Childhood Education & Family Studies

Education Degrees

Learn about our Education Degrees

Getting Started

Follow these steps to apply and register for classes.

Become a Teacher

Learn about obtaining your teaching credentials with our partner Southern Oregon University




CARE CONNECTIONS - Child Care Resource and Referral

Heather Weber
Student Recruitment Specialist


Our Childhood Education and Family Studies degrees are completed entirely online.

Educating happy, healthy children is a complex and rewarding task! Our Childhood Education and Family Studies (AS) degree will prepare you to work with children and their families to address the needs of children with diverse abilities in an inclusive setting. This degree meets all the requirements for an Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT) degree while giving you a strong foundation to meet employment requirements for most early childhood programs.

All courses specific to childhood education and family studies are offered through our online portal and transfer courses meeting our curriculum are readily accepted into the program. Reach out to an advisor for more information on this program, credit for prior learning, and to set up a meeting.

Credit for Prior Learning

Have you earned Step 7 on the Oregon Registry or already completed a Child Development Associate Certificate? If so, contact Program Coordinator, Brenda Jackson to apply for Credit for Prior Learning using an Industry Certificate.

Email for more information.

Our Philosophy

Our community of learners strives for children, families, and students to learn and grow together.


Do you dream of becoming a teacher?

The job outlook is great for teaching. Get started at Southwestern like Brookings mom, Cara Dailey.

Cara Dailey has worked in and around schools her entire adult life. As a bus driver, a teaching aide, in the library, in the cafeteria, and as an Aspire coach mentoring students at a local high school. All the while, homeschooling four kids and always working part- or full-time left Cara little opportunity for her own education.

“I always wanted to do more,” Cara said.

After years of working in various jobs at schools, she realized she is good at teaching children.

The right time to move ahead

Living in Brookings with grown children, Cara decided the time was right for her to achieve her dream of becoming an elementary school teacher.
She connected with an advisor at the Curry campus in Brookings. SWOCC’s online degree program partnership with Southern Oregon University made it easy for Cara to enroll in the Elementary Education degree pathway. With a mix of online and in-person classes, it is a perfect fit for what Cara wanted to do.

She loves the Curry campus and the helpful staff, and did pay a visit to the Coos campus to meet a few of her other professors.

“I met math professor Sean Hutcherson who was so good for me, being someone who hadn’t had a math class for a long time!” Cara said.

Instructor Mary Fields, who teaches music and art for aspiring elementary teachers, talked with Cara a lot about the future of education.

“I really saw how the professors work as a team. They were in close contact with each other and helped me navigate the program. Maidie Rosengarden was my encourager!”

Family studying together

Cara’s daughter Charlotte was a SWOCC student too, and they attended together in 2019. Charlotte graduated with four degrees from Southwestern. She is now working on her bachelor’s degree with the goal of working in publishing.

“We are SWOCC Believers!” That is what the Dailey family says.
Like her husband Darrin, who teaches dual credit math at Brookings-Harbor High School, Cara plans to become a teaching professional in a Curry County school – maybe this fall. Come April, Cara will be ready to graduate with her Associate of Science degree in Elementary Education.

Are you passionate about making a difference in the lives of children?

Could this be your story? There is a wide variety of careers in education – from caring for babies to teaching high school. We need great teachers in Southern Oregon. We need you! This is an exciting time in education with a lot of opportunities to make a difference. Call us today so we can help you move forward on the path to a career in education.

Guiding Principles

We are committed to addressing the needs of all children.

What our students have to say