Education and Early Childhood
Career Preparation. The Education and Early Childhood Development pathway program is designed to prepare students with the skills, knowledge and competencies necessary for professional careers. Pathway coursework provides students with both a theoretical knowledge base and practical experiences that lead to a certificate, associate degree and/or the first two years of transferable credit toward a baccalaureate degree and employment in the field of early childhood.
Accredited Programs.The Education and Early Childhood Development program provides the necessary academic requirements needed to satisfy state (Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services) credential requirements. The AAS Early Childhood Development Degree at Wharton County Junior 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, www.naeyc.org. The current accreditation term runs from July 2019 through July 2026.
Convenient Class Schedules for Working Students.Faculty schedule classes keeping in mind the needs of our diverse student population. The education and early childhood courses are offered both on campus; as well as, online and in hybrid format.
Transferability of Earned Degree. The Education and Early Childhood Development program prepares students for future personal growth and advancement in education and career development.
Scholarships Available.The Financial Aid Office at Wharton County Junior College may be able to assist with financial assistance through scholarships, grants, loans, and on-campus work-study programs. For more information visit the WCJC financial aid office.
The mission of the Early Childhood Program is to specifically assist students in increasing their knowledge about child development and best practices in Early Childhood Education in order to support the fullest achievement of each student's potential and to facilitate the creation of optimum children's programs in the larger community. To accomplish this, the department offers two awards:
Salary: In the Gulf Coast Workforce Region (retrieved June 2020 from Workforce Solutions)
For preschool teachers with an Associate’s Degree-Average salary of $23,000 (52 weeks) and a projected growth of 16.9% for career opportunities from 2016-2026
For teacher’s assistants in public schools (paraprofessional aides)-Average salary of $16,000 (for 180 days of employment), which includes additional benefits provided in health care and retirement with a projected growth rate of 21.8% from 2016-2026
The program in Early Childhood Development provides work-place experiences recommended by the U.S. Department of Labor Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS).
The mission of the Department of Education/Early Childhood is to serve students who are interested in transferring to the university for a teaching certificate. Teaching certificates are not awarded at WCJC, but the lower division courses leading to eventual certification are. Students may choose the AA in Elementary Education, which is aligned with the elementary teacher certification courses at neighboring universities and is followed in conjunction with academic advising with the transfer university..
Students pursuing secondary education may complete an Associate of Arts degree in General Studies to become “core complete” before transferring.
The program is committed to meeting students' requirement to participate in field experiences in programs for children ages birth through age 12 years in neighboring school districts, Head Start Centers, and private programs.
Requires Texas Success Initiative (TSI) requirements be met:
Associate of Arts in Elementary Education
Associate of Arts degree in General Studies for students following the 2 + 2 transfer plans for secondary education at neighboring universities.