Early Childhood Education (Partnership Sites)

The Early Childhood program strives to prepare students to become high quality professionals who will make a difference in their communities by displaying and understanding the importance of professionalism, lifelong learning, building community, developmentally appropriate practice, and culturally responsive awareness.  The program is based on the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC ) standards which include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Promoting child development and learning
  • Building family and community relationships
  • Observing, documenting and assessing, to support young children and families
  • Teaching and learning
  • Becoming a professional

The program is designed to prepare students for one of two optional career paths:

  • Through courses in Early Childhood Development, Program Planning, and a variety of supervised practicum experiences with children aged 0-5, students will be prepared to enter the field of childcare as assistant teachers or assistant group supervisors. After two years experience in the field, graduates with an associate degree may advance professionally to hold positions as lead teachers or group supervisors. Graduates of the program work in infant/toddler programs, preschool settings, and other childcare venues.
  • Students who wish to pursue a career in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, and/or Special Education are provided with the opportunity to acquire foundation skills in Education, as well as to fulfill their core course requirements before transferring to a four-year Education program.
Early Childhood Education Department Conceptual Framework

Program Offerings

  • Starts Fall and Spring semesters. All professional coursework begins in the Fall semester. Students may enroll in other semesters to complete core and preparatory coursework.


Students complete observation and practicum hours in an approved early childhood setting. If they are already working in an early childhood setting, they can complete their practicum at that setting if approved by the program director. For our evening students, we recognize and honor that many of our students come to us with prior experience and background in early childhood. Their practicum experience should enhance their knowledge in the field and help them obtain the credentials they need.


The State Department of Education certifies the graduate (A.A. degree) as an Assistant Teacher. Graduates may begin to work in the childcare industry immediately or may continue their education in a four-year program. Some graduates combine the two options; they enroll in a four-year program while supporting themselves financially through a position in the childcare industry.

Admissions Requirements:

  • Completed Harcum College Accelerated Degree Application
  • Evidence of Qualification for College Admission (legible copy of diploma, GED or High School Transcript evidencing graduation)
  • Official College Transcripts (if applicable)

Financial Aid Deadlines:

  • FAFSA form priority deadline is APRIL 1st
  • PHEAA Grant deadline is MAY 1st

Before beginning professional coursework, accepted students must show proof of the following:

Course Sequence

Completion of the Core Curriculum, along with the courses listed below is required for your degree.  Please refer to the Course Catalog for course descriptions as well as course pre-requisites and/or co-requisites.

Accelerated Degree Program

Prior to placement in College level Math and English courses, students are required to complete a placement test to determine if the student is adequately prepared or if the student would benefit from college preparation courses. College preparation courses qualify for Financial Aid but do not count towards degree completion.  Prior to enrolling in 200-level coursework in Education, all developmental course work in Reading and English must be completed, and students must meet professional development requirements.

First Semester
Developmental coursework as needed     
EDU 112  Early Childhood Education    4 credits
ENG 101   Composition I     3 credits
PSY 154    Child Development   3 credits
HUM    Humanities Elective    3 credits

Second Semester
EDU 120   Classroom Management   3 credits
ENG 102   Composition II   3 credits
ART 120    Integrated Arts in Education     3 credits
Sociology Elective   3 credits

Third Semester
EDU 122   Intro to Special Education   3 credits
EDU 220     Early Literacy    3 credits
MTH 113    College Mathematics    3 credits
EDU 206  Science Methods PreK-4th   3 credits

Fourth Semester
EDU 202   Program Planning: Infant/Tod  4 credits
PSY 113  The Inclusive Classroom   3 credits
EDU 209   Math Methods PreK-4th    3 credits
EDU 212    Social St. Methods PreK-4th   3 credits

Fifth Semester
PSY 213   Educational Psychology     3 credits
SCI ELE    Science Elective  3 or 4 credits Based on Lab 
EDU 228    PreK Methods & Field Exp.   6 credits


Total Credits:  62 or 63 credits based on science lab

*All program specific courses must be completed with a grade of C or higher.                      


Dr. Joanne Ricevuto Thames
Early Childhood Education Program Director
Pennswood Hall, ECE classroom (basement)
Office Phone: 610-526-6035
Cell Phone:     484-614-6161

ECE Department fax: 610-526-1685

Student Activity

Harcum Association for the Education of Young Children Club (HAEYC)

HAEYC is an official local chapter of the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children and, part of the national organization, the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The members work with our Delaware Valley Chapter to arrange informational visits, and conduct fundraisers.

Phi Theta Kappa
An honor society where selection for membership is considered one of the highest honors a student can receive. Students are chosen for Phi Theta Kappa for their outstanding qualities of leadership, character, and citizenship within the Harcum community. They must also maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher.


Harcum College Job Board

Resources & Links

Early Childhood Education Library Guide

Library Guide to Citing Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism


Harcum College is a participant in the Early Childhood Education articulation agreement in the Southeastern region of Pennsylvania.  This is a unique agreement between eight two-year institutions and four-year institutions of higher education.  Participating institutions include:  Chestnut Hill College, Eastern University, Neumann University, Northampton Community College, Delaware County Community College, Manor College, and Montgomery County Community College.  If all requirements are met, students can seamlessly transfer up to 60 credits towards their bachelor's degree at any of the four-year institutions.