Childhood Education and Family Studies, Associate of Science

The Associate of Science Childhood Education and Family Studies degree (AS CE&FS) meets all of the requirements for an Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT) degree while giving a strong foundation in childhood education and family studies - allowing students to earn a degree that will meet employment requirements for many early childhood programs, and provide an opportunity for a seamless transfer into a bachelor's degree program.

All courses specific to childhood education and family studies degrees and certificates are offered online through Southwestern’s online platform. Transfer courses that meet Southwestern's course outcomes are readily accepted into the program.

Southwestern's AS CE&FS degree is articulated with Eastern Oregon University's online bachelor's degree with a focus on Early Childhood Education and Southern Oregon University's Early Childhood Development program.  This degree can also lead to a bachelor's degree in human development, early childhood education or social science with a certificate in early childhood education at Portland State University (PSU) Distance Education programs. Students may petition for adjustments in the Southwestern AS degree if course requirements are met for the first two years of any regionally accredited four-year institution offering a degree in education, early childhood education, family studies, human or child development.

For further program information, contact the Childhood Education faculty at

Southwestern's Childhood Education and Family Studies (CE&FS) program goals are to:

  • Empower its graduates by enabling them to acquire the knowledge and skills that will allow them to excel in their careers or further educational goals.
  • Support teachers’ professional growth and development.
  • Provide models for teacher candidates to develop effective knowledge, skills and attitudes.

Graduates of the Childhood Education and Family Studies (CE&FS) program will possess broad general education and content area knowledge, remain effective and reflective practitioners and problem solvers, apply innovative learning technologies, and participate in opportunities for professional growth.

Entry Requirements

Students are required to complete the College's placement process to determine skill level and readiness in math and writing. As part of their training program, students must begin with the courses within their skill level as determined by the placement process.

Students participating in all education practicums must meet measles immunization requirements. If you choose not to vaccinate for measles due to personal, religious, or philosophical reasons, you may claim a nonmedical or medical exemption. Visit and look under Program and Services for more information on how to get your immunization records or claim an exemption. Note that each practicum site may have separate immunization requirements.

Graduation Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 98 credit hours with a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or better. All courses must be completed with a grade of ‘C’ or better. Twenty-four (24) credits must be completed at Southwestern before the degree is awarded.

Courses that are developmental in nature (designed to prepare students for college transfer courses) are not applicable to this degree.

Complete the graduation application process one term prior to the term of completion (e.g., spring term graduates must apply during winter term).

Credit for Prior Learning

Credit for prior learning options are available for students with a Preschool Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, an Infant Toddler Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, a Step Seven on the Oregon Registry.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this degree, students will have knowledge and skills in the following areas:

  • Observe, Document, and Assess to Support Young Children and Families
  • Use Developmentally Effective Approaches
  • Promote Child Development and Learning
  • Build Family and Community Relationships

Math and writing placement are unique to each student and are determined during the admissions and intake advising process.  Additional math or writing courses may be required prior to taking the math or writing program requirements in this degree. 

Program Guide

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
ECE150 Introduction and Observation in ECE 4
ECE170 Health and Safety Early Childhood 1 3
HDFS225 Prenatal Infant and Toddler Development 3
MTH105Z Math in Society 4 4
WR121Z Composition I 4
ECE163 Environments and Guidance in ECE 2 3
ECE163B Practicum I ECE 2 2
ECE151 Guidance and Classroom Management 3
HDFS247 Child Development 0-8 3
WR122Z Composition II 4
Science/Mathematics/Computer Science 3 4
COMM218Z Interpersonal Communication 4
ECE209 Theory and Practice I Pre-K 2 3
ECE209B Practicum II Pre-K 2 2
ECE154 Children's Language and Lit Dev 3
HDFS229 Child Development PreK - Adolescent 3
Second Year
ECE102 Theory and Practice II Pre-K 2 3
ECE102B Practicum III Pre-K 2 2
ECE240 Lesson and Curriculum Planning 3
ED169 Overview of Student Special Needs 3
Science/Mathematics/Computer Science 3 4
ED258 Multicultural Education 3
HDFS140 Contemporary American Families 3
Arts and Letters 5 3
Arts and Letters 5 3
Science/Mathematics/Computer Science 3 4
ED134 Children Who are Dual Lang Learners 2
PE231 Wellness for Life 6 3
HDFS222 Understanding Families: Supporting Diversity Disability and Risk 3
Science/Mathematics/Computer Science 3 4
Arts and Letters 5 3
 Total Credits98

Online CPR Certificates are not recognized by the State of Oregon. It is recommended you complete an in-person training.


ECE163, ECE209 and ECE102 must be taken in sequence with their co-requisite practicum courses. Exception granted with instructor approval.


AAOT Science/Math/Computer Science designated courses will satisfy this requirement. GS104, GS105, GS106,GS107, or GS108 are recommended.


A higher math may be substituted. Students considering the pursuit of K-12 teaching will be required to take MTH211, MTH212 and MTH213.


AAOT Arts & Letters designated courses will satisfy this requirement. Students with 1st year Foreign Language or ASL are recommended to take Second Year Foreign Language or ASL. ART131, ENG109, or HUM206 also recommended.


HE250 may be substituted for PE231.