Information for Students who Have Applied or Been Admitted into the Early Childhood Education Program

Early Childhood Education student handbook (PDF)

Find Your Faculty Advisor

Students at Central Piedmont have a faculty advisor for each program of study offered. Find your faculty advisor based on your last name:

  • Kristen Monteith: last names A–B
  • Beth Dawkins: last names C–D
  • Lisa Godwin: last names E–G
  • Susan Butler-Staub: last names H–M
  • Christine Sargeant: last names N–R
  • Kelli A. Fitzgibbons: last names S–Z

Early Childhood Education Credentials

Our program prepares you to earn professional credentials from the NC Division of Child Development and Early Education to allow you to become employed in certain positions in a child care center. While our coursework will prepare you to earn credentials, credentials are awarded by the NC Division of Child Development and Early Education, not by Central Piedmont.


  • 1. For Lead Teachers – The North Carolina Early Childhood Credential (NCECC)

    Students must successfully complete EDU 119 (four semester credit hours) with a grade of C or better in to earn the NCECC, sometimes called “Credentials” or “Credentials 1 and 2." The NCECC is required to be a teacher in a child care center.

  • 2. For Administrators – The North Carolina Early Childhood Administration Credential (NCECAC)

    Students must successfully complete two required components: administration and additional early childhood/child development coursework. All administrative coursework must be completed with a grade of C or better. Level I is the minimum level required by law for all child care administrators. Levels II and III are voluntary.

    • Level I: Six semester credit hours of administration coursework (two courses) plus seven semester credit hours of early childhood education coursework
    • Level II: Six semester credit hours of administration coursework (two courses) plus an associate in early childhood education OR an associate degree in any field plus 12 semester credit hours in early childhood education
    • Level III: Six semester credit hours of administration coursework (two courses) plus a bachelor's degree in early childhood education/child development OR a bachelor's degree in any field plus 18 semester credit hours in early childhood education
  • 3. For Teachers of School-Age Children - The North Carolina School-Age Child Care Credential (NCSACCC)

    Students must successfully complete EDU 145 and EDU 235 OR EDU 145 and EDU 263 with a grade of C or better to earn the NCECAC.

Early Childhood Education Program Practicum (Formerly Co-op)

  • Practicum Requirements and Eligibility

    The Early Childhood Education program practicum is designed to introduce you to early childhood classroom settings and to prepare you for classroom teaching. You are placed in high-quality early childhood environments, which must be three-star or higher rated or NAEYC accredited. You will work under the supervision of experienced mentor teachers and faculty.  

    The associate in early childhood education requires one practicum course:

    • EDU 284 - Early Childhood Capstone Practicum

    EDU 284 requires that you be placed in a childcare setting for nine hours per week (144 hours per semester). In addition, you will be required to participate in a weekly or bi-weekly seminar.

    Practicum enrollment information will be announced well in advance of the college registration period, beginning in October for the spring semester and in March for the fall semester. An announcement will be placed on Brightspace and in the early childhood education area on Harris Campus. Faculty advisors will also send an information email to current program students.

    Eligibility for EDU 284: Capstone Practicum

    • official enrollment in the associate in early childhood education program
    • minimum 2.5 GPA in early childhood and a minimum 2.0 GPA overall (must maintain GPA)
    • successful completion of EDU 184
    • completion of all degree-required EDU courses (excluding EDU 271 - Educational Technology, which may be taken concurrently with the practicum course)
    • verified eligibility by faculty advisor
    • DCDEE qualifying letter, TB test, and health assessment form (completed by the student)

    Please note that eligibility for EDU 284 does not guarantee a seat, as spaces are limited.

  • How to Register for Practicum

    1. confirm your eligibility
    2. attend information session (you will receive an email from the program about attending one of our scheduled practicum information sessions)
    3. complete a practicum application
    4. provide required documents:
      1. DCDEE qualifying letter
      2. TB test
      3. health assessment form
    5. register for EDU 284 (you will receive an email from the program notifying you in which practicum section you should register)
  • Practicum FAQs

    1. What is early childhood education practicum?

      1. In practicum, you will spend a full semester demonstrating your ability to apply concepts learned in other early childhood courses in actual settings with young children under the supervision of a mentor teacher (the classroom teacher) and a faculty instructor.
    2. How many practicum courses must I have?

      1. Students in the associate in applied science degree program are required to complete EDU 284.
    3. How is practicum different from other early childhood courses?

      1. The practicum experience is designed to provide you with an opportunity to apply what you have learned in the program. Practicum I has three lab hours and Practicum II has nine lab hours per week in assigned childcare centers. The instructor will visit the practicum site(s) to observe and evaluate your interactions with children per the course competencies. 
    4. What happens in the class hour of practicum?

      1. The class meets for two hours every other week to provide students with an opportunity to discuss their practicum experience. You may also be required to complete various practicum related assignments. 
    5. How are practicum placement sites chosen?

      1. The early childhood practicum coordinator, in cooperation with the early childhood faculty, selects various sites throughout the Charlotte region to serve as “placed sites.” To be considered, a site must have a minimum three-star rating and/or NAEYC accreditation and teachers with, at minimum, associate in applied science degrees in early childhood who can serve as mentor teachers. Every effort is made to locate high-quality settings that are consistent with our program’s philosophy. 
    6. Can I complete practicum at my own center?

      1. Maybe. Employment situations are considered during the practicum placement process. In order to complete your practicum hours at your work site, the center must have a three-star rating or higher to be considered. Also, if you are a director of a childcare facility, you will be placed at a different location.
    7. Do I get paid for practicum?

      1. You are not paid for your participation in practicum-placed sites. Practicum experiences are a required aspect of the associate in applied science degree program and of the Early Childhood Associate Program Specialization Certificate. Four semester credits are awarded upon successful completion of practicum.
    8. How will I be evaluated?

      1. Practicum grades are determined on the basis of how well you achieve the competencies of the course. Practicum grades are determined and assigned by the faculty instructor. 
    9. Once I’ve registered for practicum, how do I prepare for the experience?

      1. Once the practicum coordinator has assigned/approved your practicum site(s), you should contact your mentor teacher to introduce yourself. An initial pre-practicum visit to the placed site is recommended. You are required to make your first official practicum visits during the first week of the semester.
  • Practicum Forms and Documents