Child Development SpecialistSussex County Community College offers both an AAS and a certificate option under the title of Child Development Specialist. Below is the description of the AAS degree description. Please see "Career Options" for more information about the certificate program. The Associate of Applied Science degree program in Early Childhood Education (Child Development Specialist) prepares students to be education assistants and teacher aides in schools, child care centers and similar settings. Students in the program will have successfully completed 300 hours of supervised field experience in which they worked effectively with children and their families, other staff and administration. Upon completion of this program, graduates will be able to: ■ Use theories and knowledge of growth and development to understand the multiple influences that promote child development and learning. ■ Build relationships with families and the community to create a respectful and reciprocal community of learning to support children and families. ■ Support young children through the use of observation, documentation, and assessment techniques and strategies. ■ Create, implement and evaluate effective early childhood curricula while implementing the philosophy of developmentally appropriate practices. ■ Exhibit characteristics of an early childhood professional by following the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) ethical guidelines, participating in professional organizations and professional development, and advocating for children and families. Program Goals are based on NAEYC Associate Degree Program Standards.
Career OptionsThe Child Development Specialist certificate program prepares students for employment in child care centers and preschools as group teachers and assistant teachers working under the supervision of head teachers. With the AAS degree, recipients will be able to pursue jobs as education assistants and teacher aides in schools and child care centers. Child development specialist may find themselves working with students or families of students who are disabled or special needs. These specialists may work on developing the students’ motor, cognitive, literary, or social skills.