The Associate in Arts program at a community college enables you to complete the first two years of course work for a bachelor’s degree prior to transferring to a four-year college or university.
An Associate in Applied Science Degree will be awarded upon successful completion of a minimum of 90 credits in courses numbered 100 or above. All core and general education requirements must be met with any additional credits to be selected as electives.
Associate in Applied Science-Transfer (AAS-T) is built upon the technical courses required for job preparation but also includes a college-level general education component, common in structure for all such degrees. The distinguishing characteristic of the AAS-T is a minimum of general education courses drawn from the same list as those taken by students completing the Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) associate degree (that is, the list of courses generally accepted in transfer). ECE AAS-T programs are designed for the dual purpose of immediate employment and as preparation for entrance as a junior into an ECE bachelor’s degree program . The AAS-T degree generally will not be accepted in transfer in preparation for Bachelor of Arts or science degrees (other than ECE programs), although the general education component of the degree will be accepted in transfer.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) assures the basic civil rights of employment and access to public accommodations and services. The Act consists of five titles: Title I-Employment; Title II-Public Services; Title III-Public Accommodations and Services Operated by Private Entities; Title IV-Telecommunications; and Title V-Miscellaneous Provisions. The ADA essentially extends the nondiscrimination mandate of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to those public entities that do not receive federal financial assistance. Colleges are required to provide accommodations to students to assist them with completing coursework. These accommodations may assist with language barriers, physical challenges, etc.
Alternative route programs operating Route 1 enroll currently employed classified instructional employees (paraprofessionals) with transferable associate degrees seeking residency teacher certification with endorsements in special education, bilingual education, English Language Learner or other shortage areas Alternative Route 2 programs operating Route 2 enroll currently employed school district classified staff with baccalaureate degrees from regionally accredited institutions.
Professionals working in specific positions are required to complete 10 hours of continuing education each year. STARS training can be found by searching MERIT, Washington’s online tool for managing training and education. Child care aides, assistants, substitutes and volunteers are encouraged (but not required) to participate in ongoing professional development training opportunities. All individuals who independently supervise children need to meet the initial training requirements for their position. For additional information about training requirements, please contact your DEL licensor or your local licensing office.
Bachelor's of Arts or Bachelor's of Science degree is awarded by a college or university after completing a certain number of credits. The BA or BS usually takes 4 years to complete. It can be awarded after the completion of a two year AA degree, and requires another two years of study in most cases.
The CDA (Child Development Associate) is a nationally recognized credential in early childhood education, based on a set of core competency standards set by the National Council for Professional Recognition.
A facility licensed by the Washington State Department of Early Learning for the care and education of young children. Licensing rules apply to the staff, ratio of adults to children, facility, curriculum, etc. The licensing rules are located here.
A term meaning "everything you have to pay for to go to college." It includes both academic and living expenses.
The Washington State Department of Early Learning (DEL) helps ensure all children in Washington state have high quality early learning opportunities that prepare them for success in school and life. DEL works in partnership with parents, families, caregivers, and early learning professionals to offer information and resources that support healthy child development. Learn more about DEL at www.del.wa.gov.
A term meaning "distributed." Financial aid gets disbursed to your stduent account several days prior to the beginning of each term.
Direct Transfer Agreement - Associate in Arts and Sciences (DTS-AAS) is the community college degree designed to transfer to most bachelors degrees at Washington four-year institutions.
Early Achievers, Washington’s quality rating and improvement system (QRIS), is voluntary for licensed child care providers and helps early learning programs offer high-quality care. High-quality child care helps children get ready for success in kindergarten and beyond. Yet child care quality varies considerably around Washington. Department of Early Learning, Child Care Aware of Washington and University of Washington partner to manage Early Achievers (EA) across the state. This effective program connects families to child care and early learning programs with the help of an easy-to-understand rating system. EA offers coaching and resources for child care providers to support each child’s learning and development. Research shows this kind of assistance helps providers improve the quality of their programs.
This results in a Bachelors degree in Human Development or Early Childhood Education. It is a good option for students interested in working with preschool age children in childcare centers, preschools, and Head Start programs. Students take a preschool internship and complete the degree in two years after their AA. This option does not qualify graduates to work as a certified teacher.
An endorsement ensures the candidate has met with competencies listed for the subject area. Competencies are often demonstrated through coursework. The ECE sequence of professional certification courses lead to teacher licensure PreK-3rd grade or a dual endorsement in elementary education and P-3. Students earning the P-3 teacher endorsement may work in primary grades Preschool – 3rd grade in public schools. A student completing the dual endorsement option may teach in any of the elementary grades. An endorsement ensures the candidate has met with competencies listed for the subject area. Competencies are often demonstrated through coursework. The ECE sequence of professional certification courses lead to teacher licensure PreK-3rd grade or a dual endorsement in elementary education and P-3. Students earning the P-3 teacher endorsement may work in primary grades Preschool – 3rd grade in public schools. A student completing the dual endorsement option may teach in any of the elementary grades.
Results in a BA in Education, with a major or minor in Early Childhood Education and teacher certification with an endorsement in Preschool through 3rd grade / ECE. Students take a one-term preschool internship and a two-term primary internship.
A college advisor who knows the ECE program at the college where they are employed. This advisor can help you understand the course of study that fits with your personal goals and advise you on the schedule that works best for you to meet graduation requirements.
The field specializing in the care and education of children from ages 0-8. Early childhood educators are employed by child care centers, Head Start and ECEAP preschools, cooperative preschools, private preschools, family child care homes, park and recreation departments, and public schools. Men and women with an AAS degree can qualify for positions as preschool teacher, child care director, child care worker, child care program supervisor, or elementary school classroom assistant. Other opportunities include jobs as recreation leaders, aides in children's institutions or sales persons of child care products.
ECEAP (pronounced "E-Cap") is the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program funded by Washington State. ECEAP is a comprehensive preschool program that provides free services and support to eligible children and their families. The goal of the program is to help ensure all Washington children enter kindergarten ready to succeed. The program includes: Early learning preschool; Family support and parent involvement; Child health coordination and nutrition.
Classes that meet in person at a specific location. These classes are led by an adult educator and have specific goals and learning objectives. They may include group meetings (cohorts) and communities of practice in which adults can talk with each other in person (face to face).
Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is the application you fill out in order to see your eligibility for federal and state sources of financial aid.
Family Child Care usually takes place in a home setting. This is a small business and usually the business owner also provides care and education to the children registered in the program. The FCC owner may also employ assistants to care for the children, and generally there is a mixed age group ranging from birth through after school care. A license issued by the Department of Early Learning is required for a FCC business owner. http://apps.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=170-296A An individual who provides care for children in his or her home must be licensed by the department unless exempt under RCW 43.215.010(2).
Funding that is intended to help students pay education-related expenses including tuition, fees, room and board, transportation, books, and supplies for post-secondary education at a community college, four-year college, or university. There are four main categories of financial aid: scholarships, grants, work-study and loans.
Educational courses utilizing technology for the communication of course information, requirements and assignments. Usually there is a method for communicating with the instructor and with fellow students. Fully online courses do not require students to travel to a location but can be completed remotely from a computer or other technology.
Money for college that usually comes from the federal or state government. Awarded to students who demonstrate financial need. Several common grants are: Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant, Washington State Need Grant.
Head Start is preschool funded by the federal government. Head Start is designed to foster healthy development in low-income children. Program grantees and delegate agencies deliver a range of services, responsive and appropriate to each child's and each family's heritage and experience, that encompass all aspects of a child's development and learning. Head Start includes Early Head Start, Migrant and Seasonal Head Start and Tribal Head Start. Click here to learn more.
Higher education is an optional final stage of formal learning that occurs after secondary education (high school). It is often delivered at colleges or universities that award academic degrees or professional certifications. Credits are awarded upon successful completion of a course and a degree is based on the number of credits earned. A college transcript is awarded by the institution to verify completed credit bearing coursework and degrees. DEL verifies completed credits with the Education Verification system and records these completion of credits or degrees in a professional's MERIT account.
A hybrid course is a combination of face to face (in person) and distance learning. Distance learning may consist of assignments to be completed outside of class, or the use of technology to supplement the face to face portions of the course. The online portion may take place in real time (synchronous) or students may log into the online site at their convenience during a set time frame (asynchronous) to complete assignments and communicate with classmates and the instructor. Communities of Practice utilize hybrid learning when they meet face to face, and complete assignments outside of class while using a computer based system of communication. Hybrid courses cut down on the amount of travel to complete a course while still maintaining some face to face interaction. On college course schedules, hybrid courses are often labeled "HY."
Washington’s Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training Program (I-BEST) is a nationally recognized model that quickly boosts students’ literacy and work skills so that students can earn credentials, get living wage jobs, and put their talents to work for employers. I-BEST pairs two instructors in the classroom – one to teach professional/technical or academic content and the other to teach basic skills in reading, math, writing or English language – so students can move through school and into jobs faster. As students progress through the program, they learn basic skills in real-world scenarios offered by the college and career part of the curriculum. I-BEST challenges the traditional notion that students must complete all basic education before they can even start on a college or career pathway. This approach often discourages students because it takes more time, and the stand-alone basic skills classes do not qualify for college credit. I-BEST students start earning college credits immediately.
An in-person course offers traditional, face-to-face classroom instruction. Students meet at least once or twice a week at a specific time and place -- usually on the college campus. In-person courses are often marked by "IP" on college course schedules.
The Initial Certificate (12 credits): Students can earn this certificate as the starting point of their careers or to continue their professional development. The certificate focuses on competencies comparable to those of the Child Development Associate (CDA). This provides the foundation for the ECE State Certificate and associate degree. Courses include a 5-credit Introduction to Early Childhood Education; a 5-credit Health, Safety and Nutrition course, and a 2-credit Practicum to apply learning.
Professionals must meet initial training requirements that are outlined on the Child Care Licensing Rules page by following the WAC links on DEL’s child care licensing rules page. Additional health and safety requirements for facility employees are required by WAC. These requirements include current CPR/First Aid certification, HIV/AIDS Training, TB test, etc. The Initial Training provided by DEL is called Child Care Basics. It is a 30 hour class listed in MERIT, also available through colleges for 3 credits.
ITV stands for interactive television. Colleges are able to use television technology to link students who live a long distance from a college campus to a class. Students usually go to a location in their community to access ITV classes. An instructor who is located on the college campus is able to see and talk with/answer questions from students at a different location. ITV classes are scheduled on specific days and times, just like an in-person class.
Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS) is a post graduate degree issued by a college or university after completion of a Bachelor's degree. A Master's degree has an area of focus which allows the recipient a level of expertise in that focused area.
Washington's Managed Education and Registration Information Tool MERIT is an online tool used to document and recognize the professional achievements of early care & education and school-age professionals in the State of Washington. This online tool is owned and operated by the Department of Early Learning (DEL) and manages State Training and Registry System (STARS) training in accordance with Washington Administrative Code (WAC). You can use this online tool to: submit a Portable Background Check Application; search for state-approved trainings, trainers and organizations; create and maintain a professional record with state-verified data that will guide you along a career pathway; become a state-approved trainer to provide accessible, high-quality educational opportunities for those who work with children and families; build a profile for your child care facility and use MERIT as an online management tool.
An online course does not require students to travel to a classroom for instruction. Students receive all their instruction using a computer. Students who wish to enroll ni an online course must have access to a modern computer that meets the requirements established by the college, the ability to navigate the Internet, send and receive emails with attachments, and use the required software. Each college provides students with assistance to access their online class and materials if they need help. Often students are required to participate in a workshop prior to enrolling in an online class. Online courses are often marked as "OL" on college course schedules.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K-12 public education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Chris Reykdal, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students. OSPI is housed in the Old Capitol Building in Olympia.
Route 3 is a field-based alternative route for post-baccalaureate candidates with subject matter expertise and experience in an identified subject shortage area. Cohorts of candidates attend an intensive summer Teaching Academy, followed by a full-year employed by a district as a teacher intern, and second summer Teaching Academy II. Requirements for Entry: 1) 5 years’ experience in the workforce 2) BA/BS degree with 2.75 GPA until state content test available, then successful completion of content test. 3) Meet age, good moral character, and personal fitness requirements (WAC 180-79A-150) 4) External validation of qualifications, including demonstrated successful experience with students/children (e.g. references / letters of support from previous employers) 5) Successful passage of statewide basic skills exam required for residency certification 6) Seeking endorsement in state identified subject shortage area (excluding special education or ESL).
Establish policies and requirements for the preparation and certification of education professionals, ensuring that they: 1) Are competent in the professional knowledge and practice for which they are certified. 2) Have a foundation of skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to help students with diverse needs, abilities, cultural experiences, and learning styles meet or exceed the state learning goals. 3) Are committed to research-based practice and career-long professional development.
Financial Aid to assist students as they take college courses. Considered "free money" for college, but there are typically requirements that students must meet, such as employment in a certain career, the declaration of a specific major, or attaining a 3.0 grade pont average. DEL offers reimbursements for initial and annual professional development. See the Financial Aid page of this website for more information.
The ECE Short Certificate (8 credits): This certificate builds on the Initial Certificate (for a total of 20 credits). Currently, professionals can choose one of five specializations: ECE general, infant-toddler care, school-age care, family child care, and ECE administration. For each specialization, students must take a 5-credit Child Development course, plus a course aligned with the specific specialization.
Washington training requirements, called STARS, have been in place since 1999 for: all family child care providers, directors, program supervisors, site coordinators and lead staff in child care centers and school-age programs.
Family Home Child Care programs, Child Care Centers and School-Age programs must follow their respective WACs to meet the needs of the children and families they serve. Learn more about the licensing WAC requirements for each program by visiting DEL’s child care licensing rules page.
The ECE State Certificate (27 credits): This final “stackable certificate” requires college-level math and english as a foundation for the next step: an associate degree in ECE. In addition to these general education requirements, the courses that students must take include Language and Literacy Development; Observation and Assessment; Child, Family and Community; Guiding Behavior; Environments for Young Children; and Curriculum Development. With all three certificates, the total number of credits earned by the student is 47.
Sometimes called "Stafford" or "Direct" loans. The federal government loans you money to attend school. Student loans much be paid back with interest.
TBD stands for "to be determined." A college class will be offered, but the time and location have not yet been finalized.
Tutoring is a form of mentoring in which a person with knowledge or skills in a certain area teaches a person who wishes to gain this knowledge or skill. Generally the tutoring arrangement is one on one, with time for specific questions and support for an individual learner. Tutoring is available at most colleges.
In Washington, early learning professionals who want to further their education have a clear path to follow: Colleges across the state offer common courses, course titles, course numbers, course descriptions and student outcomes. All courses are aligned with the Washington State Core Competencies for Early Care and Education Professionals. They also allow students to earn “stackable” certificates: The courses that students are required to take will build on one another in a sequential manner and deepen levels of applied learning along the way.
The Department of Early Learning's (DEL) regulations (also known as rules, Washington Administrative Code, or WAC) set the standards for child care that is licensed or certified by DEL. DEL adopts rules (also known as regulations, Washington Administrative Code, WAC, and administrative law) to set licensing requirements when directed by state law to set specific requirements to help clarify more general laws, or help organize requirements that may be set by both state and federal laws. http://www.del.wa.gov/laws/rules/licensing.aspx Family Home Child Care programs, Child Care Centers and School-Age programs must follow their respective WACs to meet the needs of the children and families they serve. Learn more about the licensing WAC requirements for each program by visiting DEL’s child care licensing rules page.
Washington Application for State Financial Aid. Non-citizens fill out this application in order to be eligible to receive the State Need Grant.
Washington Educator Skills Test-Basic (WEST-B) is required to enter a teaching certificate program. It is a computer based test, comprised of 170 multiple choice questions and 2 constructed response questions.
Washington Educator Skills Test-Endorsements (WEST-E) measures the content knowledge required of candidates seeking an endorsement to a Washington teaching certificate and are fully aligned with the state’s teacher endorsement competencies and Essential Academic Learning Requirements. It is required to receive a teaching endorsement.
Work-study is a form of need-based financial aid that provides recipients with a part-time job in order to earn money for college expenses.
Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) helps low income families pay for child care while they work or meet WorkFirst participation requirements. When a family qualifies for child care subsidy benefits and chooses an eligible provider, the state pays a portion of the cost of child care. The parent is also responsible to pay a copayment to the provider each month.