Early Childhood Education Curriculum - Southwestern Illinois College

Refer to the following suggested curriculum and the graduation requirements as a guide for completing this program.


Are you planning to earn an Associate in Arts degree and then transfer to a four-year college or university to major in Early Childhood Education? We strongly encourage you to consult with a SWIC Advisor prior to enrolling each semester.  We also advise you to familiarize yourself with the specific requirements of the four-year institution where you plan to transfer.

Fulfill the General Education and other institutional requirements for the Associate in Arts degree listed in the printed or Online College Catalog. General Education course preferences may vary by transfer institution, but they usually include the following:

  • HIST 180 U.S. History to 1865
  • POLS 150 Intro to American Government
  • PSYC 151 General Psychology
  • ART 101 Art Appreciation OR MUS 101 Music Appreciation

As you fulfill your degree requirements, it is strongly recommended that you take the following classes:

  • ECE 110 Intro to Early Childhood Education
  • ECE 112 Growth and Development of Children
  • ED 255 Introduction to Education
  • ED 252 Educational Psychology
  • ED 265 Introduction to Special Education

Most four-year colleges and universities will accept the following classes as early childhood education major credit:

  • ED 267 Diversity in 21st Century Schools
  • ECE 250 Child, Family and Community

The optional courses listed below may be applicable toward a baccalaureate early childhood education major. Please keep in mind that most transfer institutions limit the number of semester credits taken within a student’s major field of study at the community college level. To ensure the acceptance of such courses toward your intended major, check with the four-year institution where you are transferring or a SWIC Academic Advisor regarding their applicability.

  • ED 267 Diversity in 21st Century Schools
  • ED 293 Children’s Literature
  • Other ECE and ED classes

Fulfill all other Associate in Arts degree requirements listed in the printed or Online College Catalog.

Apply for graduation by the date published in the College Calendar.

Earn at least 64 transferable credits with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 to graduate from SWIC. Many transfer institutions require a higher GPA for admission to the institution and/or specific majors.

Taking the Illinois Test of Academic Proficiency – TAP (for transfer to Illinois institutions), the College Basic Academic Subjects Examination (for transfer to Missouri schools, such as the University of Missouri – St. Louis), or the Praxis I (for most other states) is required for admission to a school of education program. Check with a counselor at the institution you plan to attend for specific details. NOTE: There is a five-attempt limit on TAP. (For help in preparing for education entrance tests, consider taking ED 257 Education TAP Test Prep, a one-hour elective.) The state of Illinois now accepts ACT (with writing) scores that have a composite of 22 or higher in place of the TAP. It is highly suggested that students use this option.

Note: Enrollment in many transfer classes is based on your score on the assessment placement test and/or your fulfillment of course prerequisites.