Associate in Applied Science Degree in Early Childhood Education

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About our Education Programs

SMCC offers two education programs: Early Childhood Education and Education. The programs focus on different age/grade ranges, but both provide students with the foundational skills and experiences they need to enter their chosen fields. The Early Childhood Education (ECE) program is designed for students who are interested in teaching children from 0-8 years of age, including students in grades K-3. The Education (EDUC) program is designed for students who are interested in exploring education more broadly and/or those who wish to teach older students in specialized fields like English or Math. Both programs focus on the essential knowledge, skills, and dispositions students need to make a difference in the lives of the children with whom they work. These skills are put to use as students engage in classroom settings and externships in the local community. Throughout each step of the way, students work with supportive and experienced faculty. Our goal is to create a community of learners who work (and play!) together with all students receiving the support they need to achieve their dreams.

Graduates of the ECE and EDUC programs pursue many different paths. Some enter the workforce as Ed. Tech. II in public school systems throughout the state. Others choose to become infant, toddler, or preschool teachers. Some open their own early childhood centers. Others continue on to earn their Bachelor’s Degree and become certified teachers. The University of Maine at Farmington delivers their Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education at SMCC. Students in the EDUC program often choose to continue on for their Bachelor’s through the University of Maine system.

  • For details about our Early Childhood Education program see below.
  • For details about our Education program, visit our Education program webpage.

About our Early Childhood Education Program (0-8 years of age)

The Early Childhood Education program is designed to prepare individuals as skilled Early Childhood Education professionals. Graduates will meet state licensing standards for immediate entry into the field or to transfer to a four­year institution. The coursework combines theory and practical experiences based on standards set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). In conjunction with the Early Childhood Education program, Spring Point Children’s Center provides quality educational experiences for preschool children, ages 3 to 5. This on­campus, NAEYC-accredited center is a valuable resource providing a laboratory setting for students in the program.

If you are completing this program and will be seeking licensure in another state, please download our Out-of-State Licensure document.

Your Degree Courses

Early Childhood Education offers an associate in applied science degree requiring a mix of general education and early childhood education courses. The following list of courses is a sampling of what you might take as a student in this program. The course list is subject to change.

Program Course Sampling

  • Introduction to Early Childhood Education
  • Child Development
  • Infant and Toddler Care Giving
  • Positive Guidance
  • Student Teaching Practicum I & II
  • Children’s Literature and Language Arts
  • Teaching Young Children with Exceptionalities
  • Observation and Record Keeping
  • Curriculum Development for Young Children
  • Early Childhood Program Administration or Introduction to Teaching
  • School, Home, and Community Relationships
  • English Composition
  • Introduction to Literature
  • Normal Nutrition
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Quantitative Reasoning or Foundations of Math for Teachers I and Social Science electives

Current Major-Specific Courses Available

Interested in seeing some of the current major-specific courses being offered as a part of this degree program?

Graduation Requirements

Prospective Students

If you are thinking about attending SMCC and are curious what the current program course requirements are to earn your degree, download the current SMCC Course Catalog.

Current Students

If you are a current student, your program requirements may be different than those listed for the current catalog year. To view your specific program requirements or to search and register for courses, log in to MySMCC and visit the MyDegree webpage.

Graduation Outcomes

  • Promote child development and learning
  • Build family and community relationships
  • Observe, document, and assess to support young children and families
  • Demonstrate developmentally effective approaches
  • Apply content knowledge to build meaningful curriculum
  • Demonstrate professional characteristics.

Estimated Degree Completion Time

4.5 full time semesters

66 credit hours are required to complete this program

Please note, these estimates are based on a student taking an average of 15 credits per semester and do not include college preparatory or developmental courses.

Program Costs

View an estimate of costs to complete this program:

SMCC Graduates

In Average college graduates earn 1 million dollars more over their lifetimes than high school graduates
92% of SMCC graduates gain employment or continue their education within 9 months of graduation

University of Maine Farmington’s Off-Campus Program

Now you can earn a bachelor’s degree from University of Maine Farmington (UMF) in Early Childhood Education at SMCC’s South Portland Campus.

UMF and SMCC have partnered to make earning a bachelor’s degree easier than ever. Whether you’re a working professional looking for a more flexible schedule or are simply looking to continue your education closer to home, UMF’s Off-Campus Program is a great way to earn your bachelor’s degree when and where it works for you. This program is also a fantastic opportunity for those who want to get started by earning their associate degree at SMCC in Early Childhood Education and/or Education and continue on to earn bachelor’s degree from UMF on the same campus. If you have earned an associate degree or equivalent at other institutions you may also be eligible to enroll.


  • Offered at SMCC’s South Portland Campus, a convenient location for those who live and/or work in Southern Maine.
  • Designed to work with your busy schedule with hybrid courses (off-site and online) offered weekday evenings or weekends.
  • Courses delivered by UMF professors.
  • An on-site UMF Advisor to help guide you to reaching your goals.
  • Access to both SMCC and UMF resources.
  • General education courses available at SMCC’s low tuition rate, only $92 per credit hour.

Available Bachelor’s Degree Tracks

  • Non-Certificate Track – Birth-5 years
  • Certification Track – Birth-5 years
  • Certification Track – K-3rd grade

For More Information and to Apply

Visit the UMF website and follow the steps to apply, or contact Julia Jeremias at 207-778-7274 or

Transfer Agreements for Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Ed – Birth to 5 certification, BS

University of Maine Farmington

SMCC Degree Program: Early Childhood Education

View this Agreement »

Early Childhood Ed – K-3 certification, BS

University of Maine Farmington

SMCC Degree Program: Early Childhood Education

View this Agreement »

Early Childhood Education, BS

University of Maine

SMCC Degree Program: Early Childhood Education

View this Agreement »