May 31, 2020  
2015-2016 Catalog 
2015-2016 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Child Development, A.A.A.S.

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Academic Program Code:  180

Child Development is a field of study that prepares professionals to provide care and education for children from birth through age eight. Professionals in this field provide interactions and learning experiences that promote the young child’s intellectual, social, emotional, and physical growth and development. This program prepares students to teach in and direct child care centers, Head Start programs, and part-day preschools; and to serve as Pre-K to 3rd grade teacher aides in public schools. Students are involved in a variety of hands-on lab experiences with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school-age and special needs children at the GRCC Lab Preschool and other sites in the community.

General Education Courses

English Composition

Select two of the following courses.

Natural Sciences & Mathematics

Total Credit Hours


Essential Abilities/Technical Standards

The Grand Rapids Community College Child Development & Education faculty has specified essential abilities and technical standards critical to the success of students in GRCC’s Child Development & Education program. Students must demonstrate these essential abilities to succeed in their program of study. Qualified applicants are expected to meet all admission criteria and matriculating students are expected to meet all progression criteria, as well as these essential abilities and technical standards with or without reasonable accommodations.

1.      Essential judgment skills to include:

Ability to identify, assess, and comprehend child care, child safety, and classroom teaching situations for the purpose of problem solving with regard to child care, child safety and teaching in a classroom and coming to appropriate conclusions and/or course of actions. These skills include:

o    Maintaining confidentiality

o    Problem solving

o    Reasoning

o    Child Abuse and Neglect Mandated Reporter Training.

2.      Essential physical/neurological functions to include:

  • Ability to use the senses of seeing, hearing, touch, and smell to make correct judgments regarding the health, safety, and learning by young children and their families and meet physical expectations to perform required interventions for the purpose of demonstrating competence to safely engage in the practice of early childhood care and education.

  • Behaviors that demonstrate essential neurological and physical functions include, but are not limited to:

o    Observation

o    Listening

o    Understanding relationships

o    Writing

o    Psychomotor abilities consistent with course and program expectations.

·        Other physical demands include:

o   Consistent attendance

o   Bending at the waist

o   Crouching

o   Kneeling

o   Cleaning

o   Balancing

o   Lifting and carrying up to 50 pounds

o   Reaching

o   Twisting

o   Sitting

o   Standing

o   Talking

o   Hearing

o   Handling

o   Fingering

o   Mobility

o   Seeing

3.      Essential communication skills to include:

  • Ability to communicate effectively with fellow students, faculty, parents, children, and all members of the early childhood care and education field.

  • Skills include verbal, written, and nonverbal abilities as well as information technology skills consistent with effective communication.

4.      Essential emotional coping skills:

  • Ability to demonstrate the mental health necessary to safely engage in the practice of early childhood care and education as determined by NAEYC standards of practice.

  • Ability to handle multiple concurrent tasks with constant interruptions.

5.      Essential intellectual/conceptual skills to include:

  • Ability to measure, calculate, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate to engage competently in the safe practice of early childhood care and education.

6.      Other essential behavioral attributes:

  • Ability to engage in activities consistent with safe early childhood care and education practice without demonstrated behaviors of addiction to, abuse of, or dependence on alcohol or other drugs that may impair behavior or judgment.

  • Ability to demonstrate responsibility and accountability for actions as a student in the Child Development and Education programs and as a developing professional in the early childhood care and education field consistent with accepted standards of practice.

  • Grand Rapids Community College strives to be more than ADA compliant. We strive to be accessible and welcoming to all students of all abilities. After reviewing the Essential Abilities/Technical Standards for this program; your responsibilities as a student entail determining if you can complete all associated coursework either:

A.     With Accommodation. I am otherwise qualified to meet the same academic standards as any other student entering the program. However, based on a medically documented condition or diagnosis, I would qualify for reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990). I will meet with Disability Support Services on campus to arrange those accommodations in an interactive process with the department of Child Development and Education.

B.     Without Accommodation. I am able to complete the program without need for reasonable accommodation or modification. In the event my medical documentation reveals otherwise or a condition manifests that would necessitate an accommodation; it is my responsibility to inform a responsible authority figure within the department of Child Development and Education and work with Disability Support Services to see if a reasonable accommodation or modification can be made.

If you have a medically documented condition or diagnosis, please contact the Child Development and Education office, or contact Disability Support Services (DSS) at or by phone at 616.234.4140 to arrange accommodations through our interactive process.

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