Jul 14, 2024  
2024-2025, 2nd ed. General Catalog 
    
2024-2025, 2nd ed. General Catalog

Early Childhood Studies, BA



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The Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Studies is designed to provide graduates with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to work effectively with children in early childhood (birth to age 8). Students study multi-disciplinary theories, research, and best practices, with an emphasis on socio-cultural factors that affect learning and development. They learn how to use theories and research from anthropology, child development, education, health, psychology, sociology, and multicultural studies to promote the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development of diverse young children. Students study the science of assessing children’s growth and development, and they acquire skills in effectively communicating these findings to families and community partners. The program also prepares professionals to be leaders and advocates on behalf of all children and families.

Career Opportunities

Early Care and Education (ECE)

The ECE concentration prepares students to work with children from birth to age 8 in educational settings, including:

  • Infant, toddler, and preschool teacher
  • Administrator of an early education program
  • Enroll in PK-3 ECE Specialist Instruction Credential Program 
  • Enroll in a Multiple Subject Credential Program
  • Obtain a California Child Development Permit 
  • Work in social service agencies that serve young children, adolescents, and their families
  • Special Education teacher (requires completion of a post-baccalaureate Special Education credential program)

Community, Health, and Social Services for Children (CHSS) 

The CHSS concentration prepares students for a career working with young children and families in non-education settings, including private and public programs. This concentration is perfect for students who intend to:

  • Seek certification as a Child Life Specialist
  • Enroll in a graduate school for certification as a Counsselor, Therapist, Social Worker, Child Life Specialist, or related field
  • Work in  public service agency that served children and families (First 5, WIC). 

Goals of the Early Childhood Studies Major

The goals of the Early Childhood Studies major are aligned with the mission of the SSU School of Education and the mission of the Department of Early Childhood Studies. The Early Childhood program seeks to prepare graduates who:

  1. Are agents of individual growth and social change as well as models and advocates of the broader intellectual and social values of a democratic society.
  2. Are knowledgeable and thoughtful about the field of early childhood studies.
  3. Promote physical, cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and moral growth and learning in their professional work with young children, as well as respecting and encouraging the contributions of families and caregivers in the care and education of children and youth.
  4. Design and carry out inclusive practices that respect human differences and aim to include all children and families.
  5. Continually use inquiry, observation, study, and reflection to improve their professional practices.

Degree Requirements


See the “Degree Requirements ” in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements.

General Education Requirements (48 units)

See the “General Education ” requirements in the University Catalog for information on General Education requirements. Some major requirements may double count for GE requirements.

Major Electives (Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Development Concentrations, 6 units)


Electives should be chosen in consultation with an advisor. Students intending to apply to the Multiple Subjects Credential program should choose EDMS 419  and 

  as electives.

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