Early Childhood Education

Degree program at Bay College

Teacher and child in a classroom

Why Early Childhood Education?

The Associate of Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education provides the foundation for advanced study at colleges and universities in early childhood education. The curriculum is aligned with the AAS degree teacher preparation standards issued by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Council for Professional Recognition (CDA). Students will plan and implement quality, developmentally appropriate early learning programs for children ages 0-8 in support of physical, cognitive, and social emotional growth and development. Graduates of the associate degree program meet the educational requirements for child care center program directors as required by the Michigan Child Care Center Licensing Regulations. The AAS Degree requirements include 4 semesters/300 hours of practicum field experience in a variety of early childhood settings. A one-year, 30 credit certificate, with 90 hours of practicum field experience is also available, and a transfer degree for students wishing to further their early childhood studies.



Why Bay College?

The Early Childhood Education program at Bay College offers a mix of online only and hybrid courses, making it accessible for students from across the UP. We offer both a 1-year (2 semesters) Certificate in Early Childhood Education and a 2-year (4 semesters) AAS Degree. In addition, we have an articulation agreement with LSSU making it possible for students to seamlessly transition into a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education; taking classes either online or right on Bay’s Main Campus.

Bay College ECE Program utilizes a mix of 7-week and full-semester long courses. Due to the specific sequence of courses required to complete an AAS degree in ECE, special approval from the Program Coordinator is needed for enrollment. In order to most efficiently serve the unique needs of students, every candidate entering the program will now have an opportunity to confer with the ECE lead advisor regarding placement scores, previous coursework, employment goals, transfer options and possible remote access needs. Upon your attempt to enroll, you will be automatically referred to Tammra Houseman, ECE Program Coordinator. For more information, please Email Tammra%20HousemanECE Program Coordinator.

Early Childhood Education Instructional Delivery

All Early Childhood Ed courses have been made available in either online-only or online hybrid format. Hybrid courses have required seminar sessions, either weekly or bi-weekly. Zoom has opened a convenient option for student and instructors to meet virtually. In addition, seminars are offered during evening hours to accommodate those working full-time in the field. We recognize there are barriers for some students, such as, the lack of substitute teachers in the field, and students living too far from campus to feasibly travel over for seminars.

Some of the non-ECE courses in the program may be more difficult to find with online-only or remote option. (Ex. Human Biology) It is our aim to see these barriers removed for students and we will continue to make program changes and advocate on student’s behalf.

  • Online-only: Courses taught entirely online through Blackboard with specific assignment deadlines but no required seminar sessions.
  • Online hybrid: Courses taught mainly on Blackboard with required seminar sessions.
CDA-Advanced Standing Credit

Enrollees who can provide proof of a valid Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, (within 6 months of expiration) can receive advanced standing credit for the following (2) courses:

  • CHLD 101 Foundations in Early Childhood Care & Education (3)
  • CHLD 110 Health, Safety & Nutrition (3)
Degree Options
Certificate/DegreeCompletion CreditsContact Hours
Early Childhood Education (AAS)60.00
Early Childhood Education (AA)60.00

Job Market Outlook


The Early Childhood Education Program at Bay College is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, 1401 H St. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20005. The current accreditation term runs from January 2021 through July 2026.