Jun 20, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Early Childhood Studies

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The Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Studies prepares graduates with the requisite knowledge and skills to effectively work with young children and their families from birth through eight years of age. Students will acquire knowledge and skills in order to serve typically developing young children and those with disabilities within the natural settings of home, community, and schools.

The academic program offers core curricula and practica in early childhood development and pedagogy while highlighting the contextual influences of family, culture, language, and society. Embedded in the program are the competencies for the Childhood Development Permit Teacher or Director (California Commission on Teacher Credentialing). There is a specific programmatic focus on the preparation of graduates who possess knowledge and skills regarding language acquisition and literacy for Dual Language  Learners. A program option includes the background knowledge for subject matter preparation for the multiple subjects and special education teaching credentials.

The Early Childhood Studies Program is distinctive in that the major emphasizes the first eight years of life as extremely significant in children’s development. The philosophy implicit in the Early Childhood Studies Program is reflective of the Position Statements and Early Childhood Professional Preparation Standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children that include:

  • Promoting child development and learning
  • Building family and community relationships–whatever their structure, language, ethnicity, and child’s ability or disability
  • Delivering developmentally effective assessment and teaching practices
  • Preparing early childhood professionals beyond a foundational level in order to support the acquisition and application of advanced knowledge and skills.


The program will prepare graduates for multiple career paths in the fields of teacher education, and health and human services. These careers include infant/toddler and preschool teachers, early interventionists, and administrators of centers for young children and families. The program will provide the subject matter preparation for continuing study in the areas of multiple subjects and special education teaching credentials, as well as related professional programs in health and human services such as child life specialists and counselors. Graduates will also be prepared to pursue graduate studies in related fields such as education, social work, human development, and counseling.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Students are qualified to teach in and administer programs serving young children (with and without disabilities) from birth through eight and their families;
  • Students actively engage children in their learning;
  • Students are able to teach all subjects in their area of specialty and link content to pedagogy;
  • Students acknowledge and support diversity of languages and cultures in and among children and families;
  • Students meet the diverse needs of all children including those with special needs; and
  • Students are reflective and deliberative practitioners, integrating research, theory, and effective practices into their teaching.

Contact Information



Elizabeth Quintero, Ed.D.
Professor of Education, Coordinator of Early Childhood Studies
Madera Hall, Room 1637
(805) 437-3306

Manuel Correia, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Education
Bell Tower East, Room 2809
(805) 437-3292

Jill Leafstedt, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Special Education
Bell Tower East, Room 2846
(805) 437-2792

Carola Matera, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Education
Madera Hall, Room 2725
(805) 437-3699

Lillian Vega-Castaneda, Ed.D.
Professor of Education
Bell Tower East, Room 2848
(805) 437-8872

Annie White, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Education
Madera Hall 1616


    Major(s)Major(s) - AA/AS-T (Transfer Model Curriculum) Degrees Only

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