The Certificate of Completion Childhood Education and Family Studies is a one-year certificate that prepares students for entry-level positions as child care workers, preschool attendants, preschool teacher assistants, and day care assistants. This certificate fulfills the requirements for the first year of the AAS in Childhood Education and Family Studies degree, click here to learn how.

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.

All Childhood Education and Family Studies students are required to obtain a valid first aid and CPR card, a Food Handlers Card, and complete HDFS9284 Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting as components of ECE 170 Health & Safety in Early Childhood Education.  Students will also be required to have a current immunization record and background check to complete practicum requirements. The requirements will vary per state. Students 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.

Gainful Employment Disclosure

Southwestern is required by federal regulations to disclose information related to the College's educational programs that lead to gainful employment in a recognized occupation. This information is intended to provide students the opportunity to measure employment outcomes associated with certificate programs.

Gainful employment information for the Certificate of Completion Childhood Education and Family Studies can be found online.

Graduation Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 50 credit hours with a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or better. All courses must be passed 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 for this certificate to be 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.

Pre-Program Courses

Students are required to take the following courses prior to the program courses, depending on students' college placement information. See advisor for details:

CIS90Computer Basics (or demonstrate proficiency)2
MTH20Basic Mathematics4
WR90Paragraph Fundamentals (or placement test score)3-4
or WR90R Academic Literacy

Program Guide

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
ECE150 Introduction and Observation ECE 1 3
ECE151 Guidance and Classroom Management 1 3
ED169 Overview of Student Special Needs 3
HDFS225 Prenatal Infant and Toddler Dev 3
MTH60 Algebra I 2 4
CIS120 Concepts of Computing 4
ECE154 Children's Language and Lit Dev 3
ECE209 Theory and Practicum I 3 3
ECE240 Lesson and Curriculum Planning 3
HDFS247 Preschool Child Development 3
ECE102 Theory and Practicum II 3 3
ED258 Multicultural Education 3
HDFS140 Contemporary American Families 3
HDFS229 Development in Middle Childhood 3
SP100 Basic Speech Communications 4 3
English Composition
or English Composition w/Honors
 Total Credits50

ECE150 Introduction and Observation ECE and ECE151 Guidance and Classroom Management must be taken concurrently.  A criminal history check is required for each of these courses.


MTH65 Algebra II, MTH95 Intermediate Algebra, MTH98 Math Literacy, or higher math course may be substituted for MTH60 Algebra I.


ECE209 Theory and Practicum I and ECE102 Theory and Practicum II must be taken in sequence.  A criminal background check must be on file before enrolling in these courses.


SP111 Fundamentals of Public Speaking, SP218 Interpersonal Communication, SP219 Small Group Discussion or SP220 Gender and Communication may be substituted for SP100 Basic Speech Communications.

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 ECADA) organization. Click here for a complete list of Standards.

  • Standard 1 a, b, c
  • Standard 2 a, b, c
  • Standard 3 a, b, c, d
  • Standard 4 a, b, c, d
  • Standard 5 a
  • Standard 6 a, b, c, d, e
  • Standard 7 a, b