Bunker Hill Community College

Bunker Hill Community College

Frequently Asked Questions

The Department of Early Childhood, Education and Human Services at Bunker Hill Community College has created the Early Childhood Development Institute to offer both credit and non-credit courses of training for staff currently employed in early care and education programs. These courses will advance their knowledge and skill development beyond the traditional beginning courses to cover more advanced areas of training. These advanced areas will allow staff to expand their knowledge to deeper levels of understanding helping to push programs in early childhood and their staff to a higher quality of care for children and families in the Greater Boston area. Those staff who have taken lots of workshops, trainings and other classes for non-credit can now use it further their professional growth.

This model is different from the usual offerings. It creates a Pathway to Learning that contains both credit and non-credit work.

  • Credit courses work in the traditional manner. But these courses are short-term, one-credit and can be done in a very timely manner.
  • Additionally, non-credit courses are available for those not needing credit. But these are different!! These were created so that there is now a mechanism for turning these non-credit sessions into college credit!! The Institute will change the traditional model where non-credit leads nowhere to provide a means to achieve credit from completion of the courses in the Institute’s programs.

The Department of Early Childhood, Education, and Human Services is collaborating with the Workforce Development Center and Community Education to offer these courses to the early care and education community.

At this time, four courses are being developed. These are: 

Course 1: Infant Toddler Interactions (ECI 305 or ECE 151-153)
Course 2: Supervision in ECE Programs (ECI 310 or ECE 154-156)
Course 3: Emergent Curriculum (ECI 315 or ECE 157-159)
Course 4: Literacy Development in the Young Child (ECI 320 or ECE 160-162)
Course 5: Environmental Education (ECI 325 or ECE 163-165)
Course 6: Children with Diverse Abilities (ECI 330 or ECE 166-168)
(Note: ECI courses are non-credit and ECE courses are credit bearing)

The course offerings work like this:

  • Each course will consist of 3, 15-contact hour courses
  • At the end of each course:
  • If taking the courses for credit:
    • If completed successfully for credit, the student will receive 1-college credit, reflected on his/her BHCC transcript. (Attendance, participation, and written assignments will be included in each 15-hour course).
  • If taking the course(s) for non-credit:
    • If completed successfully for non-credit, a student will be given an Early Childhood Institute “Prior Learning Certificate” (PLC) to show completion of course competencies and requirements. (Attendance, participation, and other requirements will be included in each 15-hour course).
    • For those doing non-credit work, those who complete the three courses successfully in a particular course topic area and then does the final coaching/mentoring course will be able to use the PLCs and additional assignments from the final coaching/mentoring course to petition for prior learning credit from BHCC’s Prior Learning Assessment Program.
    • Upon acceptance by the Prior Learning Assessment Program, a student will be granted 3-college credits that can be used to meet requirements in the Early Childhood Development Program at BHCC.

Seasoned instructors with a background in early care and education teach the courses. Each has a great deal of experience both in the classroom and with children and families.

Course will be capped at maximum of 25 and minimum of 12 for each course. Those sessions without minimum enrollment will be cancelled.

Yes, each course taken for non-credit is equivalent to 1 CEU, but because the course courses can be turned into credit at the end, the credit might also count toward DEEC requirements for certification just like other credit courses. Additionally, the contact hours can count toward the continuing education requirements by DEEC for staff each year.

Because you can turn these non-credit courses into credit upon successful completion, they are distinctly different from other CEU offerings that don’t allow this to occur.

No, there are not MAEYC CEUs attached to these courses, only CEU equivalencies and then prior learning credit upon successful completion of all four courses. This prior learning credit is what provides the chance to turn the course into a credit course.


Yes, you may register for only one of the courses and the first three courses do not have to be taken in any order. But, the fourth course for any of the specific topics, mentoring/coaching, is always taken last.

No, you must sign up for a full course (15 contact hours) at a minimum.

Not necessarily. You must have a work site (either paid employment or a volunteer job) where you can practice and effect change in the program and its offerings. This means you must have a say-so in how the program is working and how the children are cared for. If you are just an observer or an occasional volunteer, you may not take the course.

The first three courses will have participation in class activities and problem solving during class time required and some work to consider and think about between classes. If a student is enrolled for credit, there is written work, just like in any credit course. If the student is enrolled for non-credit, attendance and full participation is needed in class activities to earn a PLC upon completion.

The coaching course, the fourth course, will have an actual problem to be solved that you must work on over the weeks of the course and actually carry out in a classroom with children. You will be required to write about your problem and its solution as a part of the course. This assignment will be used to gain prior learning credit. The coaching course is always non-credit and never offered for credit.

The courses are considered more advanced learning than the beginning student or staff member might take. Therefore, ECE 103 Child Growth and Development is required prior to enrollment. This allows some prior learning to have happened before taking the course. We judge this through the use of prerequisites, or courses taken before you enroll. Additionally, there are a few recommendations for some courses that will allow for more in depth understanding of the course materials, but these are not required.

Yes, if taking the course for credit, but if taking for non-credit, we will use an honor system for this to facilitate your enrollment. However, you will not be allowed to get prior learning credit if you cannot provide proof at the end of the course that you did not actually have the prerequisite completed successfully.

Yes. Since you did the first two, you will need to return and take the third course before you complete the fourth, the coaching course. All courses must be completed within 24 months of starting the courses in a particular topic.

Yes, you can take the third course before the second. You do not have to take the first three courses in order. However, you must take the first three before you do the fourth course, the coaching course. If there is a time lapse between courses, you can check back on the website regularly to see when the next courses will be offered.


Students enrolled for credit coursework need not do anything at the end of successful completion. A transcript will reflect their grade.

Students enrolled for non-credit work, must successfully complete all four courses to be eligible for credit. All four courses must be completed within 24 months of starting course courses in order to petition for PLAP credit.

To be granted credit at end of four courses, student must provide proof of completion of all courses through Prior Learning Certificates, proof of completion of prerequisites by showing an official college transcript, and follow the Prior Learning Assessment Program portfolio and submission process to show evidence of prior learning through the courses and the assignments.

All four courses of one topic area are required, not just any four courses.

No, only course courses offered through the Institute may be used for credit.

You may retrieve proof of your successful completion of your courses through the Registrar at BHCC by requesting proof of completion.

Some courses count for elective credit (ECE 003) that can be used as career electives. Others count for other specific courses, such as ECE 115 (Supervision in ECE), ECE 107 (Literacy in ECE), or ECE 108 (Infant Toddler Curriculum and Development).

Yes, there are three career electives required in the associate degree program. There are a number of career elective choices to pick from to meet this requirement.

If taking for credit, you must do all assignments satisfactorily to get credit.

If taking for non-credit, you must attend as required, you must participate in class as required, and you must participate fully as outlined by the instructor at the beginning of the course. Courses must be completed at the end of the course and there are no possibilities of “incompletes” for these courses.

No, unfortunately, because you did not honestly represent your prior learning when you enrolled, it is not possible to go back and redo this by taking the prerequisite afterward. The prerequisites must be done before enrolling.


Student must register for minimum of one course ($110 per course as of 9/14). Credit courses are charged at the rate of enrollment for other credit courses ($141 per credit as of 9/14).

Registration for credit courses are done through the BHCC website or in person at the enrollment services area in B Building at the Charlestown campus.

Non-credit individual registration is done through the Office of Community Education. For further information visit the BHCC website at bhcc.edu/ce or call 617-228-2462.

Yes, but only if taking for credit. Unfortunately, financial aid cannot be used for non-credit courses, even if you intend to turn the learning into credit at the end of the courses.

No, the course vouchers given to centers to thank them for supervising a practicum student cannot be used for these courses as they are only for 3-credit courses. They must only be used for credit coursework offered through the department’s regular semester courses.

Yes, we can provide the courses at your worksite. To purchase seats contact Jack Chan at the Workforce Development Center at jchan@bhcc.edu or 617-228-2157. If you are able to recruit a minimum of 12 employees as a cohort to take a course, we can arrange for the instructor to travel to your site to deliver the instruction.


Judy Lindamood is the Chair of the Department of Early Childhood, Education and Human Services and will be glad to discuss other topics with you. You can reach her at jlindamood@bhcc.edu or 617-228-3279.

Judy Lindamood will be glad to speak with you about teaching opportunities at BHCC. You can reach her as noted above.