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Early Childhood Development





P&HCC is a comprehensive community college committed to enriching the quality of life in its service region through academic excellence, student success, workforce development, community engagement, and lifelong learning.  In addition to living that mission, P&HCC’s Early Childhood Program strives to grow high-quality educators with the support of faculty, staff, and administration within the college as well as with strong community partners.  


This mission clearly links to a detailed conceptual framework centered on the following:

  1. Partnerships between early childhood faculty and departments across the college who provide support to students from entry to completion.
  2. Partnerships with community stakeholders to support fieldwork placements in diverse and inclusive settings, training opportunities, and job placement.
  3. Continuously updated course content that aligns with local, state, and federal standards and with the latest research-based practices. 

Each piece is crucial to sustaining a cohesive, well-run program that students can easily access, move through, and gain the knowledge and skills needed to become effective early childhood educators.

The tree diagram below provides a visual of this conceptual framework.  The roots and soil represent departments and resources that form the foundation for students at the entry point of their college journey, throughout their coursework, and through their next steps after graduation.  The treetops represent the key values described in detail here that are nurtured through each course taught in P&HCC’s Early Childhood Program. 

Child Development – Students learn the importance of understanding typical child development, cognitive behaviors, and factors that may impact learning and development.  By studying theorists, such as Piaget, Vygotsky, Bronfenbrenner, and Maslow, students gain a deep understanding of what to expect at different stages of development.  This knowledge enables students to design appropriate learning environments, effective assessments, lesson plans, and experiences to meet children where they are in all areas of development.

Data-Driven Instruction – Responsible assessment is a crucial piece of effective, developmentally appropriate instruction.  Students encounter a variety of assessment tools that are adaptive across ages, areas of developments, and diverse needs of children.  Students practice assessing children and their families and use the data to guide instructional decisions, to create an inclusive learning environment, and to build positive relationships.  With each application opportunity in the field, students implement the entire data-driven instruction cycle, involving continuous assessment, analysis, reflection, and planning.

Meaningful, Appropriately Challenging Curriculum – Students incorporate their knowledge of child development and data-driven instruction to create meaningful, appropriately challenging curriculum.  Lesson plans reflect the current Virginia learning standards, which serve as a minimum level of knowledge children should master within specified age ranges.  Students learn to utilize differentiated instruction and to adapt their lesson’s content, materials, activities, and/or assessments to meet the varied needs of children and to incorporate the children’s interests, background knowledge, and diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

Positive, Reciprocal Relationships with Children, Families, and Communities – Building positive, reciprocal relationships is crucial to accomplishing anything in an early learning environment.  The educator must spend time getting to know the children, families, and community in order to provide positive interactions, effective instruction, and successful family and community engagement.  Students learn the importance of this process, the strategies to communicate and engage these groups, and the ways to evaluate and make improvements.

Professionalism and Ethics – P&HCC’s Early Childhood Proga emphasizes the importance of early childhood educators who provide an effective education in all areas of academic, social, and physical development when children’s brains are developing at a rapid pace.  Students learn about this crucial role and study what professional and ethical behavior looks like in the field when working with diverse children, colleagues, families, and communities.  Students then apply what they have learned when completing fieldwork requirements throughout the degree.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – Full-time and adjunct faculty continuously strive to create a shared vision of student expectations throughout the degree and to provide a cohesive experience of diversity, equity, and inclusion across courses.  One key topic threaded throughout each course highlights one or more areas of diversity among children, families, and colleagues.  Students learn strategies for self-reflection, appreciation of differences as they evaluate their learning environment, assessment practices, adult-child interactions, and communication and relationship building skills.  They also learn how to build equitable, inclusive learning opportunities for all children.



Student Success Data

Program Completers

Academic Year

Number of program completers

% of program completers who were attending full-time (at the time of completion)

% of program completers who were attending part-time (at the time of completion)



4/10 (40%)

6/10 (60%)



5/6 (83.3%)

1/6 (16.6%)



8/13 (61.5%)

5/13 (38.4%)

Program Completion Rate

Academic year in which a Fall cohort of full-time candidates enrolled in the program (select three sequential years)

Percentage of those candidates who completed the program within 150% of the published timeframe

Percentage of those candidates who completed the program within 100%, 200% (twice) or 300% (three times) of the published timeframe (Please circle, underline or bold the indicator above on which the program will report.)

2016-2017 (FA 16)

22/34 (64.7%)

24/34 (70.5%)

2017-2018 (FA 17)

16/21 (76.1%)

16/21 (76.1%)

2018-2019 (FA 18)

8/15 (53.3%)

8/15 (53.3%)

Institutional Selected Data

Academic Year

% of Part-Time Candidates Enrolled in the Program (% of Total Enrollment)

Retention Rate among Part-Time Candidates

% of Full-Time Candidates Enrolled in the Program (% of Total Enrollment)

Retention Rate among Full-Time Candidates

2018-2019 (FA18)

45/94 (47.8%)

32/45 (71.1%)

49/94 (52.1%)

9/49 (18.36%)

2019-2020 (FA19)

65/112 (58.0%)

25/65 (38.4%)

47/112 (41.9%)

30/47 (63.8%)

2020-2021 (FA20)

39/77 (50.6%)

14/39 (35.8%)

38/77 (49.3%)

19/38 (50.0%)

 Program Links

Early Childhood Development AAS Catalog Page

P&HCC Student Achievement Data

ECE Program Data and Strategic Goals

ECE Faculty Contact


Patrick & Henry Community College | 645 Patriot Avenue Martinsville, Virginia 24112 | Phone: 276.638.8777
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