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Essential Functions

Essential Functions

Oakton’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) Program prepares students for a range of teaching positions at the early childhood level, from infancy through preschool. Whether pursuing an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree, one of several certificates, or a state-recognized credential, all ECE students must:

  1. Achieve a minimum grade of C in all ECE courses; and
  2. Successfully complete field experiences in an early childhood education setting. ECE students pursuing an Associate in Applied Science degree must also successfully complete two semesters of practicum experiences – one in an Oakton ECE Center classroom and one in an approved early  childhood center in the community. To apply for a state credential, ECE students must complete corresponding certificates or the A.A.S. degree.

All ECE students are expected to satisfactorily perform the following essential functions in field and/or practicum settings:

Provide care for (i.e. diapering, dressing, feeding, soothing, interacting) and supervision of children. The provision of care and supervision involves the following physical skills:

  • To work for prolonged periods at various heights including standing, sitting, bending, kneeling, and crawling heights; to easily lift/move young children; to quickly reach an endangered or injured child.
  • Ability to observe children and consistently keep track of activity in the physical environment.
  • Ability to monitor activity, interactions, and environmental sounds.

Plan, direct and conduct programming for children which meets their developmental needs. Planning, directing, and conducting such programming involves the following cognitive skills:

  • Application of developmental theory and curriculum to field/practicum interactions, activities, planning, and assessment.
  • Use of organizational and time management skills to carry out multiple tasks in the field/practicum setting.
  • Effective written and oral communication with children, families, co-workers, and program visitors.

Demonstrate the skill and competence necessary to contribute to each child's physical,
intellectual, personal, emotional, and social development. Factors contributing to the attainment of this standard include:

  • Emotional maturity when working with children;
  • Cooperation with the purposes and services of the program;
  • Respect for children and adults;
  • Flexibility, understanding and patience;
  • Physical and mental health that do not interfere with child care responsibilities;
  • Good personal hygiene;
  • Frequent interaction with children;
  • Listening skills, availability and responsiveness to children;
  • Sensitivity to children's socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds, and individual needs and capabilities;
  • Use of positive discipline and guidance techniques; and
  • Ability to provide an environment in which children can feel comfortable, relaxed, happy and involved in play, recreation and other activities.

Maintain a healthy and safe environment for children consistent with state licensing rules.

Understand responsibilities as a mandated reporter of suspected child abuse and/or neglect.

Alumni Profile

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Paul Johnson developed a passion for psychology at Oakton. Now he wears two hats - Professor of student development and Professor of psychology.



January 12
Faculty return for spring 2015 semester.

January 16
Winterim classes end.

January 19
Martin Luther King holiday, College closed.

January 20
Spring 2015 semester classes begin.

January 21
Winterim faculty grading due.

January 26
Last day to submit proof of residency, business service agreements and chargebacks/joint agreements.

February 15
Last day to withdraw from 16-week courses and have course dropped from record.

February 16
Presidents Day holiday, College closed.

February 17
Last day to change to audit for 16-week courses.

March 1
Incomplete (I) grades from fall 2014 semester for which faculty have not submitted final grades will become an "F" after this date.

Full Academic Calendar