Education student working with a small child


The Education Department supports students who desire to teach include not only in early childhood education but also in K-12 education teacher preparation in response to the growing need for qualified teachers for all ages in North Carolina, particularly in our region. The Education Department is committed to teacher preparation for children of all ages.

Welcome to the Education Department

Our department houses both the Associate in Applied Science in Early Childhood Education (Birth – Age 5) and the Associate of Arts/Associate of Science in Teacher Preparation (K-12) degrees. The Education Department is committed to teacher preparation for children of all ages. Our degree programs are considered open enrollment meaning that there is no limit to the number of students who enroll nor are there additional expectations beyond the regular college entry process. Students may enter the Early Childhood or Teacher Preparation degrees or the Early Childhood or Infant-Toddler certificate tracks at any point in the academic year. Students who wish to enroll in a degree or certificate program must process through the new student process. Once the new student process is complete, students will be assigned to a faculty advisor in the Education Department. For questions about enrollment please email or call (828) 398-7900.

Career Opportunities

Employment of preschool teachers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth is expected due to a continued focus on the importance of early childhood education.

(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Good to Know

The basic tenets of our philosophy apply to learners of all ages. These tenets are:

  • Every person has inherent dignity and worth and should be treated as an individual
  • Students of all ages are active learners
  • Students learn best in a nurturing and safe environment
  • Students will rise to the expectations of the educator
  • Educators must honor and support the diverse backgrounds and abilities of each student
  • Educators should be constantly aware of the potential life-changing effect they have on their students
  • Educators are aware that they are serving as role models
  • Education is a reciprocal process
  • Education is required for making informed decisions
  • Education should entice people to become lifelong learners

The Early Childhood Education Department program bases outcomes on the five standards set forth by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Standard 1: Promoting Child Development and Learning

Standard 2: Building Family & Community Relationships

Standard 3: Observing, Documenting & Assessing to Support Young Children & Families

Standard 4: Teaching and Learning

Standard 5: Becoming a Professional

The past and present strengths of the Early Childhood Education Department include a dedication to quality instruction, a supportive college administration, community respect, responsiveness to community needs, quality field placements, articulation agreements with local universities, a partnership with Buncombe County Smart Start, and instructors dedicated to students and their families. These strengths result in well-prepared graduates who have a positive influence on the lives of the children and the families with whom they work.

The Early Childhood Education Department strives to build on past and present strengths while continually seeking to improve the quality of the educational experience for our students. We are committed to ongoing assessment of our curriculum/courses, making necessary improvements to meet the needs of our students and the evolving field of early childhood education.

Contact Tamara Reynolds

Meet the Faculty and Staff of the Early Childhood Department

Tamara Reynolds, Department Chairperson

  • B.A. - UNC-Chapel Hill
  • M.Ed. - Union Institute and University

For the last two decades, Tamara has taught a diverse group of learners from pre-k through college. A Morehead-Cain Scholar, she received her B.A. in Child Development and Family Studies and Birth to Kindergarten licensure from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Tamara was then trained to work with students with autism through the TEACCH program at the UNC School of Medicine. Her love of reading and books led her to pursue her M.Ed. in Reading and Pre-K/Primary Education.

Tamara has presented at local, regional, and national conferences for teachers and has provided professional development at numerous public and private schools. She twice presented at the NISOD International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence and was also recognized as a NISOD Excellence Award Recipient. Locally, Tamara has served as a mentor for NC Pre-K teachers in Buncombe and Madison Counties and worked on multiple early childhood projects with Buncombe Partnership for Children and Children First/Communities in Schools. She is a member of the Buncombe NC Pre-K Advisory Committee.

TBA/Vacant, Instructor

  • Email:

Suzanne Hughes, Adjunct Faculty

Heather Logan, Adjunct Faculty