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Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education

Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education

The emphasis on a quality environment and educational experience for children birth through kindergarten has increased the demand for early childhood educators. This program provides graduates with the appropriate course work and prepares graduates to meet this demand.The Early Childhood Education program is designed to develop understanding of young children and their needs (birth to five years). Students gain knowledge of the intellectual, physical, social and emotional principles critical to working with young children. The program, which leads to the associate of arts degree, includes courses on nutrition, family relations, developing age appropriate curriculum and child development. Students will have the opportunity to apply this knowledge through practical experiences in a variety of early care and education settings.

Examples of careers for the graduate of this program are: teacher assistants in public school preschool programs, early care and education professionals in childcare facilities, family service providers, family advocates, or Head Start teachers.

The first step in beginning your associate degree is the application process, which is outlined below. If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at learn.online@wku.edu.

  • Apply for admission 
  • Submit Required Materials:
    • Beginning Freshmen: An official high school transcript (no faxed transcripts accepted) and ACT or SAT scores. Students over the age of 21 may substitute the ACCUPLACER for ACT/SAT.
    • Transfer Students: Send your official transcripts from each college attended to Undergraduate Admissions. You may request electronic transcripts through the National Student Clearinghouse. This speeds up the admissions process considerably. If your school is not listed with the Clearinghouse, please contact them directly to see if they have another process in place for electronic submissions or request that an official copy be sent by mail. Transfer students with fewer than 24 semester hours of college credit earned, must also submit high school transcript and ACT or SAT scores.

To Apply to WKU:

Complete the WKU Domestic and International Undergraduate Application

Under Planned Course of Study Section, choose:

  1. Category of Study >>> Associate Degree
  2. Planned Course of Study >>> Interdis Early Childhood Ed (Assoc, Main Campus)
  3. Primary Location >>> Web (online)

Admission Application Deadlines

Kentucky and Out-of-State Residents

  • Fall Semester: August 1
  • Spring Semester: January 1
  • Summer Term: May 1

International Students

  • Fall Semester: April 1
  • Spring Semester: September 1
  • Summer Term: March 1

The Associate of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education requires 63 semester hours. It includes courses in general education, child development, family studies, assessment, and curriculum concepts, and managing early childhood programs for all children. Field experience hours give students the opportunity to apply their knowledge in a variety of early childhood settings while obtaining the needed experience as future job applicants.

Required Courses

  • FACS 180 Foundations in FCS
  • FACS 191 Child Development
  • FACS 192 Working with Young Children and Families
  • FACS 198 Guidance and Problem Solving Approaches for Young Children
  • FACS 292 Diversity in Early Childhood Programs
  • FACS 294 Assessment of Young Children
  • FACS 295 Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers
  • FACS 296 Curriculum for Preschool and Kindergarten
  • FACS 297 Family, Community, and Early Childhood Program Partnerships
  • FACS 299 Administration of Early Childhood Programs
  • FACS 311 or SOC 220 Family Relations
  • FACS 313 Practicum in Human Environments 
  • HMD 211: Human Nutrition
  • LME 318 Children’s Literature
  • SWK 101 Foundations of Human Services
  • SFTY 171 Safety and First Aid
  • COMM 145 Fundamentals of Public Speaking
  • PSY 100 or PSYS 100 Introduction to Psychology
  • ENG 100 Freshman English
  • ENG 200 Introduction to Literature
  • MATH 109 General Mathematics 
  • PH 100 Personal Health 

Total hours required for program: 63


Financial Aid includes grants and loans for educational purposes. The government requires the student to file a form online to the government agency for this purpose which is called FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov  to apply. Once that form is completed and filed, the student will receive an email from WKU about the status. All financial aid comes through the WKU Student Financial Aid office and they communicate mostly through email. The email will explain all the grants and/or loans that are available to the student and how to receive the money.

Nearly all students are eligible for some form of financial assistance. In fact, over 90% of the students who applied for financial aid in recent years received an award offer. Every effort is made to assist you and your family in obtaining the resources necessary to meet the difference between the total cost of attending Western Kentucky University and your ability to contribute toward your education.

If you would like to apply for financial assistance (loans, grants, scholarships, veteran's benefits) the first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Please refer to the Financial Aid Guide for additional information and complete instructions.

Please keep in mind, student must maintain satisfactory academic progress to continue to qualify for financial aid. For additional information on receiving, and keeping your financial aid, please refer to the WKU Financial Aid website to review the complete policy on Satisfactory Academic Progress at wku.edu/financialaid/sap.php.

Eligibility for On Demand Courses

On Demand courses may also be covered by financial aid if the student has met basic eligibility requirements and has a current FAFSA on file. Students must fill out an On Demand Agreement found on the WKU Financial Assistance website. Students receiving financial aid must complete their course(s) in the current semester. For more information please contact the Student Financial Assistance office at (270) 745-2755.

Veterans and Active Military

All college courses offered by On Demand have been approved for veterans and other persons eligible under the provisions of the GI Bill. Each student must assume the responsibility for submitting the proper forms to assure payment of appropriate entitlements. Please contact the Veterans Coordinator in Student Financial Assistance.

Department Contact Information:

Program Advisor: Dr. D'Lee Babb
Email: dlee.babb@wku.edu

Department of Family and Consumer Sciences:

Academic Complex 302 
Phone: (270) 745-4352
Fax: (270) 745-3999
Email: cfs@wku.edu

WKU Online:

Online Program Services
Phone: (270) 745-5173
Email: learn.online@wku.edu

For more information about the program, fill out the form below.

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 Last Modified 8/28/19