Childhood Education

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Nettles (chair), Cormas, Diehl, Fine, Hug, Peterson, Torregano, Wright


The Childhood Education Department is part of a professional learning community that shares a commitment to the preparation of highly effective educators and the belief that all students deserve a quality education that meets their individual needs. This community is collaborative, inclusive and committed to the purposeful improvement of teaching and learning for all students using research-based, data-driven decision-making practices to ensure the well-being of each individual child.

Faculty in the Childhood Education Department understand the preparation of teachers to be a shared responsibility held by University faculty, school faculty and Teacher Education candidates conducted in a collaborative climate of mutual respect where different philosophical and theoretical approaches and perspectives are demonstrated, valued and embraced. The faculty engage in teaching and modeling best professional practices and commitments, and they actively seek professional collaboration with colleagues and teachers in school settings.

Members of this community have multiple opportunities to learn and demonstrate the knowledge, skills and dispositions expected of excellent teachers detailed in national, state and local standards. These include emphasis on the University's official core values of integrity, civility and responsibility. Educators who graduate from these programs are prepared to teach all students using developmentally appropriate and culturally responsive practices. These teachers are educational leaders who adapt to change by fusing current research, practices and modern technologies seamlessly into complex teaching and learning contexts.


All coursework and experiences in the major prepare students to meet the following Cal U Teacher Education program performance principles: (1) knowledge of subject matter, (2) knowledge of human development and learning, (3) adapting instruction for individual needs, (4) multiple instructional strategies, (5) classroom motivation and management skills, (6) communication skills, (7) instructional planning skills, (8) assessment of student learning, (9) professional commitment and responsibility, (10) partnerships, (11) diversity, and (12) field experience. The childhood education programs are also rooted in the standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE).


The Childhood Education Department offers programs leading to the Bachelor of Science in Education degree with teacher certification in early childhood education (Pre-K to grade 4) and middle level learning (grades 4 to 8). 

Certification in middle level learning (grades 4 to 8) can also be obtained through a postbaccalaureate certification-only program.

In addition, the department offers noncertification programs in early childhood education services and middle level education services that lead to a Bachelor of Science degree. The department also offers an Associate of Science degree in Early Childhood Education.

Honor Society

Kappa Delta Pi, an international honor society in education, has a California University chapter. Students in education who have demonstrated a high level of academic achievement are invited to apply for induction.


With the anticipated retirements of millions of public school teachers, the future looks bright for those students interested in a professional career in early childhood and middle level education. Career prospects for education services graduates are also encouraging; potential employers include adoption agencies, tutorial learning organizations, community recreation centers, camps, publishers, school service supply companies and child abuse centers. Students with undergraduate degrees in these fields are prepared to pursue advanced study in a variety of disciplines. The Career Services office provides assistance to students seeking positions locally and out-of-state.

Admission to the Pre-K to Grade 4 and Middle Level Education Certification Programs

Students accepted into a teacher certification program must be admitted to Teacher Education by the time they reach the Admission to Teacher Education window. Please refer to the Teacher Education Program Student Handbook for details on the Admission to Teacher Education window.