Classroom 3, Lab 0, Total 3
ECE206G Supporting the Special Needs Child 3 0 3
Classroom 3, Lab 0, Total 3
ECE210G Child, Family and Community Relationships 3 0 3
Classroom 3, Lab 0, Total 3
ECE212G Senior Practicum: Professional Development 1 6 3
Classroom 1, Lab 6, Total 3
Early Childhood Education Elective 3
Classroom , Lab , Total 3
Total Credits 12-15

Total Overall Credits : 55-65

Still not sure?

Contact one of the Program Faculty or an Admissions Representative to learn more about the program.

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