Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

ECED 305  Introduction to Infant/Child Mental Health--5 credits
An introduction to the field of infant mental health; the study of how a young child’s overall development is impacted by his social-emotional development and early relationships. Emphasis will be on infant mental health principles and how they provide a foundation for work with infants, toddlers, and families across all settings and disciplines. Contributing factors to healthy emotional development will be introduced including brain development, temperament, and attachment as well as risk factors such as poverty and trauma. Career options in the field will also be discussed.

ECED 310 Building Networks with Families and Community--3 credits
A comprehensive overview of community agencies and professionals who work with and support early learning programs and families. Students will learn and practice communication skills and strategies that enable them to connect with and encourage parents and other family members to be involved in their child’s growth and education. Special emphasis will be placed on intercultural communication.

ECED 315   Foundations of Infant/Toddler Development—5 credits
This course provides an overview of knowledge and research in the area of infant/toddler development. All domains of development will be studied, with a special focus on the development of self-reliance and the importance of responsive, respectful interactions. Students will explore research related to how infants “make meaning” and how this learning can be supported. 

ECED 340  Equity and Social Justice in Early Care & Education—3 credits
Equity and Social Justice examines attitudes and practices that are explicitly and/or subtly biased on the basis of race, gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, age, culture, disability, family/lifestyle, sexual identity and gender orientation. Students will explore historical and current issues of how systemic power, privilege, and oppression impact early childhood education systems and the individuals within those systems.

ECED 350  Theories, Relationships, and Attachment—3 credits
Theories related to attachment and relationships will be studied and analyzed, providing a solid foundation for informed caregiving. Students will study attachment theorists, their ideas, and their continuing impact on early learning.  They will also examine how early relationships have a significant impact on the social emotional development of the young child, and how brain development is influenced by these early relationships.  

ECED 370 Curriculum and Environmental Design that Supports Social/Emotional Learning (SEL) – 5 credits
A study of the importance of the environment as the basis for growth and development for children from birth to three.  Provides valuable insights into how to design environments, plan curriculum, assess learning, and work with families.  A variety of environments and curriculum will be evaluated regarding space, aesthetics, furnishings, manipulative materials, age groupings, human interactions, adult-child ratios and safety. Attention is given to the preparation of environments that will facilitate the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of infants and toddlers. 

ECED 405 Trauma-Exposed and Vulnerable Families and Children—5 credits
Trauma and loss profoundly change children and have a powerful impact on relationships, family health, and well-being. Early childhood professionals and organizations serving families and young children must move from reacting to trauma to becoming trauma-informed. In this course we will examine the concept of trauma-informed care: an understanding of how trauma changes the brain and affects relationships, self-regulation, sensory processing, learning, and behavior. Students will learn to recognize the behavioral signs of trauma, and how to respond in ways that maintain respect and bring healing for young children and families.

ECED 410 Foundations of Challenging Behavior: Emotional Dysregulation—3 credits
This course examines the fundamental concepts and techniques used in identifying and addressing challenging behaviors in young children.  Students will examine the definition of supportive emotional and social behavior by identifying healthy emotions and social skills that promote stability in children’s behavior. Research will be analyzed on how aspects of child development and early learning potentially affect children’s behavior, including the relationship between trauma, brain development, and emotional dysregulation. Emphasis will be placed on nurturing respectful relationships in an inclusive social climate between teachers and young children as the essential basis for prevention and intervention.

 ECED 415 Early Identification and Intervention: Children with Special Needs—5 credits
This course will use a biopsychosocial framework to examine programs of assessment and intervention for children with developmental delays and mental health issues. Three broad categories of disorders will be introduced and discussed: interactive disorders, regulatory-sensory processing disorders and neurodevelopmental disorders. Students will study the history and legal precedence for providing early intervention (EI) and early childhood special education (ECSE) services, and will learn practical and effective techniques for working with this population.

ECED 420 Assessment Tools and Documentation—3 credits
Students will learn why observation, assessment, and documentation are essential elements of reflective practice. They will study and analyze various assessment tools used to document a child’s development and early learning experiences. Observations of children while using these tools will provide students the skills necessary for assessing the needs of each child, taking into account individual and cultural differences.

ECED 425   Leadership and Advocacy in Early Childhood Education—3 credits
This course provides an examination of effective leadership and advocacy in Early Childhood Education.  Attention will be devoted to ethical guidelines, professional standards, organizational change, laws, agency policies, regulations, and systems expertise.   Additionally, students will examine leadership models and theories and apply effective leadership skills and professional behaviors in the classroom and their workplace. 

ECED 301, 302, 303 Reflective Observation with Field Experience—6 credits
Students will work a minimum of 20 hours per week with children and families in an early childhood setting. Through regular group meetings, students will have the opportunity to engage in reflective practice, with faculty facilitation, around their field experience. Students will be encouraged to carefully consider the qualities and characteristics of their actions and ideas. This collaborative, relational approach provides an opportunity for relationship-based support and guidance that help students foster meaningful and productive connections.

ECED 401, 402   Reflective Consultation with Field Experience—4 credits
Through regular group meetings, students will have the opportunity to engage in reflective consultation with faculty facilitation around their field experience. Students will go beyond just reflecting on simple application and knowledge, and will begin to integrate ideas and concepts into their work.

ECED 445   Reflective Seminar—2 credits
Through small-group seminars and individual meetings with core faculty, students will reflect on their coursework and the experiences they have had in the Infant/ Child Mental Health BAS Degree, and how this program has impacted their life, both personally and professionally.

ECED 450 Capstone Project—3 credits
The final capstone course provides students an opportunity to synthesize and demonstrate their learning across the program, bringing together research, theory and application.  Students will demonstrate overall degree competencies and show how research informs their professional work in the field of early learning.  Students, in consultation with their program advisor will create a final culminating project to be presented to classmates and program faculty.



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