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  • Policy Number: SP.05.013
  • Version: Original
  • Drafted By: Maria K. Denney, Ph.D. and Joan Karp, Ph.D.
  • Approved By: Richard R. Rush
  • Approval Date: 11/18/05
  • Effective Date: 11/18/05
  • Supercedes:


  1. To provide students with an academically rigorous undergraduate education with an interdisciplinary approach.
  2. To prepare graduates for teaching and administration in early childhood.  
  3. To prepare graduates for professional work with children (with and without disabilities) from birth through age eight and their families from diverse linguistic, cultural, and/or socioeconomic backgrounds.
  4. To prepare students for teacher education programs in early childhood, elementary and special education.
  5. To prepare students for further graduate studies. 


Among the most pressing challenges for institutions of higher education is how to meet the increasing demands of preparing highly qualified, college educated professionals to develop and provide educational programs to young children (Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Spring 2003). Despite federal legislative mandates for a highly qualified educator workforce such as the No Child Left Behind Act and other proposed state-level legislation (e.g., Preschool for All in California), there exists an enormous challenge nationally and regionally for the preparation of highly qualified early childhood educators.

The B.A. Degree in Early Childhood Studies at California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) will prepare 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 will offer 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 following competencies set forth by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing:

  • Child Development Permit Matrix
  • Subject Matter Preparation for Multiple Subjects
  • Cross-Cultural, Language, and Academic Development Teacher Preparation (CLAD)

This degree program will provide an opportunity for residents of Ventura and Southern Santa Barbara Counties to earn a state-supported CSU Degree in Early Childhood Studies. The 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 NAEYC 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



Education Program






Differences between the proposed program and other programs.

  • The differences between the B.A. Degree in Early Childhood Studies at CSUCI and neighboring institutions are four-fold. First, our program focuses on young children birth through eight years of age. Second, there is an integrated alignment with our Community College Partners in Early Childhood Education through the coordination of a seamless academic transfer program. Third, there is a specific programmatic focus on the preparation of graduates who possess knowledge and skills in second language acquisition and literacy for young English learners. California is home to more than one million preschool-aged children; 50% of these children are of Latino background and 39% are English Learners (National Council of La Raza, 2005). Fourth, an overarching goal of our program is to provide students with an academically rigorous undergraduate education that meets the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) national accreditation standards. NAEYC has established an accreditation process with a rigorous review of higher educational outcomes to determine academic quality. It is the aim of the Early Childhood Studies Program to voluntarily undergo this review process, which includes self-study, external peer review, and a national accreditation recognition decision.

Professional uses of the proposed degree major program.

  • The program will prepare graduates for multiple career ladders in the fields of teacher education, health and human services (Note: Please refer to Figure 1.-Early Childhood Studies Degree Career Ladder). Our students will also be prepared to pursue graduate studies in related fields such as, education, social work, human development, and counseling.  The Early Childhood Studies Degree Program will serve four-year CSUCI students and two-year transfer students from the region’s community colleges. 

Community/Regional/Statewide need for the proposed program.

  • There are federal and state policy mandates for early childhood teacher preparation that are directly linked to the role and responsibilities for institutions of higher education. These policy mandates such as the No Child Left Behind Act and the proposed Universal Preschool for All initiative, stipulate the requirement for highly qualified teachers with a minimum completion of a bachelor’s level education.
  • In order to prepare for the increased educational preparation requirements proposed for early childhood educators, the National Association of Colleges for Teacher Preparation in Early Childhood Education (2004) recommended the establishment of formal linkages among two- and four-year colleges and universities. Nationally, community colleges are the most frequent entry point for students in early childhood education who will transfer to four-year universities (Frank Porter Graham Institute, 2003). In order to facilitate a seamless academic transfer program among two- and four-year institutions of higher education, the Association of Colleges for Teacher Preparation in Early Childhood Education (2004) advocated for the establishment of articulation across degrees defining the knowledge and skills for each degree level (e.g., associate, bachelor, master, doctoral). To this regard, CSUCI is committed to working in partnership with the region’s community colleges in order to respond to the regional, statewide, and national need for the advanced academic training of early childhood professionals serving young children and families.

The expected number of majors in the year of initiation and three years and five years thereafter.  The expected number of graduates in the year of initiation and three years and five years thereafter.

  • An examination of the Fall 2000 CSUN at Channel Islands transcripts by major, showed there was a total of 207 Child Development students. Of this number, there were 65 students from our region’s community college districts. From the CSU Chancellor’s Office 2002-2003 statistical report of the undergraduate degrees granted by major, an estimate was derived from comparably sized CSU campuses offering a degree in child development.
YearNumber of MajorsNumber of Graduates
Initiation Year650
Third Year19035
Fifth Year19070


  • It is anticipated that there will be one cohort of freshmen and two cohorts of transfer students for year one of the program. Classrooms will be needed to accommodate the program’s freshmen in the general education curriculum. At least two new classrooms will be needed to accommodate the transfer students. These new classrooms will require technology and to be designed as interactive learning spaces like the Education Program’s existing technology classrooms.


  • Assessment and curricular resources, and print materials will need to be purchased for the program.


  • Resources for faculty and staff to locate, supervise and evaluate student teachers in field placements and to pay cooperating teachers will be required.


  • To meet the enrollment of 190 students in the third year of the program’s implementation, the hiring of two additional tenure-track faculty members will be required.


  • As the program increases each year, additional classroom space will be required.


  • As the program increases each year, additional assessment and curricular resources, and print materials will be required.


  • As the program increases each year, additional resources for faculty and staff to locate, supervise and evaluate student teachers in field placements and to pay cooperating teachers will be required.



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