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Early Childhood Education

Degree Type: Associate in Applied Science
College(s): College of Education and Human Services

Why Choose Early Childhood Education? - Program Spotlight

For those people who like to be around young children, a career in Early Childhood Education can be a labor of love. FSU's two-year program offers instruction in the growth, activities and teaching of children.

The Early Childhood Education program at Ferris teaches a broad spectrum of courses and includes extensive hands-on experiences. Students learn about the education of children and study early childhood development, nutrition, first aid, children's literature and child psychology. They also receive a broad educational background by completing general education courses in English, mathematics, humanities and sociology.

Practical experience is another significant part of the program. Majors have the opportunity in the child development laboratory to observe and work with infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers, applying theories and techniques taught in the classroom. Early Learning Center is a Ferris-owned and operated childcare service that serves as a training and observation laboratory for students. The center also offers quality care for children of students, faculty and staff of the University and members of the community.

During the final semester of the program students complete a faculty-supervised internship in a child-care setting. Job placement sites include FSU approved childcare centers.

Ferris offers the Early Childhood Endorsement (ZS) through the Center for Occupational Education. This program is designed for teachers holding Michigan teacher certification who wish to teach in public and pre-school programs. Ferris also offers the Child Development Associate certificate (C.D.A).

Career Opportunities

Graduates of this program often find responsible positions in Headstart programs, day care centers or family day care homes, elementary schools, hospitals, recreation centers or other child-oriented businesses. Job opportunities are increasing as parents rely more and more upon childcare outside the home.

Other graduates use their training in child development to supplement studies in nursing, dental hygiene, optometry, education, small business management and other business programs. Many students become interested in the Early Childhood Education curriculum simply because they want to become better parents.

Admission Requirements

High school students and transfer students with 29 credit hours or less must possess a high school grade point average of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) or an ACT composite score of 17 or 900 SAT. Transfer students with 30 credit hours or more must possess a 2.0 cumulative GPA. Students transferring into the program with completed majors or minors must have the appropriate GPA as established by each department. Consult individual program description for other admission requirements.

Teacher Certification

If an early childhood education student wishes to continue in teacher education to complete a preliminary education teaching degree and obtain elementary certification, the State of Michigan requires that all candidates: (1) pass the Michigan Basic Skills Exam, (2) pass the pedagogy tests in their subject area majors and minors, and (3) have a 2.50 minimum GPA to receive teacher certification in Michigan. These state requirements are in addition to the FSU graduation requirements of your individual program.

General Education Requirements

All University General Education requirements for an Associate’s degree is here

Please consult this link for a complete listing of General Education Electives. 

 Consult the Required Course above or program advisor for program specific General Education requirements.

Graduation Requirements

The early childhood education program leads to an associate in applied science degree through the School of Education, College of Education & Human Services. Graduates must complete all of FSU's general education and early childhood education requirements. Consult individual program description for other graduation requirements.

More Information

College of Education & Human Services
School of Education
Bishop Hall Room 421
Ferris State University
1349 Cramer Circle
Big Rapids, MI 49307-2737
Telephone: (231) 591-5361

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Required Courses
Credit Hours


36 credit hours and a 2.50 GPA is required
Child Development Practicum
Child Development Leadership
Child Development 1
Child Development 2
Education of Children
Computer Appl for Children
Infant Toddler Envir - Curr
Childrens Activities
Child Development Intern Orien
Child Development Internship
Note: A minimum B- is required for EDCD 291
Internship Seminar
Note: EDCD 298 must be taken with EDCD 291 and a minimum B- is required
Teaching Special Needs in ECE
Professional Assessment
Child Care Food and Nutrition
Responding to Emergencies
Minimum Credit Hours: