Students will learn foundational skills in the early childhood education (ECE) field to prepare them for careers in a variety of ECE settings. The ECE certificate will require the completion of 13 credits, which may be completed in one academic year. All coursework will be delivered in an online format. The proposed certificate meets the requirements for clock hours of formal child care education required for the CDA® credential. Students must still complete additional requirements and apply to the Council for Early Childhood Processional Recognition to earn the CDA® credential.

The Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children (Iowa AEYC) is a good resource for individuals entering this field: 

Awards Available

Early Childhood: Certificate
Early Childhood Education Certificate Program Outline

Early Childhood (teacher licensure) Transfer Major: Associate of Arts degree
Early Childhood Associate of Arts Program Outline

If you plan to transfer and earn a bachelor's degree, the Associate of Arts degree is recommended for your course of study. 

Potential Careers

  • Teacher of young children in childcare centers and private preschool programs
  • Assistant teacher in Head Start, Shared Visions, and state-wide voluntary preschool programs
  • Provider of home-based services such as a family childcare provider or home visitor
  • Director of a center-based childcare program


CDA/professional certification questions - Kristie Nixon, ECE program director
Advising/course registration questions: Deb Pantini, director of student development