Early Childhood Education Diploma—Child and Family Studies Specialization

View courses and cost per credit for our Early Childhood Education diploma with an Child and Family Studies specialization. Courses, course names, and cost per credit may vary by location. Download your state specific catalog for more information.

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Course listings are subject to change. Please see our course catalog and/or addendum for most current listings.


Child & Family Studies Diploma Course List

Child and Family Studies Specialization (students will complete these additional courses)

  • Parent Education and Support
  • Guiding Children's Behavior
  • Child and Family Advocacy
  • Introduction to Sociology

Students will investigate how resources are assessed, allocated, and utilized within families. They will explore strategies for helping families manage resources through various problem-solving methods.

Prerequisites:Foundations of Child Development; Early Childhood Education Curriculum and Instruction; Health, Safety, and Nutrition/CDA Application

Course ID: EC225
Credits: 4


Students will explore how to use guidance in the early childhood setting, with an emphasis on understanding why young children exhibit certain behaviors and how we can meet the child's needs effectively and with support. Students will learn how to provide positive guidance to young children with challenging behavior.

Prerequisites:Foundations of Child Development; Early Childhood Education Curriculum and Instruction; Health, Safety, and Nutrition/CDA Application

Course ID: EC230
Credits: 4


Students will explore and develop skills to advocate for children and families. They will review legislation, social policy, and advocacy techniques. Students will also investigate several current and controversial issues within the early childhood profession, and explore current research on early childhood education issues.

Prerequisites:Foundations of Child Development; Early Childhood Education Curriculum and Instruction; Health, Safety, and Nutrition/CDA Application

Course ID: EC232
Credits: 4


This course introduces students to basic sociology terms and concepts. Students will understand how to apply sociological concepts and theories and analyze the structure and relationships of social institutions and the process of social change. Students will explore a variety of topics of sociological interest, including socialization, social inequality, social movements, and the impact of technology and social change on society.

Prerequisite:none

Course ID: G142
Credits: 4

Major and Core Courses

  • Career Development
  • Foundations of Child Development
  • Early Childhood Education Curriculum and Instruction
  • Health, Safety, and Nutrition/CDA Application
  • Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood Education

This course is designed to study the personal and professional characteristics necessary for obtaining and maintaining suitable employment. The student will assemble a complete jobseeking portfolio including his/her resume and references, letters of application and appreciation, documentation of work and educational history, and demonstration of skills through examples of student work. The course includes an indepth study of self-marketing approaches, job interviewing techniques and professionalism as well as participation in a mock interview.

Prerequisite:none

Course ID: E242
Credits: 2


This course will explore characteristics of children at different ages, children's developmental needs, and the foundation of early childhood education. Students will learn the fundamentals of developmentally appropriate practice as it relates to child development, individual needs, building self-esteem in children, and using interpersonal skills and communication within the classroom and center. Students will study the function of the family, and the cultural, social, class, and ethnic variations in the family as a social system.

Prerequisite:none

Course ID: EC100
Credits: 4


This course promotes the development of young children in the academic, social, and emotional domains. It examines developmentally appropriate methods for writing and assessing behavioral objectives, lesson plans, and activity goals. Various curriculum models will be reviewed. Strategies to enhance parent and family involvement will be emphasized.

Prerequisite:Foundations of Child Development

Course ID: EC110
Credits: 4


This course examines the role of early childhood professionals working in the field via the policies and procedures governed by the state. Students will learn guidelines for establishing safe environments. They will also learn strategies for implementing health policies, controlling disease, establishing proper nutrition, and responding to children's special health concerns. Students will carry out a 2-hour field observation in the field of education.

Prerequisite:Foundations of Child Development

Course ID: EC121
Credits: 4


Students will explore effective strategies for observation and assessment in early childhood education. They will understand the observation, assessment, and planning cycle and its impact on promoting children's development.

Prerequisites:Foundations of Child Development; Early Childhood Education Curriculum and Instruction; Health, Safety, and Nutrition/CDA Application

Course ID: EC200
Credits: 4

Choose either Track I ** or Track II

Track I ** (Students must be enrolled through a campus and live in FL/IL/KS/MN/ND/WI)

  • Knowledge: Externship I
  • Application: Externship II
  • Reflection: Externship III

Under externship supervision, the student will observe and implement developmentally appropriate practices while interacting with children and adults.

Prerequisite:none

Course ID: EC180
Credits: 6


Students continue their externship experience in an early childhood setting. The focus is on developmentally appropriate practices and leadership.

Prerequisite:Knowledge: Externship I

Course ID: EC181
Credits: 6


Students will complete their externship experience in an early childhood setting. The focus is on developmentally appropriate practices and leadership.

Prerequisite:Application: Externship II

Course ID: EC182
Credits: 6

Track II (Students must be enrolled online and/or not eligible for Track I. Not available in ND.)

  • Teacher Reflection I: Early Childhood Education as a Profession
  • Teacher Reflection II: Morality and Ethics in Early Childhood Education

This course is an introduction to the field of early childhood development as a profession and examines historical influences on the field. The identification of early childhood educator's personal attributes, knowledge, skills, and professional codes of conduct are included.

Prerequisite:none

Course ID: EC183
Credits: 6


This course will provide an examination of morality and ethics in early childhood development. Topics include childhood ethics, ideals, and principles. Professional values and teaching styles will be explored.

Prerequisite:Teacher Reflection I: Early Childhood Education as a Profession

Course ID: EC184
Credits: 6

English Composition (Required course)

  • English Composition

This course is designed to guide students in understanding the writing process and developing their ability to write and express ideas in an organized, unified, and coherent manner. Students will produce college-level writing that reflects awareness of rhetorical strategies, writing purpose, student voice, and appropriate grammar, punctuation, and usage skills. Through reading, writing, discussion, research, and collaboration, students will practice effective writing and apply course concepts.

Prerequisite:Passing grade in Foundation coursework or placement determined by Rasmussen College entrance placement exam score

Course ID: G124
Credits: 4

Communication (Select 1 course)

  • English Composition 2
  • Introduction to Communication
  • Oral Communication

This course builds on students' understanding of the writing process through an exploration of various writing strategies and research. Students will analyze readings and apply critical reading and writing skills. This course will develop argumentative writing and application of research.

Prerequisite:English Composition

Course ID: G126A
Credits: 4


The course will introduce students to basic models and theories of the communication process. Students will learn about a variety of elements involved in communication. They will also explore how factors such as race, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status, and gender influence communication. Students will focus on developing an awareness of the effects of various types of communication on themselves and others. They will also develop practical skills for improving their ability to communicate in personal, social and professional contexts. Specific topics will include perception, self-concept, verbal and nonverbal communication, effective listening and communicating in culturally diverse settings.

Prerequisite:Passing grade in Foundation coursework or placement determined by Rasmussen College entrance placement exam score

Course ID: G141
Credits: 4


This course will present students with a broad understanding of communication in a variety of contexts. Students will learn the processes and strategies of oral communication by exploring speech anxiety, audience analysis, and organizational speech patterns. Students will research, use supporting materials, and use effective language to develop and present a narrative, informative and persuasive speech.

Course ID: G227
Credits: 4

Math/Natural Sciences (Select 1 course)

  • Structure and Function of the Human Body
  • Scientific Literacy
  • General Education Mathematics
  • Introduction to Human Biology
  • College Algebra
  • Introduction to Astronomy
  • Introduction to Geology

This course provides a working knowledge of the structure and function of the human body. A general introduction to cells and tissues is followed by study of the anatomy and physiology of the skeletal and muscular systems. The student is introduced to the nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary, reproductive, and endocrine systems.

Course ID: G150
Credits: 4


In this course students will explore the role that science plays in the world. Students will survey different natural sciences such as: biology, health sciences, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and geology; as well as analyze specific case studies from these fields. Throughout the course students will develop their scientific reasoning skills. They will learn about the scientific method as well as how to detect common fallacies and misuses of science.

Prerequisite:none

Course ID: G152
Credits: 4


This course introduces students to topics from modern mathematics that are relevant to everyday life and not typically covered in the standard college math sequence. Students will be exposed to a variety of mathematical tools from diverse branches of mathematics. They will utilize these tools to solve interesting real-world problems. Topics may include, but are not limited to, game theory, graph theory, the mathematics of growth, applications of geometry, probability, and statistics.

Prerequisite:Passing grade in Foundation coursework or placement determined by Rasmussen College entrance placement exam score

Course ID: G180
Credits: 4


Students will explore fundamental concepts of human biology. They will examine cell structure and function, body systems, and biochemistry. They will also learn basic concepts of genetics and evolution. Students will explore the relationship of human populations and the ecosystem. Students will complete laboratory exercise coordinated with course content.

Prerequisite:none

Course ID: G231
Credits: 4


This course provides students with the skills to achieve mastery of algebraic terminology and applications including, but not limited to, real number operations, variables, polynomials, integer exponents, graphs, factoring, quadratic equations, and word problems.

Prerequisite:Passing grade in Foundation coursework or placement determined by Rasmussen College entrance placement exam score

Course ID: G233
Credits: 4


Examines astronomical phenomena and concepts, including the solar system, stars and galaxies, planetary motions, atoms and radiation, and the origin and evolution of the universe.

Prerequisite:none

Course ID: G239
Credits: 4


Examines basic geologic principles from a physical or historical perspective. Includes such topics as the formation of rocks and minerals; internal and external processes modifying the earth's surface and phenomena; and the evolutionary history of the earth, including its life forms, oceans and atmosphere.

Prerequisite:none

Course ID: G245
Credits: 4

Foundation Courses

  • Reading and Writing Strategies
  • Practical Math

This course develops students' reading and writing skills in preparation for college-level coursework. Through review of grammar, punctuation, and the writing process, students will enhance their ability to compose sentences, paragraphs, and short essays. The study of active reading strategies will provide students with the tools necessary for comprehending collegiate level texts.

Prerequisite:Placement determined by Rasmussen College entrance placement exam score

Course ID: B080
Credits: 4


Mathematics is learned through communication. In this course, students will learn to communicate how problems are solved and how solving problems can be applied in real-world settings. Students will have opportunities to learn multiple problem solving strategies. This course also provides practice and skill problems.

Course ID: B087
Credits: 4

Total Diploma Credits

General Education Credits: 12

Major and Core Credits: 57

Total Diploma Credits: 69*

* Credit totals do not include Foundation Courses. Students must either demonstrate mastery of the subject matter in Foundation Courses through a Rasmussen College entrance placement exam or by successful completion of Foundation Courses.

** Track I includes externship courses for residential students, which are not available to students in all states. Track II includes Teacher Reflection courses for online students. Please see the Early Childhood Education program page at rasmussen.edu or speak to a Program Manager for more details.

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