Early Childhood Studies Undergraduate Handbook

Welcome to the Early Childhood Studies undergraduate program. We look forward to working with you as you make progress towards your B.A. degree and prepare for a rewarding and inspiring career working with children and families.

This handbook is intended to help you understand the Early Childhood Studies Program, how to proceed through it, and where to go if you need help. It provides important information about the Early Childhood Studies major and minor, a program housed within the SSU School of Education. Our program is aligned with CSU and SSU University policies, NAEYC standards, and requirements for the California Child Development Permit. While the handbook is intended to provide binding documentation of program policies and requirements, it is possible that state or accreditation policy changes may necessitate changes to the information in this handbook. Please consult with an Early Childhood advisor if you have questions about any of the information in this handbook.

It is the responsibility of every student in the Early Childhood Studies Program to be knowledgeable about and to abide by the contents of this handbook. After reading this handbook, students in the Early Childhood Studies major and minor must sign the Handbook Signature Form, located in Section 7, and submit it to their EDEC 178 instructor.

You can download the complete Early Childhood Studies Undergraduate Handbook here. 

Section 1 Introduction

Introduction

Welcome to the Early Childhood Studies undergraduate program. We look forward to working with you as you make progress towards your B.A. degree and prepare for a rewarding and inspiring career working with children and families.

This handbook is intended to help you understand the Early Childhood Studies Program, how to proceed through it, and where to go if you need help. It provides important information about the Early Childhood Studies major and minor, a program housed within the SSU School of Education. Our program is aligned with CSU and SSU University policies, NAEYC standards, and requirements for the California Child Development Permit. While the handbook is intended to provide binding documentation of program policies and requirements, it is possible that state or accreditation policy changes may necessitate changes to the information in this handbook. Please consult with an Early Childhood advisor if you have questions about any of the information in this handbook.

It is the responsibility of every student in the Early Childhood Studies Program to be knowledgeable about and to abide by the contents of this handbook. After reading this handbook, students in the Early Childhood Studies major and minor must sign the Handbook Signature Form, located in Section 7, and submit it to their EDEC 178 instructor.

About the School of Education

The SSU School of Education has historically offered courses for post-baccalaureate students, leading to teaching credentials and graduate degrees in education. In Fall 2009, the School of Education added an undergraduate minor in Early Childhood Education and in Fall 2012, the major in Early Childhood Studies accepted its first students. The minor and major in Early Childhood Studies expand opportunities for undergraduate students in the School of Education by offering a degree for students who wish to work with children and families in a variety of fields, both within and outside of the field of education. ECS programs complement other School of Education programs by providing preparation for students who wish to pursue a teaching credential after graduation and/or a Master's Degree focusing on education.  The major and minor also expand the School of Education’s mission,  by offering coursework that is relevant to students who prefer to work with children and families in a field outside of education.

About the Early Childhood Studies Department and Its Programs

The Department of Early Childhood Studies offers a major in Early Childhood Studies, a minor in Early Childhood Studies, and a Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Education. Students in the major choose between a concentration in Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood Development, or the Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP) that leads to a credential in Special Education. Undergraduates acquire the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required to work effectively with young children in a variety of fields, including the care and education of children from birth through the early elementary years, counseling, social services, child life specialist programs, and other related professions. Students 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. Coursework emphasizes play-based curriculum and learning, brain development, assessment of child growth and learning, working effectively with families, working effectively in multicultural settings, and leadership and advocacy on behalf of children and families.

The goals of the Early Childhood Studies Program are linked to the School of Education Vision, Mission, and Core Values:

School of Education Vision

Advancing social justice in schools and communities through excellence in education.

School of Education Mission

The School of Education provides transformative educational experiences through teaching, research, and key initiatives. We prepare undergraduates, graduate students and credential candidates to advocate for social justice in their learning and throughout their careers so that students, schools, and communities flourish.

 

School of Education Core Values

  1. We believe that examining and respecting human differences is central to educational inclusivity.

  2. We believe that collaboration and community partnerships strengthen our work.

  3. We take a critical and reflective stance in light of educational and social inequities. 

  4. We are committed to equity and access in education for all students.

  5. We promote meaningful learning through theoretically sound and research-based pedagogies.

 

ECS Program Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

The student learning outcomes of the Early Childhood Studies Program are aligned with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) standards for Initial Early Childhood Professional Preparation (NAEYC, 2011). Most core courses include a signature assignment that assesses your progress towards the Student Learning Outcomes. Be sure to save a copy of all of your assignments in a secure place, such as your SSU Google Drive, so that you will be able to put them in your portfolio when you take EDEC 478 Senior ECS Portfolio. The learning outcomes for the Early Childhood Studies Program are:

 

Student Learning Outcomes

Concentration 1:
Early Childhood Education

Concentration 2:
Early Childhood Development

  • SLO1. Students are knowledgeable about theories and research related to child development and growth, and they are able to effectively promote child development and learning.

  • SLO2. Students understand the components and importance of building family and community relationships in work with young children.

  • SLO3. Students understand the importance of and are able to observe, document, and assess the growth and development of young children; students are able to effectively communicate these findings to families.

  • SLO4. Students know how to use developmentally and culturally appropriate and effective approaches with young children and they reflect upon professional practices.

  • SLO5. Students design, implement and evaluate effective curriculum that aligns with state early learning standards for children in programs serving infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

  • SLO6. Students see themselves as professionals and exhibit the following knowledge, skills, and dispositions: understanding and upholding ethical and professional standards; engaging in continuous, collaborative learning to inform practice; understanding where to find professional resources; and integrating informed and critical perspectives into their work with young children and their families.

  • SLO7. Students observe and practice their developing skills in different kinds of early childhood educational settings.

  • SLO1. Students are knowledgeable about theories and research related to child development and growth, and they are able to effectively promote practices that support optimal child development and health (including mental health).

  • SLO2. Students understand the components and importance of building family and community relationships in work with young children.

  • SLO3. Students understand the importance of and are able to observe, document, and assess the growth and development of young children; students are able to effectively communicate these findings to families.

  • SLO4. Students know how to use developmentally and culturally appropriate and effective approaches with young children and they reflect upon professional practices.

  • SLO5. Students identify and evaluate effective practices in programs that promote and protect the development and health of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and children in the middle childhood years.

  • SLO6. Students see themselves as professionals and exhibit the following knowledge, skills, and dispositions: understanding and upholding ethical and professional standards; engaging in continuous, collaborative learning to inform practice; understanding where to find professional resources; integrating informed and critical perspectives into their work with young children, and engaging in informed advocacy for young children and their families.

  • SLO7. Students observe and practice their developing skills in different kinds of programs that support children and families.

 

 

NAEYC Logo

2010 Standards for Initial Early Childhood Professional Preparation

STANDARD 1. PROMOTING CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND LEARNING

Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs are grounded in a child development knowledge base. They use their understanding of a) young children’s characteristics and needs, and b) multiple interacting influences on children’s development and learning, to c) create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for each child.

STANDARD 2. BUILDING FAMILY AND COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS

Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that successful early childhood education depends upon partnerships with children’s families and communities. They a) know about, understand, and value the importance and complex characteristics of children’s families and communities. They use this understanding to b) create respectful, reciprocal relationships that support and empower families, and c) to involve all families in their children’s development and learning.

STANDARD 3. OBSERVING, DOCUMENTING, AND ASSESSING TO SUPPORT YOUNG CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that child observation, documentation, and other forms of assessment are central to the practice of all early childhood professionals. They a) know about and understand the goals, benefits, and uses of assessment. They b) know about and use systematic observations, documentation, and other effective assessment strategies c) in a responsible way, d) in partnership with families and other professionals, to positively influence the development of every child.

STANDARD 4. USING DEVELOPMENTALLY EFFECTIVE APPROACHES

Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that teaching and learning with young children is a complex enterprise, and its details vary depending on children’s ages, characteristics, and the settings within which teaching and learning occur. They a) understand and use positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation for their work with young children and families. Candidates b, c) know, understand, and use a wide array of developmentally appropriate approaches, instructional strategies, and tools to connect with children and families and d) positively influence each child’s development and learning.

STANDARD 5. USING CONTENT KNOWLEDGE TO BUILD MEANINGFUL CURRICULUM

Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs a) use their knowledge of academic disciplines to design, implement, and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for each and every young child. Candidates understand the importance of developmental domains and academic (or content) disciplines in early childhood curriculum. They b) know the essential concepts, inquiry tools, and structure of content areas, including academic subjects, and can identify resources to deepen their understanding. Candidates c. use their own knowledge and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate meaningful, challenging curriculum that promotes comprehensive developmental and learning outcomes for every young child.

STANDARD 6. BECOMING A PROFESSIONAL

Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs a) identify and conduct themselves as members of the early childhood profession. They b) know and use ethical guidelines and other professional standards related to early childhood practice. They c) are continuous, collaborative learners who demonstrate knowledgeable, reflective and critical perspectives on their work, making informed decisions that d) integrate knowledge from a variety of sources. They are e) informed advocates for sound educational practices and policies.

STANDARD 7. EARLY CHILDHOOD FIELD EXPERIENCES

Candidates have field experiences and clinical practice in a) at least two of the three early childhood age groups (birth – age 3, 3 through 5, 5 through 8 years) and in b) the variety of settings that offer early education (early school grades, child care centers and homes, Head Start programs).
 

July 2011 2011 ©National Association for the Education of Young Children, All Rights Reserved

 

Section 2 Early Childhood Studies Program Overview The Early Childhood Studies Major

Focus of the Early Childhood Studies Major

The Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Studies provides students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to work effectively with children in early childhood (birth to age 8) and their families. Students study multi-disciplinary theories, research, and best practices in early care and education, 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 to effectively communicate these findings to families and community partners. The program also focuses on preparing professionals to be leaders and advocates on behalf of children and families.

In addition to developing knowledge of children and families, the ECS Program promotes critical thinking and effective written communication. In core courses, students are expected to read and think critically, reflect deeply on what is observed in field placements, and apply their growing knowledge to develop exemplary models of practice. Students demonstrate competency in their writing by using logical analysis, thoughtful organization and an academic voice. Students who have not developed adequate skills  in written communication will  be referred to the SSU Writing Center.

Please see Section 7 for the Early Childhood Studies Critical Reflection Framework and Writing Standards.

Concentrations

All students who declare the Early Childhood Studies major must choose a concentration in either Early Childhood Education or Early Childhood Development at the time of declaring the major.

Early Childhood Education

The Early Childhood Education concentration prepares students for a career in an early education setting, including:

  • Infant, toddler, and preschool teacher

  • Administrator of an early education program

  • Support services in agencies that serve young children and families

  • Elementary teacher (requires completion of a post-baccalaureate Multiple Subject credential program) 

  • Special Education teacher (requires completion of a post-baccalaureate Special Education credential program)

Early Childhood Development 

The Early Childhood Development concentration prepares students for a career working with young children and families in non-education settings.  Students work with an advisor to prepare for a career in entry-level positions in social services or for graduate school in counseling, social work, child life specialist, behavior therapist, etc.

 

Integrated Teacher Education Program, Education Specialist (ITEP-SE)

Students who are interested in completing the ITEP program must apply and be accepted to the Education Specialist Credential program at the end of their second year of college.  If you plan to declare the ITEP concentration, please let your advisor know, and they will direct you to the appropriate next steps.  Until you are ready to apply, you should declare the Early Childhood Education concentration.

Declaring an Early Childhood Studies Major

Freshmen

Students can declare the ECS major on admission to SSU. Students must declare a concentration in either Early Childhood Development or Early Childhood Education. 

Change of Major

Students may change their major to ECS by meeting with an ECS advisor.  Please contact the department chair if you are interested in changing majors.   Students must declare a concentration in either Early Childhood Development or Early Childhood Education when the ECS major is declared.  To declare the major, students are required to have a GPA of at least 2.5.

Transfer Students

To enter SSU as an Early Childhood Studies major, transfer students must have a GPA of at least 2.5. Transfer students should indicate the ECS major and designate a concentration (Early Childhood Development or Early Childhood Education) on their application to SSU. If you have taken related coursework at another institution, these courses may meet some of the ECS major requirements. You will need to meet with your ECS advisor to determine your individual course credits.

 

Degree Requirements for B.A. in Early Childhood Studies with a Concentration in Early Childhood Education or
in Early Childhood Development

The B.A. with a major in Early Childhood Studies with a concentration in Early Childhood Education or Early Childhood Development requires that you complete a total of 120 units.  Units fall into the following categories:

Degree Requirements 

Units

General Education Units (for more information on GE units, visit the General Education Requirements website, https://ge.sonoma.edu/general-education-requirements

48 units

Early Childhood Studies Coursework

49 units 

 

Electives from across the University (depends on how many courses double-count towards the major and GE)

    

23 units

Early Childhood Studies Major Core Requirements (both concentrations, 35 units)

CORE REQUIREMENTS UNITS

Department and Course Number

Units

Lower Division Coursework

      EDEC 178   Introduction to ECS Major and Portfolio

1

      EDEC 110   Understanding Development:  Birth through Adolescence

3

      EDEC 201   Foundations of Early Care and Education

4

      *EDEC 220 Child Observation with Field Experience 

4

      EDEC 270   Children and Families in Diverse Societies

4

 

Department and Course Number

Units

Upper Division Coursework

      EDEC 411   Infant and Toddler Development

3

      EDSP 432       Young Children with Special Needs

4

      EDEC 435   Advocating for Children and Families

4

      EDEC 450   Empowerment and Equity for Children and Families

3

      EDEC 460   Introduction to Research in Early Childhood Studies

4

      EDEC 478   Early Childhood  Studies Portfolio

1

* Students enrolled in EDEC 220 will complete 24-48 hours of fieldwork in an early childhood setting. During any one semester, enroll in only one field course at a time.

* EDEC 478 is restricted to graduating seniors in their final semester.


Transfer students who have completed the CAP 8 Child Development sequence have met the lower-division requirements for the major. Please meet with the ECS advisor for more information.

 

Early Childhood Education Concentration Requirements (8 units)

Courses

Units

  • *EDEC 237   Early Childhood Curriculum with Field Experience 

4

  • EDEC 437      Integrated Curriculum with Field Experience

4


*Students enrolled in EDEC 237 will complete 24-48 hours of fieldwork in an early childhood setting. During any one semester, enroll in only one field course at a time.

Child Development Concentration Requirements (8 units)

Courses

Units

  • EDEC 247 Physical Development and Health in Childhood

3

  • *EDEC 347 Field Experience in Community Service Agencies

2

  • EDEC 447 Children’s Emotional Development and Health

3

*Students enrolled in EDEC 347 will complete 48 hours of fieldwork in an early childhood setting. During any one semester, enroll in only one field course at a time.

Early Childhood Studies Major Electives (both concentrations, 6 units)

In addition to the Early Childhood Studies core courses, students must also choose a minimum of 6 units from the following electives. It is imperative that students meet with an advisor to choose electives that meet the requirements for their career goals.

Department and Course Number

Units

  • EDEC 405    iPlay: Child Development in the Digital Age

3

  • EDEC 406    Positive Guidance

3

  • EDEC 407     Multicultural Children’s Literature

3

  • EDEC 408     Science, Literacy and Play: Exploring the Natural World

3

  • EDEC 409     Play in Early Childhood

3

  • EDEC 410     Language Development

3

  • EDEC 412     Brain Development

3

  • EDEC 490    Special Topics in Early Childhood Studies

1-4

  • EDMS 419    Identity and Agency for Socially Just Classrooms & Communities

3

  • EDSS 418      Development in Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood

3

  • EDUC 417     School and Society

3

  • AMCS 339    Ethnic Groups and American Social Policy

3

  • AMCS 445    Multiculturalism and Education

4

  • CALS 403     Chicano/Latino Youth and Adolescents

3-4

  • CALS 405     The Chicano/Latino Family

3-4

  • CALS 450     Chicano/Latino Children’s Literature

3-4

  • CALS 456     Sociology of Education/Latinos and Education

4

  • KIN 400        Elementary School Physical  Education

3

  • KIN 427         Individuals with Disabilities in Educational and Recreational Settings

3

  • PSY 409     Social and Emotional Development

4

  • PSY 411     Child Psychopathology

4

  • PSY 414     Infant Development

4

  • PSY 418     Psychology of Family

4

  • PSY 431     Introduction to Art Therapy

4

  • PSY 448      Cognitive Development

4

  • SOCI 345   Sociology of Families

4

  • SOCI 445   Sociology of Childhood and Adolescence

4

  • EDUC 417 and EDMS 419 are prerequisite courses for the Elementary School Multiple Subject Credential.  If you are planning to apply to the Multiple Subject Credential program at SSU, you should take these two courses as your major electives.

Please note:

Other electives may be considered in consultation with the ECS Advisor.

Degree Requirements for the Integrated Teacher Education Program, Education Specialist

The ITEP Education Specialist is an intense program that leads to a BA in Early Childhood Studies and a credential in Special Education.  It is a 135-unit program that is designed to be completed in four years.  Students are required to take a relatively high unit load in most semesters.

Students interested in the ITEP must apply to the Education Specialist Credential Program at the end of their second year.  If you are interested in this option, please declare the Early Childhood Education concentration for now and talk to an advisor about next steps.

The recommended course sequence for completing the ITEP is as follows:

Suggested Plan for  ITEP

FRESHMAN YEAR: 33 UNITS

Fall Semester (16 units)

Units

GE Area A1

3

GE Area A2

3

GE Area B4 (math)

3

GE Area B

3

GE Area D (American Institutions)

3

UNIV 102

1

 

Spring Semester (17 units)

Units

GE Area A3

3

GE Area B

3

GE Area C

3

GE Area D (American Institutions)

3

EDEC 178

1

EDEC 110 (also meets GE Area E)

3

UNIV 102

1

 

SOPHOMORE YEAR: 30 UNITS

Fall Semester (15 units)

Units

GE Area C

3

EDEC 201

4

EDEC 220

4

EDEC 270

4

 

Spring Semester (15 units)

Units

EDEC 411

3

EDEC 450

3

GE Area C

3

GE Area D

3

Elective

3

 

JUNIOR YEAR: 36 UNITS

Fall Semester (17 units)

Units

EDSP 430

3

EDSP 432

4

EDSP 422A + 421B

4

EDMS 463

3

Upper Division GE Area D

3


 

Spring Semester (19 units)

Units

EDEC 435

4

EDSP 421C&D

2

EDSP 421A

3

EDSS 446

4

Upper Division GE Area C (ethnic studies)

3

University Elective

3

 

SENIOR YEAR:  35-36 UNITS

Fall Semester (18 units)

Units

EDEC 460

4

EDSP 422B

1

EDSP 423

3

EDSP 424

3

EDSP 425 or 426

4

Upper Division GE Area B

3

Spring Semester (17-18 units)

Units

EDEC 478

1

EDSP 460

2

EDSP 465/467

11

EDMS 474 or EDSP 428

3-4

 

Descriptions of Early Childhood Studies Courses

EDEC 178 - Introduction to ECS Major and Digital Portfolio

In this course, students will learn about the requirements and responsibilities of the Early Childhood Studies (ECS) major, and learn about ethical and legal requirements in field placements and professional life. They will understand the purpose of the senior portfolio in the ECS major, learn about different types of portfolios, and practice building a digital portfolio. Prerequisites: none. Grading: Credit/No Credit only. Course is not repeatable.
 

EDEC 110 – Understanding Development:  Birth through Adolescence

Are 2-year old’s really terrible?  Does spanking harm a child?  Students will explore their own childhood and the development of children from diverse backgrounds. GE Area E (Communication; Disciplinary/ Interdisciplinary Knowledge; Integration). Can be applied to the Child Development Permit. Grade only.

EDEC 201 - Foundations of Early Care and Education

This course provides an introduction to the theory and research that underlie professional work with young children. Topics include: historical views on childhood and play, influential theorists, historical and contemporary models of early childhood education, principles of developmentally and culturally appropriate practice, contemporary issues in early care and education, professional ethics, and professional career development.

EDEC 220 - Child Observation with Field Experience

Students will learn the major developmental milestones, research findings, and theories covering the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development of children from conception through eight years old. Students will observe and participate in an early childhood classroom approved by the instructor (birth to KG), applying techniques for documenting and assessing children's growth and development. A 24-hour field placement is required. Course open to sophomores and above.

EDEC 237 – Early Childhood Curriculum with Field Experience 

This course presents an overview of knowledge and skills related to designing classroom environments for young children, birth to kindergarten. Students examine how to create and use the physical environment as the foundation for promoting activities that support learning and development, with an emphasis on language and literacy development and the essential role of play. Students will observe and participate in a classroom approved by the instructor; a 24-hour field placement is required. Course open to sophomores and above.

EDEC 247 - Physical Development and Health in Childhood

In this course, students will study the factors that promote optimal physical development and health in childhood. Students will consider practical applications of this knowledge in a variety of organizations that serve young children. Students will also study the basics of parent education so that they can work effectively with parents to keep children safe and to see that children receive needed health services. Prerequisite: none. Grade only.  Course is not repeatable.

EDEC 270 - Families and Children in Diverse Societies

Class participants will study the dynamic interactions of race, culture, gender, socioeconomic status, and other factors as they relate to the care and education of children from diverse populations. By exploring the diversity of family systems, the sociocultural factors that affect a child's development, and the socializing influences of community, students will become more informed and effective professionals in a pluralistic society. Course restricted to sophomores and above.

EDEC 347 - Field Experience in Community Service Agencies

Students will complete a field placement (at least 45 hours) in an approved agency or organization that serves children in a non-education/non-child care setting. Students will perform tasks set by the placement agency, attend weekly class meetings, and complete readings and assignments  related to working effectively with diverse children and families. Students must sign the School of Education Field Experience Agreement before starting at their field site.  Prerequisites:  declared ECS major with a concentration in Early Childhood Development, EDEC 220, junior or senior standing.  Grade only. Course is not repeatable.

EDEC 411 – Infant and Toddler Development

Students will learn theory and research in infant and toddler development and will consider the implications for agencies and programs that serve children under the age of three. Course topics include attachment theory, stage theories of infant and toddler development, developmental growth and milestones, early brain development, ACES, resilience, and positive guidance. Course taught in face-to-face and hybrid modes.

EDSP 432 - Designing Inclusive Environments in Early Childhood Education

An introduction to theories, research, and practices related to providing appropriate services for young children with special needs (birth through 8). Topics include: early identification of exceptional needs; collaborative partnerships for inclusive education; the role of parents; strategies and resources for supporting the educational, social, behavioral, and/or medical needs of young children; and the requirements of special education laws.

EDEC 435 - Leadership on Behalf of Children and Families

In this course, students will study and apply the principles and strategies that underlie the effective administration of programs for young children and families, and effective advocacy on their behalf. Students will build and use leadership skills in the areas of identifying priorities, organizational planning, guiding staff, communicating clearly, and working collaboratively with community partners. Present-day early childhood advocacy issues will be explored and students will engage in leadership efforts that engage their newly developed understandings and skills.  Course restricted to juniors  and above.

EDEC 437 – Integrated Curriculum with Field Experience 

In this course, students will learn to plan and implement developmentally and culturally appropriate curriculum for children in classrooms, TK through 3rd grade. Students will create learning and assessment opportunities that enable young children to construct knowledge through an integrated approach that includes all curriculum areas and that aligns with relevant state and professional standards. Students will observe and participate in a classroom approved by the instructor; a 24-hour field placement is required. Prerequisite: EDEC 237. Course restricted to juniors  and above.

EDEC 447 - Children’s Emotional Development and Mental Health

In this course, students will deepen their understanding of children’s emotional development from birth through age eight, and learn about common mental health problems in early childhood. Topics include: the role of sociocultural context; risk and protective factors; attachment and temperament; resilience; common mental health problems; and mental health observation and screening tools. Prerequisites: EDEC 220, junior standing.  Grade only.  Course is not repeatable.
 

EDEC 450 – Empowerment and Equity for Children and Families

Questions of social justice and equity are fundamental to our understanding, application, and critique of the way’s children are raised. This class will explore strategies to support children within the context of their families, school, and community by critically applying theories and research of child development. There is an emphasis on (1) dual language learners and (2) local community resources available to support families, including those that address issues of poverty and violence and the effects of these on children and their families.  Grade only. Pre-requisites:  EDEC 110; ECS major or minor, HD major; sophomore, junior, or senior.

EDEC 460 – Introduction to Research in Early Childhood Studies

This course provides an overview of quantitative and qualitative research methods commonly used to study young children. Topics will include: research methods; the role of context in research; common early childhood psychological measurement tools; observational techniques; research ethics; library research strategies; and evaluating research reports. Course restricted to juniors and above.

EDEC 478 – Early Childhood Studies Portfolio

In this seminar, students will compile and reflect upon their work in the Early Childhood Studies major. Final products will be presented to faculty and students in the Early Childhood Program. Course restricted to graduating seniors in their final semester of the Early Childhood Studies major.
 

Information for Transfer Students

General information about transferring to Sonoma State University can be found on the Admissions site at http://admissions.sonoma.edu/.

The B.A. with a major in Early Childhood Studies requires that you complete a total of 120 units, with no more than 70 units transferred from a community college. Additionally, 40 units must be in upper-division courses, and at least 30 units must be taken while at SSU.  

Students who completed a Child Development/Early Childhood Education Transfer degree have met the lower division (courses numbered at the 100- and 200-level) requirements in the major, except for EDEC 178.  

Please see your transfer record and your Academic Requirements Report for an accounting of how your units transferred to SSU.  If you have questions about how your units transferred, please meet with your advisor.  You can see your assigned advisor in your MySSU account.

 

The Early Childhood Studies Minor

The minor in Early Childhood Studies gives students from any major at Sonoma State University a concentration in the study of early childhood development and learning. This minor is useful for students interested in pursuing careers involving work with young children from birth through age eight in fields such as Education, Counseling, Psychology, Social Work, Nursing, and others. For a minor in Early Childhood Studies, students must take five required courses (18 units) plus an additional 6 units of elective courses, for a total of 24 units.

Courses required for the minor can be used to apply for a California Child Development Permit, and when the appropriate electives are chosen, the minor can also cover prerequisites for the Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential Program. If your ultimate goal is to obtain a Child Development Permit or enroll in the Multiple Subjects Credential Program, be sure to consult with an advisor to ensure that you take the appropriate courses.

Upon being accepted into the Early Childhood Studies minor, students complete the online module called Field Placement Information. Your advisor will provide you with information on how to access and complete the module. This module must be completed prior to starting fieldwork in EDEC 220.

ECS Minor Core Requirements (18 units)

Units

  • EDEC 110      Understanding Development:  Birth through Adolescence

3

  • EDEC 220     Child Observation with Field Experience 

4

  • EDEC 270    Children and Families in a Diverse Society

4

  • EDSP 432    Young Children with Special Needs

4

  • EDEC 450      Empowerment and Equity for Children and Families

3


 

Possible Elective Courses (6 units)

Units

  • EDEC 201    Foundations of Early Care and Education

4

  • #EDEC 237     Early Childhood Curriculum with Field Experience

4

  • EDEC 247    Physical Development and Health in Childhood

3

  • EDEC 437    Integrated Curriculum with Field Experience

4

  • EDEC 447    Children’s Emotional Development and Health

3

  • EDEC 435       Leadership and Advocacy on Behalf of Children and Families

4

  • EDEC 460    Introduction to Research in Early Childhood Studies

4

  • EDEC 405      iPlay: Child Development in the Digital Age

3

  • EDEC 406      Positive Guidance

3

  • EDEC 407      Multicultural Children’s Literacy

3

  • EDEC 408      Science, Literacy, and Play; Exploring the Natural World

3

  • EDEC 409     Play in Early Childhood

3

  • EDEC 410     Language Development

3

  • EDEC 411     Infant and Toddler Development

3

  • EDEC 412      Brain Development

3

  • EDEC 490    Special Topics in Early Childhood Studies

1-4

  • EDUC 250    Teaching in a Changing World

3

  • *EDUC 417    School and Society

3

  • *EDMS 419    Identity and Agency for Socially Just Classrooms & Communities

3

  • AMCS 339    Ethnic Groups and American Social Policy

3

  • AMCS 374    The Multiracial Experience

4

  • AMCS 445    Multiculturalism and Education

4

  • CALS 405    The Chicano/Latino Family

4

  • CALS 450    Chicano/Latino Children’s Literature

4

  • CALS 456        Sociology of Education/Latinos and Education

4

  • KIN 400         Elementary School Physical Education

3

  • KIN 427        Individuals with Disabilities in Educational and Recreational Settings

3

  • PSY 409    Social and Emotional Development

4

  • PSY 411    Child Psychopathology

4

  • PSY 418    Psychology of Family

4

  • PSY 431    Introduction to Art Therapy

4

  • PSY 448    Cognitive Development

4

  • SOCI 345    Sociology of Families

4

  • SOCI 445    Sociology of Childhood and Adolescence

4

#Students intending to pursue a child development permit must choose EDEC 237 as an elective.

*Also satisfies the prerequisite for the Multiple Subjects (Elementary) Teaching Credential.

  • Minors will need to complete the ECS Field Experience Module prior to starting fieldwork in EDEC 220. 

  • Students planning on taking the Credential program at SSU should complete EDMS 419 and EDUC 417 as part of their program.

  1. Other elective courses may be chosen in consultation with the advisor.

  2. Transfer students who have completed the CAP-8 Child Development transfer sequence should consult with an advisor about how to complete the minor.

Declaring an Early Childhood Studies Minor

Students who are interested in an ECS minor must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher.  To declare the minor, meet with the ECS minor advisor.

Section 3 Proceeding Through the Programs

Procedures and Policies

Advising

It is your responsibility to communicate with your ECS advisor whenever you have a question regarding the courses that you need to take or your progress in the program. To meet with your ECS advisor, determine which advisor you're assigned to and visit him/her during office hours or schedule an appointment. 

Advisors for ECS Major Students:

  1. Lisel Murdock-Perriera

  2. Ayumi Nagase

  3. Elita Virmani

  4. Yajuan (Vivian) Xiang

  5. Anya Kayne

  6. Lisa Pollack

  7. Sheri Schonleber

  8. Kathleen Kelley

  9. Lynne Lyle

Advisor for ECS Minor and Graduate Students:

  1. Elita Amini Virmani

Advisors for Integrated Teacher Education Program with Special Education:

  1. Chiara Bacigalupa

  2. Elizabeth Ducy

Please note:

Students are assigned an advisor when they enter SSU or declare the major.  You can find your assigned advisor in your MySSU account.

Registering for Courses

A helpful resource when registering for courses is the online Seawolf Scheduler. This system allows students to specify the days/times that they cannot attend classes (due to potential conflicts with work, extracurricular activities, etc.), and then automatically creates several possible course schedules from among which students can choose.

If you are unsure which courses to register for, then contact your advisor. Additionally, if you require an advisor’s signature prior to registration, it is your responsibility to schedule an appointment with him/her several weeks before registration begins.

All of the ECS core requirements are offered each semester. Some of the courses are restricted to upper division students, but there will be ample opportunity for you to complete your ECS coursework in a 4-year sequence if you work with your advisor throughout your undergraduate career.

When planning your schedule for completing the ECS major or minor, be mindful of the following course requirements:

  • All of the lower division courses should be taken prior to taking the upper division courses.

  • Only EDEC 178, 110 and EDEC 201 are available to first-year students.

  • Courses that include field experiences (EDEC 220, EDEC 237, EDEC 347, and EDEC 437) should not be taken during the same semester.

  • EDEC 347, EDEC 411, EDEC 447, EDSP 432, EDEC 435, EDEC 437, EDEC 450, and EDEC 460 are restricted to juniors and above. It is recommended that EDEC 435 and EDEC 460 be taken in your senior year.

  • EDEC 478 is restricted to graduating seniors in their final semester.

  • EDUC 417 and EDMS 419 are pre/co-requisites for the SSU Multiple Subject Credential Program and can be used as ECS major electives.

Recommended Sequence of Coursework for Entering First-Year Students

  • Freshman Year: EDEC 178, EDEC 110, EDEC 201 and lower division GE coursework.

  • Sophomore Year: EDEC 220, EDEC 237 or 247, EDEC 270, GE coursework (take EDEC 220 and EDEC 237 during different semesters).

  • Junior Year: EDSP 432, EDEC 411, EDEC 437 or 447, EDEC 450, upper division GE coursework, ECS electives (these may be double dipped with upper division GE coursework if applicable); take WEPT (Written English Proficiency Test).

  • Senior Year: EDEC 435, EDEC 460, EDEC 478, ECS electives, complete major requirements, complete GE requirement.

Registration and Permission Numbers

For those students who find themselves in a situation in which they were not able to register for a specific course that is needed in order to graduate on time, the department will consider issuing a permission number only as follows.

  • Seniors who need particular courses in order to graduate.  Priority will be given to seniors who are graduating in the same semester for which they are registering

  • Juniors who need to take EDEC 220 in the second semester of their third year in order to complete the field course sequence by the end of the senior year

  • Transfer students who are not recognized by the registration system as juniors (where space is available)

  • Students who have consulted their advisor and can make the case that a particular course in a particular semester is essential to graduating on time

 

Procedure for Obtaining a Permission Number:

  • Register for the courses you need during your registration appointment.

  • If you meet the criteria above and were unable to register for a course that is needed, contact your advisor AFTER you have registered.  Be sure to tell your advisor:

    • Your full name and SSU e-mail address

    • The course(s) you need – be sure to list all sections that you are able to take

    • A complete description of how you meet the criteria above/why you need the course for an on-time graduation.

 

Please note:

  • The department cannot guarantee access to any course, even if you request a permission number.

  • No more than two permission numbers per student will be given in any single semester.

  • Permission numbers will not be given for work conflicts or when classes have been dropped by the registrar’s office (e.g. for late payments).

  • Permission numbers will not be given to students who are not being recognized by the system because they declared the major within 10 days of registration.

  • The ECS department can only give permission numbers for EDEC courses and for ESDP 432.  For courses in other departments, you will need to contact the instructor or that department chair.

MINORS will be given a permission number to enroll in EDEC 220 only as space allows.  Minors will need to complete the Early Childhood field experience module prior to starting fieldwork in EDEC 220.

 

Definition of Credit Hours

In all CSU academic courses, it is required that for each unit of credit, there is one hour of classroom instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class work each week. This means that for a 3-unit class, you complete at least six hours of homework every week, and for a 4-unit class, you complete at least eight hours of homework. In all of the 4-unit ECS core required courses, the class sessions are only 3 hours with the 4th hour consisting of online and field-based work.

EDEC 220, 237, 347 and 437 all require extensive time in the field, and therefore they should not be taken during the same semester. If a student has a documented reason why two of these courses must be taken in the same semester, then field hours must be completed at separate sites. Field hours and field logs for both courses will also have to be completed separately and in full.


Attendance Policy

Because the ECS courses meet on a weekly schedule with frequent in-class activities, the department has adopted a policy on attendance. Students who are absent for more than three (3) face-to-face sessions in a course that meets once weekly will fail the course. In cases of extenuating circumstances, the instructor can choose to waive this policy, as long as the reasons for the absence are verified with appropriate documentation and the instructor and student have together developed a plan to address the missed material. Be sure to contact your professor if you are close to the absence limit.

Student Ethical and Professional Behavior Policy

In all aspects of their campus experience, students shall demonstrate personality and character traits that satisfy the professional standards required in working with children and families and that are consistent with the School of Education Core Values at http://education.sonoma.edu/about.

Since so much of the focus of the ECS coursework prepares students to develop relationships with children, families, and colleagues, the School of Education expects students to demonstrate professional behavior in all coursework, field experiences and campus activities. The ECS faculty will assess student behavior for correspondence with professional standards and School of Education expectations. Faculty will consider student conduct in coursework, fieldwork, and campus activities and may also consider information from other higher education faculty, university staff, and field site personnel who have had direct contact with the student. Evidence for these assessments may include coursework, observations, and interviews.

See Section 4 on Field Placements in this handbook for further information about ethical and professional behavior specifically related to field placements.

 

SSU Statement on Civility and Tolerance

Sonoma State University is strongly committed to creating a productive learning and living environment that promotes the rights, safety, dignity, and value of every individual. It is fundamental to our mission to promote a civil, respectful, and inclusive community, and to oppose acts of racism, religious intolerance, sexism, ageism, homophobia, harassment, discrimination against those with disabling conditions, or other forms of intolerance. It is the responsibility of all members of the SSU community to create a productive campus climate characterized by considerate and principled conduct. We expect that all members of the SSU community will:

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to be honest in meeting all course requirements.  Cheating on exams or plagiarism (presenting the work of another as your own, or the use of another person’s ideas without giving proper credit) will result in academic sanctions, including a lowered or failing grade in a course and the possibility of an additional administrative sanction. In all courses, submitted work must be written specifically for that course; if you wish to delve deeper into an assignment submitted to another course, you must discuss this possibility with the professor. If you are in doubt about the nature of plagiarism, you should discuss the matter with your course instructor. The University’s Cheating and Plagiarism policy is available at https://www.sonoma.edu/policies/cheating-and-plagiarism

Consequences of Inappropriate Student Behavior

If a student is shown to have engaged in inappropriate behavior in courses, fieldwork, or other activities, the following procedures will be followed:

  • The student will meet with the Early Childhood Studies Department Chair, and, if appropriate, a relevant faculty member for a discussion of the behavior of concern. This meeting will provide all parties with an opportunity to present information about the incident(s) in question. In some cases, the student will be asked to refrain from attending classes until the case is settled.

  • The ECS Chair, after consultation with faculty, will determine an appropriate course of action to address the behavior. Remedies may include but are not limited to, completion of program-related assignments, recommendation for appropriate counseling, and termination from the program. The ECS Chair maintains all records supporting the decision.

  • Students who disagree with the ECS Chair’s decision may meet with the Dean of the School of Education. If the Dean and the student do not come to a satisfactory resolution, the student may appeal the decision through the SSU Student Grievance Policy at https://www.sonoma.edu/policies/student-grievance-policy.

 

Academic Standing

Academic standing refers to the quality of your work at SSU. Students falling below acceptable standards are placed on academic probation and become subject to academic disqualification should the quality of their academic work not improve to meet minimum standards. Academic standing is calculated for all college units attempted (cumulative GPA) and for all units attempted at Sonoma State University (resident GPA).

Good Standing: Students who have maintained satisfactory scholarship with at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average and resident GPA.

Academic Probation: A student is subject to academic probation if at any time the cumulative grade point average in all college work attempted or resident GPA falls below

  1. The student shall be removed from academic probation when the cumulative and resident GPA is 2.0 or higher. Students on probation are eligible to enroll in the subsequent semester; however, they are required to meet with their advisor prior to registration.

 

Academic Disqualification

Students on academic probation are subject to academic disqualification when they fall below a 2.00 average by the number of grade points indicated either for cumulative GPA or resident GPA, dependent on their class level:

Class Level

Minimum GPA

Freshmen

1.50

Sophomores

1.70

Juniors

1.85

Seniors

1.95

 

Please see the SSU Catalog for more information about Academic Probation/ Disqualification. The following is a link to the Academic Probation/ Disqualification policy website at www.sonoma.edu/policies/academic-probation-disqualification-and-progress.

Course Repeat Policy

  • Grade replacement: Students who have earned a grade lower than a C, with permission of the ECS Department Chair, may repeat the course for grade replacement or grade averaging.

  • Courses originally taken at SSU may also be repeated at another college campus for grade replacement or grade averaging (if the original grade is C or lower) with the Department Chair’s approval.

Student Services

SSU provides an array of services for all of its students. Campus resources are detailed on the Student Resources website at www.sonoma.edu/students/. Some of the most frequently accessed resources include the following:

Disability Services for Students – Schulz 1014A (707) 664-2677

In order for students with disabilities (both permanent and temporary) to receive academic accommodations, students must self-identify with the DSS Office and provide documentation of their disabling condition. Information acquired during this process is confidential and will be shared upon consent of the student. These accommodations may include architectural access changes, close-in or adapted parking or seating, library assistance, interpreters, extended time and/or alternative format for exams, auxiliary aids, as well as academic adjustments, or other accommodations necessary for a particular individual’s needs. The following is the website link to Disability Services at www.sonoma.edu/dss/

Learning and Academic Resource Center – 1103 Schulz Information Center (707) 664-4401

LARC houses several academic support services: The Writing Center, the Tutorial Program, and Supplemental Instruction in one convenient and inviting space for students, faculty, and staff.  The Writing Center provides individual writing support as well as small group writing sessions and workshops. The tutors can assist in all writing skills from generating appropriate writing topics to using analytical thinking, organizing the paper, citing your sources, and so on. ECS students are strongly encouraged to access the Writing Center to improve their effectiveness in written communication. Website link to Learning and Academic Resource Center at  www.sonoma.edu/writingcenter/.

Counseling & Psychological Services -- (707) 664-2153

Students who wish to meet with a counselor to discuss any personal or academic issue can make an appointment. The Center also provides many others services: short-term counseling sessions, group sessions, mental health workshops, crisis consultation, and community referrals. Website link to Counseling and Psychology Services at http://caps.sonoma.edu/ .

Career Services – International Hall 107; (707) 664-2196

The Career Center provides a number of important services for students including career advising, job and interview suggestions, and peer advising. There is also an updated job listing of both campus and off-campus positions. Website link to Career Services at www.sonoma.edu/career/.

Other Student Support

Patricia Nourot Memorial Scholarship

Our friend and colleague in Early Childhood Studies at SSU, Dr. Patricia Nourot, was a friend and role model to her students and a renowned scholar of early childhood education and children’s play. This scholarship honors Dr. Nourot by providing funds to cover educational expenses for students in the ECS major, minor, or the ECE Master’s Degree Program. In each academic year, applications will be considered and one scholarship of up to $300 will be awarded. To be considered for this scholarship, applicants must have officially declared as an ECS major, minor, or graduate student in Early Childhood and have at least junior standing. More information, along with the scholarship application, can be found on the Nourot Scholarship Website at http://education.sonoma.edu/scholarships-awards/nourot.

SSU Campus Clubs

There are over 100 student clubs at SSU. One club that includes many of the ECS Program students is the Early Childhood Club. Students interested in teaching in elementary schools may be interested in the Student California Teachers Association. Please let one of your professors know if you are interested in joining either of these clubs. Website link to the Student Involvement website at www.sonoma.edu/campuslife/clubs/.

 

Section 4 Field Experiences

Description of Fieldwork Experiences

The direct application of your coursework is achieved through the frequent field participation assignments in most of the core courses in the Early Childhood Studies major. The purpose of the fieldwork is to provide opportunities for you to integrate what you are learning in your coursework with observations of children and families in early care and education settings. In EDEC 220, EDEC 237 and EDEC 437, you will complete 24 hours of fieldwork over the course of the semester. In EDEC 347, you complete 45-48 hours. Other courses may require 2 to 15 hours of fieldwork per semester.

**It is a requirement of the program that your fieldwork for EDEC 220, 237, 347 and 437 be completed in settings that offer diverse learning opportunities for you. Field placements must differ with regard to:

  • The ages of the children served

  • The type of program

**Each of your 24-hour (or more) field experiences must be completed with children from different age categories:

  • Infants/toddlers (birth to 3 years old)

  • Preschoolers (3 to 5 years old)

  • Transitional Kindergarteners (TK)

  • Kindergartners

  • Children in Grades 1 to 3

**Each of your 24-hour (or more) field experiences must be completed in at least 2 different kinds of programs:

  • Family child care

  • Public or private child care center

  • Head Start

  • Elementary School

  • Other kinds of agencies that serve children and families

Students in the EC Development Concentration choose field placements that match their interests and career goals.

Professionals in a variety of programs throughout Sonoma County have offered to host our students. Your instructors in each of your courses will work with you to select a site that meets your interests and needs. If you do not have a car, we suggest that you carpool or use the bus to travel to programs that best meet your career goals. If transportation is not available, we will help you arrange for fieldwork on campus at the Children’s School or at one of the nearby public elementary schools (Monte Vista Elementary and University Elementary at La Fiesta).

If you have a job working with young children, you may be able to use your work setting as your fieldwork site for one course. However, the field observations and assignments that you are required to complete may not be done during the hours that you are completing your job responsibilities. Therefore, you will have to spend additional time each week at your work to accomplish these course assignments.  Your course instructor must approve all field classroom settings.

 

Required Documents to Begin Fieldwork

Prior to beginning your first field experience, you will need to submit to your course professor the following documents:

  • Negative TB test or screening completed within the last two years.  You can complete the screening in My Health Portal.

  • Record of Immunizations – please keep available a record of your immunizations.  Placements in preschool classrooms require that you have a copy of your immunizations on file with that program.

  • Field Placement and Confidentiality Agreement for each placement (found in Section 7).

Expectations for Fieldwork Observation and Participation

In each of your fieldwork placements, there will be focused observations to record and specific assignments to complete. You will be maintaining an observational journal for each field placement in which you will record your observations. Approximately one- fourth to one-half of your time in the classroom each day will be used for observing, and the balance of the time is an opportunity for you to interact with individuals or small groups of children.

Depending on your field setting and the course that you are taking, your participation time may be used to support an individual child’s learning, lead a learning center that was prepared by the classroom teacher, read to the whole class, or implement a learning activity that you developed in your course. At no time during your fieldwork experience are you to be left alone with the children. For instance, if you are asked to remain in the classroom while one or more children are finishing up a project while the teacher takes the rest of the children to recess, you must remind the teacher that you may not be left with the children without him/her present. Also, let your ECS course instructor know that this request was made.

Documentation of Fieldwork

It is crucial that you document every single field experience that you complete. This documentation will be needed for your program portfolio, and you may need it when applying for the Child Development Permit, a Credential program, or graduate school. You will be filling out course-specific field logs in the field courses and you will summarize your field experiences with the documentation form when you take EDEC 478 Senior Portfolio. (Fieldwork Logs and Documentation can be found in Section 7).

Course-Specific Fieldwork Log

In each course that requires fieldwork, you will be asked to keep a fieldwork log of your hours. The completed log must be signed by the classroom teacher where you complete your field hours and the instructor of your course. Scan the completed log and place it in your portfolio and keep the original document in a safe place.  A copy of the Fieldwork Log can be found in Section 7.  When you turn in the log to your instructors in each course, be sure to scan or take a photo of your log and keep this copy in your own records.  You will need the logs when you take EDEC 478, and you might also need them when asked later for proof of field hours for employment, graduate school, or credential programs.

 

Recording hours that were not actually worked or forging a signature on a fieldwork log are violations of the SSU Policy on Cheating and Plagiarism
(https://www.sonoma.edu/policies/cheating-and-plagiarism) and the Early Childhood Studies Department Policy on Student Ethical and Professional Behavior (see Section 3). Consequences may include failing the course and removal from the ECS Program.

ECS Program Field Experience Documentation Form

To document that you are meeting SLO #7, participation in a variety of field settings, you will complete the Field Experience Documentation Form when you are enrolled in EDEC 478 ECS Portfolio.  

Professional Behavior at Field Sites

You must remember that you are a guest in your field placement and at the programs in which you are placed. Initiative, sensitivity, respect, and good communication skills are important aspects of your developing professional skills, and we expect that you will display professional behavior at all times. If you are invited, we encourage you to attend staff development and faculty meetings, parent conferences, and other community events at your field site.

The following guidelines must be followed:

  1. At no time during your fieldwork experience are you to be left alone with children. For instance, if you are asked to remain in the classroom while one or more children are finishing up a project while the teacher takes the rest of the children to recess, you must remind the teacher that you may not be left with the children without him/her present. Also, let your ECS course instructor know that this request was made.

  2. Dress appropriately in clothes that reflect your professional role. You will need to use good judgment and err on the side of dressing conservatively.  Check with your program to see if there is a specific dress code and use your observational skills to see what the norm is at your site. Remember that you will be sitting on the floor, bending down, and interacting with children. Your dress should be flexible enough to allow for these activities, while also maintaining a neat and professional image.

  3. In your time in the classroom, your focus should be on your observations and participation in the class. You should keep your phone and other distractions in your bag or car.

  4. No photos of children or staff are ever allowed.  Take photos of the environment or projects with the permission of the mentor and within the bounds of the school or agency policies. Use your photographs only for course assignments.

  5. Do not share photographs or personal information from your placement site on social media.

  6. Avoid talking with the teachers while they are working with children. If you have questions, write them down so that you will remember to ask them later.

  7. If you are unable to make your regularly scheduled time, you must contact your site supervisor and then reschedule your hours.

To be most effective in your interactions with the children, remember the following:

  1. Interactions should always be positive.

  2. Be supportive of the children's interests and follow their lead, rather than introducing your own agenda.

  3. Encourage the children to be responsible and autonomous, so that you are not doing for them what they are capable of doing on their own. You can also foster cooperation and independence by helping the children to support one another.

  4. When communicating with children, it is usually best to be at their eye level and to use a calm voice. Be sensitive to children whose past experiences or cultural experiences make them uneasy with eye contact or touching.

  5. Find ways to encourage children's oral language development by extending their language.

  6. Base your interactions with the children on your knowledge of child development and on your own observations of the class culture.

  7. Many conflicts and problems can be prevented. If you are a careful observer, you will be able to anticipate and prevent some of these problems.

Good communication with your site supervisor is imperative.  If you are unsure about what you should do or should have done with the children, ask! Let your course professor know about any concerns or questions that you have about your field site. The observation journal is also an effective way to discuss questions that arise in the field.

Ethical and Legal Requirements in the Field Placement

In your first field placement in the ECS Program, you will complete the Early Childhood Legal Seminar to further increase your understanding of the legal issues involved when working with children and families. You must pass the seminar before beginning your fieldwork in the program, and you must abide by all laws and regulations covered in the seminar.

Sexual Harassment

Discrimination and sexual harassment at a field site will not be tolerated and can result in removal from the program. Discrimination is behavior that uses any person’s (child or adult) ethnicity, religion, race, gender, economic status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability as the basis for decisions regarding academic status or progress, benefits, services, honors, or activities. Discrimination also includes the creation of an environment that intimidates or is hostile to individuals or to groups on the basis of these characteristics.

Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature made under the following conditions:

  • Submission to the conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of an individual’s employment, academic status, or progress.

  • Submission or rejection of the conduct by the individual is used as the basis of employment or academic decisions affecting the individual.

  • The conduct has the purpose or effect of having a negative impact upon the individual’s work or performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment.

  • Submission to or rejection of the conduct by the individual is used as the basis for any decisions affecting the individual regarding benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through the agency or educational institution.

Confidentiality

The communication of confidential information about another person, except within the frameworks authorized by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, is a violation of individual rights that are legally protected. Violation of these rights may lead to serious consequences, including removal from the Early Childhood Studies Program. Confidential information includes verbal comments, your observations, and student records. Students in the ECS Program must not discuss information learned at their field sites with others, unless it is necessary to do so in order to protect a child or other person. In some cases, you may need to share information with your university instructor or in class for coursework.

In general, protect yourself and the rights of the students, families, and staff with whom you work by engaging in behavior that is consistent with the following principles:

  • Treat all knowledge of students in the strictest confidence.

  • Discuss specific student information only with your classroom teacher, and ask him/her what you may or may not do with that information.

  • Maintain confidentiality when students are discussed in a staff room or anywhere else.

  • Guard carefully any records that are entrusted to you, such as grade books, roster of test scores, etc. Do not take such records from the field site and do not leave them where you might lose possession of them.

  • If information is shared for your coursework, use a child’s initials or a pseudonym.  Never use a child’s surname in field notes or coursework.

In each of your courses where you have a 24-hour (or more) field placement, you are required to sign and submit the Confidentiality Form (found in Section 7).

When Problems Occur in Field Placements

If you experience any problems at your field site, please notify your course instructor as soon as possible. The procedures for handling problems are:

  • The student or the field site supervisor notifies the course instructor as soon as a concern arises.

  • The course instructor holds a conference with the student and if needed the field site supervisor to discuss concerns and find solutions.

  • The course instructor notifies the Early Childhood Studies Department Chair of the problem and the proposed resolution.

  • If the problem continues, the course instructor schedules a new conference with the student, the field site supervisor, and the ECS Department Chair to find a new resolution. The course instructor will document the problem and the new, proposed resolution and will send a copy of this document to the student, the field supervisor, the site director or principal, and the ECS Department Chair. A copy of this document will be kept on file by the department.

  • If the written plan is not followed or is unsuccessful in resolving the problem, the course instructor consults with the ECS Chair to determine alternate solutions and next steps. If the problem is due to the student behavior, the student may be removed from the field placement (see below).

Removal of a Student from a Field Experience

When the presence of a student is detrimental to children or the hosting agency/school, or when performance does not meet minimum standards, a student's placement may be terminated, effective immediately, at any point during the assigned fieldwork.

  • Removal from a field placement, if due to concerns about a student’s behavior, will result in a failing grade for the course.  If the department determines there is evidence that this behavior puts the safety of children in future field placements at substantial risk, then the student will be asked to choose a new major.

  • A student whose behavior is not deemed a substantial risk but who has been removed from a field placement must re-enroll in the course in a subsequent semester and the placement must be completed at the site determined by the ECS Department Chair. No other field placements may be attempted unless this second attempt is successful.

  • If the student is unable to complete a second field placement, the student will fail the course and be required to choose a new major.

Sources of Help During Field Experiences

It is expected that students will have questions, concerns, and perhaps some problems when completing a field experience. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate communication with the course instructor and (if appropriate) the field site supervisor about questions and concerns. If you are unable to communicate with your course instructor about a problem related to your field experience, contact the Early Childhood Studies Department Chair. If contacting the ECS Department Chair is not possible, contact the Dean of the School of Education.

Section 5 Senior Assessment Portfolio

Description of the Portfolio

Throughout your course of study as an ECS major, you will prepare a portfolio in an electronic format.  This process begins when you take EDEC 178 (where you will learn how to access the department’s student subscription and how to build a professional portfolio), and culminates during your last semester in the course EDEC 478: ECS Senior Portfolio.

The portfolio is a collection of a student’s work that demonstrates the student’s growth over time as an early childhood professional.  According to Jones and Shelton,1 “portfolios represent a window on authentic learning, a tool that reflects the learning process” (p. 5). A portfolio identifies what an emerging professional knows, and the areas in which she/he is still developing.  It reveals the student’s understanding of professionalism in work with young children and their families by connecting the student’s work to the teacher preparation standards set forth by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the California Early Childhood Educator Competencies, and the student learning outcomes of the Early Childhood Studies baccalaureate program at Sonoma State University.  It provides documentation of additional skills associated with a B.A. degree, specifically those represented in the SSU General Education learning outcomes, such as critical thinking, oral communication skills, and breadth of knowledge across various disciplines. The portfolio will also be used by the ECS Program and the School of Education for assessment and accreditation purposes, which helps ensure accountability and quality of the ECS Program.

Signature Assignments and Reflections

A significant component of your portfolio is represented by the signature assignments that demonstrate your knowledge, skills, and professionalism related to the student learning outcomes for the Early Childhood Studies major. Each assignment addresses specific student learning outcomes and will be completed in one of the core courses. Most core courses have a signature assignment. 

Guidelines for each of these assignments will be provided by your course instructor. Your instructor will provide specific information about where to submit your signature assignments for the course, but be sure to also save a copy of all course assignments in a secure place, such as your SSU Google drive, so that you will be able to put them in your portfolio when you take EDEC 478 Senior Portfolio. 


Your Senior Portfolio

In your last semester before graduating, you will complete your senior portfolio during

the class EDEC 478: ECS Senior Portfolio. You will work closely with your EDEC 478 instructor who will guide you in the creation of your final reflections.  The portfolio consists of the following elements:

  • Navigation panel or menu bar

  • Introduction to the student and overview of career goals

  • Philosophy Statement (aligned with SLO1)

  • Reflection on Important Understandings (aligned with SLO2, SLO3, SLO4, and SLO5)

  • Reflection on Field Experiences (aligned with SLO7)

  • Reflection on how Critical Thinking and Writing Skills have developed over the course of the student’s college career

  • Reflection on how students met the student learning outcomes for the SSU GE program.

  • Reflection on Professional Goals (aligned with SLO6)

During final portfolio sharing, you will present your portfolio to a small group of peers and one or more instructors from the Early Childhood Studies Program.

More specific information about the senior portfolio will be given to you in EDEC 178 and EDEC 478.

Confidentiality and Your Portfolio

You may post videotapes, student work samples, and classroom photos in your portfolio, but you must remove all names from student work samples and refer to students by initials only in any reflection statements. Never include any confidential information regarding students or their families in your portfolio. Photos and videotapes that show children's faces may not be posted, even if you have parent permission. Guidelines for confidentiality are clearly defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, and confidentiality must be maintained (in both written and oral presentation of samples) following the confidentiality guidelines discussed in section 4 of this handbook.

Academic Honesty and Your Portfolio

In the preparation, writing, and submission of the portfolio, academic honesty requires that you submit only your own work and that you identify the source of all supporting information and material.  The Academic Integrity Policy presented in Section 3 applies to your portfolio. In the portfolio process, plagiarism refers to the submission of any part of the written work or research of another person as one’s own (including passages from published materials, and all or parts of claim sheets written by others). Other instances of academic dishonesty include helping someone else commit academic dishonesty in an aspect of the portfolio process, including allowing another student to submit your work as their own, and falsification and/or invention of any information or citation in the portfolio, including forging letters of documentation. Violations of the Academic Integrity Policy can result in removal from a course, the Early Childhood Studies Program, and SSU.

 

Section 6 Completing the ECS Program

Applying for Graduation

Use your Academic Requirements Report (ARR) to track graduation requirements and review your graduation status. Be sure to check your ARR for accuracy and report any errors to your advisor. You can access your ARR on your MySSU account. Go to the ARR Instructions page for more help. To apply for graduation, fill out the Graduation Application, which must be approved by your advisor and by the ECS Chair for each of your major(s) or minor(s). Additionally, check your Seawolf Email account for important information and application confirmation. The May Commencement program includes students who graduated the previous Fall and those who have applied for Spring or Summer Graduation.

The deadlines for applying for graduation are:

Spring Graduation

Priority Filing = September 15

Final Filing = February 1

Summer Graduation

Priority Filing = February 1

Final Filing = March 15

Fall Graduation

Priority Filing = February 1

Final Filing = September 15

 

Graduation with Distinction

Students graduating with an ECS major may be nominated by an ECS faculty member to graduate with distinction. The ECS Department faculty must all agree that the student has demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the field of early childhood care and education. The criteria that lead to a nomination are:

  1. A minimum GPA of 3.5 in all coursework.

  2. Student behavior in courses and fieldwork consistent with the vision statements in the School of Education Conceptual Framework.

  3. Exhibition of leadership and advocacy characteristics, as exemplified through outstanding contributions to the SSU Early Childhood Program, to the early childhood field, and/or to the early childhood community.

Post B.A. Considerations

Applying to an SSU Teaching Credential Program

Multiple Subject Credential Program (elementary school)

The pre/co-requisites that are required to apply for the Multiple Subject Credential Program can be taken during your B.A. coursework as ECS major electives or university electives. The 45 hours of pre-program field experience will already have been met through your fieldwork in your ECS courses. You will need to take and pass a Basic Skills exam (CBEST) and a Subject Matter Competence exam (CSET) prior to applying. These exams are offered every 2 months, and because some students have difficulty passing them, it is recommended that you allow ample time to register and pass these exams. Students will also need to have applied for a Certificate of Clearance (fingerprinting). More information can be found on the Multiple Subject Credential Website at http://education.sonoma.edu/programs/multiple-subject-credential.

Educational Specialist Program (special education)

The 45 hours of pre-program field experience will already have been met through your fieldwork in your coursework. More information can be found on the Educational Specialist Website at http://education.sonoma.edu/programs/special-education-credential.

Single Subject Credential Program (middle school and high school)

The ECS major is not recommended for those who are interested in becoming a teacher in middle or high school.  Instead, these individuals should pursue a major in the subject that will be taught at these levels. More information can be found on the Single Subject Credential Website at http://education.sonoma.edu/programs/single-subject-credential.

  Please note:

If you are interested in obtaining your teaching credential at another institution, you should contact that school to determine what the requirements are for application.

Admission to a Graduate Program in Education

Sonoma State University’s School of Education offers several graduate degrees including Early Childhood Education. More information can be found on the School of Education MA website at http://education.sonoma.edu/programs/ma.

Admission to a Graduate Program in Counseling, Social Work, Child Life, or Another Field

Research possible graduate programs for the field of your choice, find out what their prerequisite courses are, and consult with your advisor to ensure that you take appropriate electives.

Child Development Permit

The California Child Development Permit is issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC). The permit is organized into different levels, each authorizing the holder to perform different levels of service in early care and education 

(e.g. preschool) programs. Students who graduate with an ECS major with a concentration in Early Childhood Education or with an ECS minor may be eligible for the Child Development Permit at the Site Supervisor level.  If you are an ECS minor and plan to apply for the Child Development Permit, you must choose EDEC 237 as one of your electives.