Courses & Programs

Early Childhood Transfer Degree

This program is designed for students interested in transferring to a four-year school for a degree in Early Childhood Education (Pre-K through Grade 2). In addition to transfer, graduates of this program are eligible to apply for teacher certification through the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (DEEC).

Sheila Gould

Faculty, Education

Social Sciences

Frost 168

413.552.2501 (Tel)

What will you learn?

Graduates of HCC Education programs are expected to demonstrate developing skills toward all required teacher competencies.


The Education Department Student Learning Outcomes are (A) knowledge of child development; (B) provision of a nurturing environment for young children and families; (C) assessment of typical child development through formal observations, informal developmental checklists, and discussions with parents; (D) provision of a safe and healthy early childhood setting that exceeds current EEC standards; (E) identification of children who demonstrate behaviors or skill acquisition difficulties that may require intervention; (F) application of appropriate and effective behavior management strategies in an early childhood setting; (G) development of age appropriate lesson plans and materials; (H) demonstrated use of computer application programs both professionally and with young children in an educational setting; (I) competent and professional oral and written communication; (J) interpersonal and job performance skills that reflect the professionalism demanded by early child care centers; and (K) critical thinking and problem solving skills.

60 total credits

26 credits General Education Requirements + 25 credits Program Requirements

Depending on course selection, 50% of this program can be completed online.

General Education Requirements

This course is the first half of the college composition sequence and focuses on close reading, critical thinking, beginning research skills, and the writing process. Students will read, analyze, and cite a range of nonfiction texts. Students will produce several formal essays totaling approximately 3000 words. Prerequisite: Appropriate scores on English placement tests or C- or higher in ENG 095.
This course is the second half of the first-year composition sequence and focuses on close reading, critical thinking, academic writing, research, and the writing process. Students will locate and evaluate both primary and secondary sources, and will gain skill in summarizing and synthesizing source material while employing MLA documentation. Texts will include a range of nonfiction (articles, essays, scholarly sources) and literary works. Students will produce at least 3000 words of formal written work, including a documented essay of at least 1250 words. Prerequisite: ENG 101 with a grade of C-or higher.
Introduction to the study and principles of behavior. Topics include general principles of scientific investigation; physiological bases of behavior including sensation, perception, learning, emotion, and motivation; development; individual differences; attitudes; and group dynamics. Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101.
Major geographic concepts and contemporary world regional geography. Examines the field of geography, basic globe and map concepts, the physical world (oceans and continents), and the political world (states and other political units). Includes an in-depth inspection of each of the world's developed and developing realms.
This course is designed to stimulate intelligent, critical, and reflective analysis about the nature and value of education in society. The course explores the historical, philosophical, social, and political issues, as well as current standards, requirements, and trends in early childhood through secondary education. Emphasis is placed on the role of schools in maintaining, perpetuating, and influencing culture, both nationally and internationally, and on discovery of personal values, attitudes, and attributes about the role of learners, teachers, schools, and educational systems in a democratic society. A ten-hour field study in and educational setting is required.
This course is designed for Elementary Education and Early Childhood majors. This is an introductory course on number systems. Topics include the development and properties of various number systems as well as operations and different representations within these number systems. Systems explored will include integers, rational numbers, real and complex numbers along with bases other than 10. Verbal explanations and multiple representations will be stressed.Prerequisite: MTH 075 or MTH 079 with a grade of C- or better or SM06, or equivalent score on the Mathematics Placement Examination
An introduction to life's basic processes including the chemistry of life, the structure and function of the cell, how cells use energy and matter, how cells reproduce, and how genetic inheritance occurs. Examples of how these processes affect each and everyone of us on a daily basis will be explored. This course will also explore the methods of science through in class assignments and laboratory work so that students will better understand the processes of collecting, analyzing and interpreting data in various formats. Laboratories supplement lecture by allowing students to explore topics in a hands-on fashion. Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101

Choose 1 of the following:

AST 110, BIO 108,  110, 120,  230,  ESC 110, 120, ENV 120.

Students who are considering transfer to WSU should consider ESC 110, 120 or ENV 120.

Program Requirements

An introduction to early education and care for young children. Included are the history and philosophies that influence programs for young children today. Philosophies and programs studied include: Piaget, Erickson, Vygotsky, Gardner, Developmentally Appropriate Practice, Inclusion, and Center Based Child Care, Montessori, Reggio Emilia. A 20-hour field study, in an inclusive setting for young children, will be required. Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101
Examines physical, cognitive, social and emotional growth and development of children from conception to twelve years of age. Provides insight into theories and practices which influence the behavior of children in their environments. Students conduct child observations in a preschool/kindergarten classroom setting. 3 hours of field experience is required as part of this course.Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101
This course is designed as an introduction to strategies in guiding children's behavior in the classroom. The focus of the class will be on the prevention of behavior problems through appropriate teaching practices, classroom design, class expectations and social interactions.Prerequisite: EDU 104 with a grade of C or better and Eligibility for ENG 101
This course provides a survey of the unique needs of children with disabilities and at-risk students within the educational context. An emphasis will be placed on understanding the origin and characteristics of specific disabilities, and development of collaborative intervention strategies that meet the needs of all children. A 20-hour service learning unit in an inclusive educational setting is required.Prerequisite: EDU 104 with a grade of C or better and eligibility for ENG 101
This course focuses on the basic principles and practices of effective assessment for classroom teachers. Students will examine formal and informal methods for assessment and documentation. During this course students will use evaluation and record-keeping tools, interpret results, and use assessment information to inform the teaching and learning process to support effective instruction. Strategies that are appropriate for various educational settings will be discussed, as well as the practical application and ethical use of assessment information.Prerequisites: Satisfactory completion of 30 credits of work (sophomore standing) that includes EDU 100, 101, 104, 208, 210 All EDU courses with a grade of C or better and ENG 102.
Emphasizes how children learn within a developmentally appropriate setting. Students will use a thematic approach in designing an antibias curriculum in alignment with the Massachusetts Guidelines for Preschool Learning Experiences. Content areas to be explored include Language and Literacy, Science, Math, Blocks, Creative Arts, and Dramatic Play in an inclusive classroom setting. These concepts will be applied in a laboratory based experience that will include written lesson plans, student-made materials and participatory workshops.Prerequisite: EDU 104 with a grade of C or better and ENG 101
Practicum: This course is a full semester internship consisting of a minimum of 150 classroom contact hours in which student teachers will experience team-teaching at an inclusive early childhood setting for children between the ages of 2.9 and 5.0 years. Student teachers will apply knowledge and skills developed in previous coursework to the practice of teaching. They are involved with developing and implementing curricula, assessing child development, utilizing classroom management strategies, and developing interpersonal relationships between staff, children, families and communities. 15 practicum hrs/wk Seminar: The seminar portion of this course provides an opportunity for self-evaluations, guided discussions, problem solving, and reflection as it pertains to the student teacher's practicum experience. 1.5 seminar hrs/wk Note: In order to do student teaching, students must be enrolled in either the M026, M027 Early Childhood Program and must meet the general admission requirements of the College. In addition, applicants must meet admission requirements specified by the department. However, admission to the education program does not insure a practicum placement. Prior to obtaining a practicum assignment, records of students will be subject to review pursuant to the Criminal Record Information Act, Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 6, Sections, 172-178, and Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 28A, Section 1, et seq., and regulations promulgated pursuant to such statutes. Students should register for EDU 213 during the priority-registration period in order to insure that the criminal records check (CORI) is received by the field placement site prior to the first day of the semester. Students who register late and/or whose CORI paperwork is not received may not be able to student teach. 1.5 lecture hours and 15 laboratory hours Prerequisites: Completion of 30 credits that includes EDU 100, 101, 104, 208, 210, ENG 101 & 102 passed with a C or higher, a GPA of 2.7, prerequisites or corequisites EDU 120 and EDU 218.Additional Course Fee: $15.00 Malpractice Insurance (The fee is subject to change.)

9 credits of electives

Select one from the following:

HIS 103  |  History of World Civilization 1 [C]
Credits: 3  

ENG 224  |  Children's Literature [C]
Credits: 3    

Select one from the following:

ART 123  |  Basic Design [C]
Credits: 3

ART 131  |  Introduction to Art History I [C]
Credits: 3
Prerequisite: ENG 101, previously or concurrently.  

ART 132  |  Introduction to Art History II [C] 
Credits: 3 
Prerequisite: ENG 101, previously or concurrently.  

THE 100  |  Introduction to Theater [C]
Credits: 3
Prerequisite: SOC 110  

Select one from the following:

MUS 100  |  Music Fundamentals [C]
Credits: 3  

MUS 110  |  Introduction to Classical Music [C] 
Credits: 3  

MUS 106  |  Introduction to World Music [C] 
Credits: 3  

MUS 140  |  Introduction to Jazz [C] 
Credits: 3  

THE 100  |  Introduction to Theater [C] 
Credits: 3 

Students must achieve a minimum grade of "C" in all EDU prefix courses in order to graduate from these programs and options.

Laboratory Science Elective: Select one Laboratory Science from the following: AST 110, BIO 108, BIO 110, BIO 120, BIO 230, ESC 110, ESC 120, ENV 120. Students who are considering transfer to WSU should consider ESC 110, 120 or ENV 120.

College Composition I & II: Overall minimum GPA 2.7 for both ENG course requirements at WSU.

EDU 104: FE: 3 hours of field experience are required.

Criminal Offense Record Act (CORI), and Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI)

Students enrolled in EDU 101, EDU 104, EDU 208, and EDU 213 will be subject to a CORI/SORI check and review pursuant to the Criminal Record Information Act, Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 6, Section172-178, and Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 18a, Section 1, et seq., and regulations promulgated pursuant to such statutes. Applicants with a court record/past conviction may be unable to participate in student teaching. If a student is ineligible to do student teaching due to a criminal record, the student will not be able to graduate from the Education Program. The College policy can be found in the Student Handbook.

This program qualifies for MassTransfer, which guarantees credit transfer to Massachusetts state colleges and universities. MassTransfer also will grant students automatic acceptance to certain state colleges and universities by achieving the minimum grade point average and the HCC degree.