Early Childhood Education Diploma

Our Early Childhood Education Diploma can help you lay the foundation for a career as an educator working with young children in as little as 15 months. Throughout your Diploma curriculum, you will gain the knowledge and skills needed to create a positive and thriving learning environment for your students.

Our expedited and foundational Diploma curriculum is designed to give you the skills you need to help you successfully start your career as an educator in a short amount of time.

View courses for our Early Childhood Education Diploma. Download the course catalog for more information.

  • Courses

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


Early Childhood Education Diploma Course List

Child Development Specialization (Students will complete these additional courses for this diploma specialization)

  • Language and Literacy Acquisition
  • Parent Education and Support
  • Infant and Toddler Development
  • The Exceptional Child

Students will examine how infant, toddler, preschool, and school-aged English Language Learners acquire language and literacy. They will be exposed to early childhood programs that support children's home languages, and explore how to create an environment that sustains English Language Learners.

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

Course ID: EEC2213
Credits: 4


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: EEC2329
Credits: 4


This course will provide the foundation for responsive, relationship-based curriculum for infants and toddlers in group care. This course will introduce the philosophy and theory behind primary care, continuity of care, and respectful care as it relates to brain and attachment research. Explores ways of creating environments for infant/toddler group care which foster optimum social/emotional, physical, and cognitive development.

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

Course ID: EEC2500
Credits: 4


This course is designed to explore the benefits of inclusion in the early childhood setting. Students will develop an understanding of exceptional development. Students will identify the parties relevant to exceptional development and their roles as resources in support of the child and their families.

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

Course ID: EEX2010
Credits: 4

Child with Special Needs Specialization (Students will complete these additional courses for this diploma specialization)

  • Introduction to English Language Learners
  • Curriculum and Instruction for Children with Special Needs
  • The Inclusive Classroom
  • Advocating for Children with Special Needs

Students will explore effective ways to adapt English language instruction to teach learners in our increasingly diverse population of young children and families. They will examine a range of communication styles, learning styles, and behaviors that affect English language teaching and learning. They will analyze the development of English language skills in all domains through social and cultural lenses.

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

Course ID: EEC2270
Credits: 4


Students will explore how to adapt developmentally appropriate curriculum to support the development of children with special needs. They will learn strategies for effective partnering with other professionals and parents to ensure the achievement of developmental goals.

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

Course ID: EEC2271
Credits: 4


Students will learn strategies for promoting and supporting an inclusive classroom. They will analyze environmental restrictions and explore how to support young children with special needs in the early childhood setting.

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

Course ID: EEC2272
Credits: 4


Students will explore current trends, resources and advocacy on behalf of young children with special needs. They will examine their role in supporting and advocating for young children with special needs and their families.

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

Course ID: EEC2403
Credits: 4

Major and Core Courses

Lower Division

  • Early Childhood Education Curriculum and Instruction
  • Foundations of Child Development
  • Health, Safety, and Nutrition/CDA Application
  • Guiding Children's Behavior
  • Dynamics of the Family
  • Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood Education
  • Summative Project for Early Childhood Education

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: EEC 1202
Credits: 4


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: EEC 1700
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 explore the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential standards and application requirements and, if eligible, may apply for the CDA Credential at the completion of this course.

Prerequisite:Foundations of Child Development

Course ID: EEC 1735
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: EEC 2225
Credits: 4


This course will focus on the dynamics of the family and the family's influence on the growth and development of children. The history of family systems, child rearing, and parenting styles will be discussed. The course will explore issues that families of today face.

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

Course ID: EEC 2401
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: EEC 2613
Credits: 4


The course will include student reflection upon cumulative learning from the early childhood education program. Students will critically analyze, reflect and problem solve experiences in the field of early childhood. Students will identify specialization-specific knowledge to inform best practices. Students will compile research and select the best application(s) to improve care and education for young children.

Prerequisite: None

Course ID: EEC2935
Credits: 2

Choose either Track I** or Track II

Track 1: Field Experience** (Only available to residents of FL, MN, ND, WI)

  • Field Experience I : Knowledge
  • Field Experience II: Planning
  • Field Experience III: Reflection

Under a field experience, the student will observe and implement developmentally appropriate practices while interacting with children and adults.

Prerequisite:None

Course ID: EEC 1960
Credits: 4


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

Prerequisite:Field Experience I : Knowledge

Course ID: EEC 1961
Credits: 4


Students will complete the required field experience in an early childhood setting. the student will implement developmentally appropriate practices while interacting with children and adults, demonstrating proficiency and continued growth via reflection and application.

Prerequisite: Field Experience II: Planning

Course ID: EEC 1962
Credits: 4

Track 2: Exploration (Available to those who are not eligible for Track I)

  • Early Childhood Education Exploration I: Knowledge
  • Early Childhood Education Exploration II: Planning
  • Early Childhood Education Exploration III: Reflection

This course is an introduction to early childhood education as a profession and practice. Students will explore developmentally appropriate practices, ethics and leadership in child care settings.

Prerequisite:None

Course ID: EEC 1970
Credits: 4


Students will continue to focus on early childhood education as a profession and practice. Students will begin to explore developmentally appropriate practices with curriculum planning and implementation.

Prerequisite:Early Childhood Education Exploration I: Knowledge

Course ID: EEC 1971
Credits: 4


Student will continue to focus on early childhood education as a profession and practice. Students will continue to explore developmentally appropriate practices with curriculum planning and implementation.

Prerequisite:Early Childhood Education Exploration II: Planning

Course ID: EEC 1972
Credits: 4

General Education Courses

Lower Division

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 learn practice effective writing and apply course concepts.

Prerequisites:Passing grade in Developmental Education coursework or placement determined by Rasmussen College entrance placement exam score

Course ID: ENC 1101
Credits: 4

Humanities (Select 1 Course)

Math/Natural Sciences (Select 1 Course)

Social Sciences (Required Course)

  • Introduction to Sociology

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: SYG 1000
Credits: 4

Total Diploma Credits

General Education Credits: 16

Major and Core Credits: 54

TOTAL DIPLOMA CREDITS: 70*

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

**Track I includes Field Experience courses for residential students which are not available to students in all states. Track II includes Exploration courses for students not eligible for Track I. Please see the Early Childhood Education program page at rasmussen.edu or speak to a program manager for more details.

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