Childhood Education and Family Studies, Preschool Children, Education and Development I, Career Pathway Certificate of Completion

The Career Pathway Certificate of Completion: Childhood Education and Family Studies, Preschool Children, Education and Development, is intended to provide students with the skills needed to begin a career in Childhood Education and Family Studies. This certificate can also assist the student in earning a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. Students enroll in this program for a variety of reasons including upgrading skills and knowledge, obtaining a degree or retraining for a new profession. The credits earned can lead into a Certificate of Completion Childhood Education and Family Studies, an AAS Preschool Child Development or an AS with an emphasis in Childhood Education and Family Studies which will transfer to a university. All courses are offered online.

Entry Requirements

Students are required to complete the College's placement process to determine skill level and readiness in math and writing. As part of their training program, students must begin with the courses within their skill level as determined by the placement process.

Students participating in all education practicums must meet measles immunization requirements. If you choose not to vaccinate for measles due to personal, religious, or philosophical reasons, you may claim a nonmedical or medical exemption. Visit and look under Program and Services for more information on how to get your immunization records or claim an exemption. Note that each practicum site may have separate immunization requirements.

Students will also be required to have a background check before they begin their practicums. Students whose home state is not Oregon need to get a background check from that state.  In Oregon, all practicum students need to enroll in the Oregon Central Background Registry (CBR).  To begin this process, visit the State of Oregon Early Learning Division to apply for a background check and to receive additional information on how to comply with fingerprinting requirements. Note that each practicum site may require their own background checks.

Graduation Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours with a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or better. All courses must be completed with a grade of ‘C’ or better. One course must be completed at Southwestern before this Career Pathway Certificate of Completion is awarded.

Courses that are developmental in nature (designed to prepare students for college transfer courses) are not applicable to this degree.

Complete the graduation application process one term prior to the term of completion (e.g., spring term graduates must apply during winter term).

Credit for Prior Learning

Credit for prior learning options are available for students with a Preschool Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, an Infant Toddler Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, a Step Seven on the Oregon Registry, or a Certificate of Completion for First Connections that includes mentoring in an infant toddler learning environment. Contact for more information.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, the student will have knowledge and skills to:

  • Use Developmentally Effective Approaches
  • Promote Child Development and Learning
  • Build Family and Community Relationships

Program Guide

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
ECE150 Introduction and Observation in ECE 1 4
ECE170 Health and Safety Early Childhood 3
WR121 English Composition 4
ECE163 Environments and Guidance in ECE 3
ECE163B Practicum I ECE 2
HDFS247 Child Development 0-8 3
ECE151 Guidance and Classroom Management 3
ECE209 Theory and Practice I Pre-K 2 3
ECE209B Practicum II Pre-K 2 2
ECE154 Children's Language and Lit Dev 3
 Total Credits30

One criminal background check and fingerprinting is required for all practicum courses. 

ECE163 and ECE209 must be taken in sequence with their corequisite practicum courses. Exception granted with instructor approval.