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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 Childhood Education and Family Studies or an AS with an emphasis in Childhood Education and Family Studies which will transfer to a university. All courses are offered online.

Click here to lean how this Career Pathway Certificate can lead to an AAS Childhood Education and Family Studies.

Entry Requirements

Students are required to complete the College's placement process to determine skill level and readiness in math, reading 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 will also be required to have a current immunization record and state background check to complete practicum requirements. The requirements will vary per state. Students whose home state is not Oregon, are encouraged to research the requirements for the state regulating organization regarding what will be required to complete the background check. 

In Oregon, students must be listed on the Oregon Central Background Registry (CBR).  To begin this process, visit the State of Oregon Early Learning Division to be prepared to complete practicum work in a certified early learning center, apply for a background check, and receive additional information regarding how to comply with fingerprinting requirements.

Graduation Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 25 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. Practicum and student teaching courses require students to pass CLASS assessments to successfully complete the courses. One course must be completed at Southwestern before this certificate 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 Guide

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
ECE150 Introduction and Observation in ECE 1 4
ECE151 Guidance and Classroom Management 1 3
ECE170 Health and Safety Early Childhood 2
ECE163 Environments and Guidance in ECE 3
ECE163B Practicum I ECE 2
HDFS247 Preschool Child Development 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 Credits25

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, the student will have knowledge and skills in the following Standards developed by National Association for the Education of Young Children Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation (NAEYC). Click here for the complete list of Standards.

  • Standard 3 a, b, c, d
  • Standard 4 a, b, c, d
  • Standard 5 c
  • Standard 6 a, b, c, d, e
  • Standard 7 a, b