Distance Education

General Information
Centre for Distance Education
Practicum and Seminars
Career Opportunities
Transfer Agreements

General Information

The ECE Certificate Program, available through Distance Education, involves correspondence study through the mailing of complete learning packages to students who then mail in completed work assignments for marking and evaluation. Ongoing contact between instructor and student is maintained throughout the course.

Ideal candidates for Distance Education are any individuals who may be employed, have family commitments or other obligations that prevent them from attending college in the traditional manner. Distance Education allows them to complete requirements toward their ECE Certificate from their home. Time is needed in child care centres to complete many assignments in the distance program. Distance Education does demand a great deal of motivation and dedication from students. Distance Education courses are not easy, fast paced replacements for regular on-campus classes. Instead, Distance Education is a highly structured system in which a dialogue is established between instructor and student, in which student motivation is essential and in which a serious approach to learning is of the utmost importance.

New students completing the program through Distance Education are accepted on a year round basis. Once accepted to the program, the official start date is the first of the month after the course materials are sent. Like other programs, students register at Lethbridge Community College Student Services. Students may register through the mail. Students can now apply online at the Lethbridge Community College Online Calendar's Electronic Admission site.

Usually students work part-time toward the completion of a Certificate or a Diploma in ECE. Students who have successfully completed the Certificate may return to complete the requirements for the Diploma in ECE. All courses required for the Diploma are not yet available through Distance Education.

Students are required to complete a practicum component in day care centres, playschools or kindergartens. Students enrolled in the Distance Education program may be able to complete field placements in their own work setting. Most settings will require student to have a criminal record check prior to starting a field placement. There is a three month lead requirement for setting up Distance Education field placement starting from the time the student registers and pays course fees. Students who wish to complete a practicum during the summer must contact our office by March 1.

Centre for Distance Education

The Centre for Distance Education has been developed to centralize the College's Distance Education activities. It facilitates delivery of distance education courses. Other services provided by the Centre include information and liaison with other Distance Education centres, reception of Distance Education courses offered through other institutions, in service training for instructors of Distance delivery, and resource material for support of those interested or involved in Distance Education. Feel free to contact the Centre for Distance Education at (403) 382-6931 or 1-800-572-0103.


Students may enter Lethbridge Community College in one of three manners:

  1. Many students enter Early Childhood Education directly out of High School through normal admission procedures
  2. Students may enter the College as Occasional Students
  3. Students also have the opportunity to enter as an Alternate Admission Applicant

If applying as occasional students, students are required to complete an application form for admission and submit it with the application fee. Occasional students may:

  1. complete a maximum of four courses before applying to the program.
  2. enroll in a maximum of two credit courses in any term.
  3. be permitted to register in a maximum of four credit courses without special permission from the registrar
Admission of occasional students is automatic. However, occasional students must meet individual course prerequisite requirements before registration in any course.

Individuals who do not have the formal admission requirements as stated by the LCC Calendar can apply as Alternate Admission Applicants. Official documents that verify academic history must be provided. Admission tests as well as a personal interview may be required to provide basis for acceptance as an Alternate Admission Applicant. Admission as an Alternate Admission Applicant is not automatic. For a full description of Admission options available to students, please see the Admissions Information portion of the LCC Online Calendar.

Those with extensive background in the field from work experience, volunteering or other means may pursue Prior Learning Assessment as a means of gaining credit toward their program. This option allows students to receive academic credit for knowledge they have acquired through experiences in non classroom settings. Credits accumulated through PLA cannot exceed 75% of the credits required for graduation from a program. Students may also gain credit through Advanced Credit and Course Challenges, all of which are discussed in the Advanced Credit portion of the LCC Online Calendar.

Course Start/End Dates

The official start date of a print-based Distance Education course is the first day of the month following the mailing of the course material. A course may be started on the first of each month throughout the year. The course end date will depend on the course credit.

Distance Education
Course End Dates

CreditsCompletion Time (in months)
1 Credit4 months
2 Credits5 months
3 Credits6 months
4 Credits8 months
5 Credits12 months

Course Extensions

If you are unable to fullfill the course requirements within the designated time, you may, under extenuating circumstances, request an extension. A request for an extension must be received at least one month prior to the original end date for the course, using a Distance Education Course Extension form. The maximum extension for any course is four months. Where an extension is granted, you will be assessed an extension fee of $40.00. The course end date will then be adjusted to include the extension period. Only one extension will be granted for a given course. A final grade will be issued following the course end date.


The Certificate Program is composed of 13 courses. When completed students may apply for level 2 (Alberta) ECE certification. Completion of the Certificate Program or equivalent is also necessary for admission to the Diploma program. Students completing the Early Childhood Education program through Distance Education are accepted on a year-round basis. The official start date of a print based Distance Education course is the first day of the month following the mailing of the course material. A course may be started on the first of each month throughout the year. The completion time will depend on the number of course credits.

Academic Requirements

Distance Education students must be admitted to the College as outlined under admissions.

Professional Suitability

Applicants are asked to submit a letter outlining background information of previous work and academic experiences.


Not all Early Childhood Education Diploma courses are currently available through Distance Education. A full description of the Day Diploma Program is available. For a description of courses currently available through Distance Education, please see the Distance Education Curriculum.

Career Opportunities

Upon completion of ECE programs, graduates are equipped to plan and implement programs to meet the developmental needs of children in daycare centres, nursery schools, family day homes, and be assistants in kindergartens and elementary schools, and as nannies. A full description of career opportunities as well as information on the regulations and certifcations is available in the Career Opportunities portion of the ECE Program online.

Transfer Agreements

After completion of the first year of the Early Childhood Education Program, some students choose to transfer to other institutions to complete their diploma or pursue a degree. A number of transfer agreements have already been made available to students interested in this opportunity. Discussions are currently underway exploring the possibilities of transfer agreements with other institutions. A full description of transfer agreements and further education is available in the Further Education portion of the ECE Program Online.


Students must complete 37 credit hours of courses to receive their ECE Certificate. To receive an ECE Diploma, they must go on to complete another 36 credit hours of courses . A wide variety of Early Childhood Education Certificate and Diploma level courses are offered at LCC. A full description of ECE courses is provided in the ECE Courses portion of the LCC Online Calendar.

All of the Certificate Program is available through Distance Education. This includes nine courses, two Field Placements, and two Integration Seminars.

Early Childhood Certificate

Course NumberCourse DescriptionCourse Credit
ECE 155Introduction to Early Childhood3 Credits
ECE 162Creative Experiences I3 Credits
ECE 165Interpersonal Relationships and
Communication Skills I
3 Credits
ECE 180Field Placement I3 Credits
ECE 190Integration Seminar I1 Credit
PSY 150Child Growth and Development I4 Credits
ENG 150Composition3 Credits
ECE 154Guiding Children's Behavior3 Credits
ECE 156Development through Play3 Credits
ECE 158Health, Nutrition and Safety2 Credits
ECE 181Field Placement II5 Credits
ECE 191Integration Seminar II1 Credit
PSY 151Child Growth and Development II3 Credits
Total = 37 Credits

Not all of the Early Childhood Diploma courses are currently available through Distance Education. Our goal is to be able to offer the entire Diploma program via Distance Education in the next few years. Currently, five courses, two Field Placements and two Integration Seminars are available.

Early Childhood Diploma - Available

Course NumberCourse DescriptionCourse Credit
ECE 259Children with Special Needs3 Credits
ECE 264Preschool Programming3 Credits
ECE 265Interpersonal Relations and
Communication Skills II
2 Credits
ECE 262Creative Experiences II3 Credits
ECE 260Infant and Toddler Programming3 Credits
ECE 280Field Placement III4 Credits
ECE 290Integration Seminar III1 Credit
ECE 281Field Placement IV4 Credits
ECE 291Integration Seminar IV1 Credit
Total = 24 Credits

Early Childhood Diploma - Under Development

Course NumberCourse DescriptionCourse Credit
ECE 252Child and Family2 Credits
ECE 253Family and Community2 Credits
ECE 263Creative Experiences III3 Credits
ECE 266Interpersonal Relations and
Communications III
2 Credits
ECE 257Organization and Administration3 Credits
Total = 12 Credits

Distance Education Contacts:
Judy Stetson
(403) 320-3395
[email protected]

Terri Cody
(403) 382-6943
[email protected]

Early Childhood Education