SCC Rolls Out New Early Childhood Education Degree


This fall, SCC will offer an Early Childhood Education Associate of Applied Science Degree. Students who successfully complete the program will be prepared to work in licensed child care centers or pre-school settings. It will be offered at the West Burlington and Keokuk campuses.

SCC Dean of Career and Technical Education, Dr. Ashlee Spannagel, says this program is unique to the state of Iowa. SCC faculty and administration worked with dozens of stakeholders including local public school officials, Great Prairie AEA, the Iowa Department of Education, child care providers, and economic developers.

“Many of Iowans lack access to quality childcare, and three out of four kids under the age of nine have parents who work full-time, explains Spannagel. “It’s not just a child development or education issue. It has economic impacts for working families and local businesses.”

The program is designed to provide a pipeline of skilled professionals to find employment in child care centers and related service providers. It also prepares students for careers in education to replace the increasing number of teachers who retiring out of area schools.

Students will be able to choose one of two pathways: Child Care Management or Educator Licensure/Transfer.

The Child Care Management Pathway will be two years in length; include multiple, stackable credentials including three certificates, one diploma, a two-year degree, and a national- and industry-recognized credential. Students who complete this pathway will have the skills necessary to serve in an entry-level or management capacity at a child care facility or own a child care facility.

The stackable credentials provide added flexibility.

“Since students earn credentials along the way, they become qualified for more jobs at each step and increase their employability,” continues Spannagel.

The Educator Licensure/Transfer Pathway will provide students with the fundamental knowledge and skills to works with students within an early childhood setting, but students will also be prepared to transfer to complete a bachelor’s degree in education and ultimately obtain a license through the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners.


Through a special articulation agreement, graduates will be admitted into Iowa Wesleyan’s Elementary Education Teacher Education Program enabling students to complete a licensure program locally in two years.

“We worked hard to make sure this program would be versatile because it’s so critical our region,” Spannagel says. “Students can prepare for careers in child care and possibly even open their own businesses. Or they can get a good start of becoming a teacher before having to transfer to complete their degree.”

For more information about the program, visit or call (319) 208-5000.