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Early Childcare Education and Programming

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Curriculum in Early Childcare Education and Programming

The Early Childcare Education and Programming (ECP) curriculum is designed to prepare graduates to work in a variety of early care and education programs that serve families that are mobile. Families who are mobile include military families, immigrant families, families who must travel to make a living, homeless families, and families living in poverty. Some of the programs are childcare centers and homes, infant/toddler and preschool programs, Head Start programs, and before and after-school programs for children ages birth to eight. This degree does not lead to teacher licensure. Students interested in a license to teach in public schools can refer to the Early Childhood Education - Unified (ECE) program. The ECP curriculum is designed to provide content for the final two years of a student's program; the content is focused specifically on topics directly relevant to the major. This is an online program offered through a collaboration of universities called Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (or GPIDEA). The program within GPIDEA is known as Early Care and Education for a Mobile Society. For more information see

Students will complete a total of 120 credits for the major, 51 of which are specific to the ECP curriculum. These 51 credit hours are comprised of 12 core courses and 3 practica; the final practicum will be a 6-credit capstone experience. Students must complete 30 credits of college work, a lifespan development course, and have a 2.5 GPA to be admitted to ECP. If students prefer to be admitted to ISU before being admitted to the ECP major, they can enroll as Pre ECP (PECP) students until they are eligible for the ECP major. For more information about the program at Iowa State, see

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the ECEMS bachelor's degree program, students will be able to:

  • Use their understanding of young children's characteristics and needs, and of multiple interacting influences on children's development and learning, to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for each child.
  • Understand how successful early childhood education depends upon partnerships with children’s families and communities and value the importance and complex characteristics of children’s families and communities.
  • Use child observation, documentation, and other forms of assessment, in partnership with families and other professionals, to positively influence the development of every child.
  • Use their knowledge of academic disciplines to design, implement, and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for every young child.
  • Identify and conduct themselves as a member of the early childhood profession, using ethical guidelines and other professional standards related to early childhood practice.
  • Demonstrate, through sequential practicum experiences and clinical practice, the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to promote the development and learning of young children across the entire developmental period of early childhood.

Administered by the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Leading to the degree Bachelor of Science.

Total credits required: 120

Human Development and Family Studies Core: 3 credits

HDFS 1020Human Development3

Early Childcare Education and Programming Professional Core: 51 credits

Pre-practicum I
ECP 2010Child Development - Ages Birth to 33
ECP 2020Child Development - Ages 4 to 83
ECP 3050Professional Development3
ECP 3200Practicum I - Child Observations in Classroom Environments3
Pre-practicum II
ECP 4120Development of Curriculum for Children Ages Birth to 3 *3
ECP 4130Development of Curriculum for Children Ages 4 to 8 *3
ECP 4240Assessing Young Children and Their Environments to Enhance Development *3
ECP 4250Understanding and Adapting for Developmental Differences *3
ECP 4400Practicum II - Curriculum Development and Implementation3
Professional Development
ECP 3060Health, Safety, and Nutrition3
ECP 3070Child Guidance and Classroom Environments3
ECP 3220Diversity in the Lives of Young Children and Families3
ECP 3230Working with Families3
ECP 3240Technology and Young Children3
ECP 4420Administration and Supervision in Early Childhood Settings3
ECP 4600Practicum III - Capstone Experience6
Total Credits51

* Must be completed prior to enrollment in Practicum II (ECP 4400)

Electives: 28-29 credits

Communications and Library: 13 credits

ENGL 1500Critical Thinking and Communication3
ENGL 2500Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Composition3
LIB 1600Introduction to College Level Research1
One of the following:3
Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Interpersonal Communication
Conflict Management
One of the following:3
Business Communication
Proposal and Report Writing
Technical Communication
Total Credits13

Natural Sciences and Mathematical Disciplines: 9-10 credits

One of the following:3-4
Principles of Statistics
Introduction to Probability
Introduction to Mathematical Ideas
College Algebra
Discrete Mathematics for Business and Social Sciences
Calculus I
Select from Biological or Physical Sciences courses6
Total Credits9-10

Social Sciences: 9 credits

Select from Approved General Education options.

Humanities: 6 credits

Select from Approved General Education options.

Total credits: 120 credits

The courses listed in this section are approved general education course options for this major.

Social Sciences: 9 credits. Coursework designed to help students develop an understanding of the principal methods of studying human behavior and an understanding of the structure and functioning of institutions.

AESHM 4210Developing Global Leadership: Maximizing Human Potential3
AFAM 3300Ethnic and Race Relations3
AMD 1650Dress, Appearance, and Diversity in U.S. Society3
AMD 3620Global Dress in the Fashion System and Society3
AMD 4670Consumer Studies in Apparel and Fashion Products3
AMIN 3100Contemporary Topics in American Indian Studies3
AMIN 3150Archaeology of North America3
AMIN 3220Peoples and Cultures of Native North America3
Anthropology (ANTHR) - except 2020
Economics (ECON)
FSHN 3420World Food Issues: Past and Present3
INTST 2350Introduction to International Studies3
LING 2190Introduction to Linguistics3
LING 4710Language and Reading Development in Children3
Political Science (POL S)
Psychology (PSYCH) - except 1310
Sociology (SOC), including Criminal Justice (CJ ST)
WGS 2010Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies3
WGS 2030Introduction to Lesbian Communities3
WGS 3010International Perspectives on Women and Gender3
ENVS 3200Ecofeminism3
WGS 3270Gender and Sexualities in Society3
WGS 3280Sociology of Masculinities and Manhood3
WGS 3460Psychology of Women3
AFAM 3500Women of Color in the U.S3
WGS 3850Women in Politics3

Humanities: 6 credits. Coursework designed to assist students to develop an understanding of human cultural heritage and history, and an appreciation of reasoning and the aesthetic value of human creativity. 

AESHM 3420Aesthetics of Consumer Experience3
AFAM 2010Introduction to African American Studies3
AFAM 3340Africana Religions3
AFAM 3470African American Literature3
AFAM 3530History of African Americans I3
AFAM 3540History of African Americans II3
AMD 3540Euro-American Dress History: Prehistoric to Mid-19th Century3
AMD 3560Euro-American Dress History: Mid-19th Century to the Present3
AMIN 2100Introduction to American Indian Studies3
AMIN 2400Introduction to American Indian Literature3
AMIN 3460American Indian Literature3
ARCH 2210Histories and Theories of Architecture to 17503
ARCH 4200Topics in American Architecture3
Art History (ARTH)
American Sign Language (ASL)
Classical Studies (CLST)
DANCE 2700Dance Appreciation3
DANCE 3600History and Philosophy of Dance3
DSNS 1830Design in Context3
ENGL 2010Introduction to Literature3
ENGL 2250Survey of British Literature to 18003
ENGL 2260Survey of British Literature since 18003
ENGL 2270Survey of American Literature to 18653
ENGL 2280Survey of American Literature since 18653
ENGL 2370Survey of Film History3
ENGL 2400Introduction to American Indian Literature3
History (HIST)
HSPM 2600Global Tourism Management3
MUSIC 1020Introduction to Music Listening3
MUSIC 3020Masterpieces of Music and Art in Western Culture3
MUSIC 3040History of American Rock 'n' Roll3
MUSIC 3830History of Music I3
MUSIC 3840History of Music II3
Philosophy (PHIL)
Religious Studies (RELIG)
THTRE 1060Introduction to the Performing Arts3
THTRE 1100Theatre and Society3
THTRE 4650Theatre History: Ancient to 19th Century3
THTRE 4660Theatre History: 19th Century to Present3
WGS 2010Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies3
WGS 3360Religion, Sex and Gender3
WGS 3380Feminist Philosophy3
WGS 3450Women's Literature3
WGS 3700 Studies in English Translation
WGS 3740Sex, Gender, and Culture in the Ancient Mediterranean World3
World Languages and Cultures (ARABC, CHIN, FRNCH, GER, GREEK, RUS, SPAN)