Apr 17, 2024  

Early Childhood Studies (Non-teacher Certification Degree), B.A.

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The Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Studies (ECS) prepares professionals who will serve young children, families, and the agencies that support them both. This degree program will assist graduates in becoming advocates for children from diverse family structures and will provide them with the critical knowledge to advance the intellectual life of the children and families served.

Program Overview

This bachelor of arts program is for candidates wishing to work with young children, from birth through age 8. The program offers opportunities to combine theory and practice through application experiences in early childhood settings. The Early Childhood Studies Program offers a choice of specialization with the following emphases: birth to three years, agency leadership, or Native Studies. These specialization options are designed to meet the professional goals of each candidate.

Degree completion does not lead to a Washington State Teaching Certificate.

Program Admission Requirements

The minimum requirements for entering the program are the completion of the ECS alternative General University Course Requirements as approved by the ECS director, an AAS from an accredited community college, or an AA/DTA degree and a cumulative GPA of 2.6. Also, students must have a program selection interview.

Candidates must meet all background screening, as required by the University and the Washington State Department of Early Learning WAC’s.

Specialization Choice

Candidates decide on the area they wish to specialize in by the end of the third semester of coursework. Choose one area of emphasis:

  • Birth to Three Specialization
  • Agency Leadership
  • Native Studies
  • Total specialization credits: 9

Application Experiences

Application experiences are required each semester for candidates to apply the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required in that semester’s course work. These application experiences will give candidates the opportunity to learn at the infant, toddler, preschool, and/or kinder-third grade levels. These application experiences should include both private and public settings. Professors will work with candidates who have full-time work responsibilities in order to design meaningful observation application experiences.

Elements of each application experience include:

  • Analysis of context from co-requisite course
  • Application of theory and practice in professional situations to demonstrate impact on children’s learning
  • Demonstration of the candidate’s impact on children’s learning
  • Development of reflective practice skills
  • Time spent in a variety of locations, reflective journal, and field experience
  • Minimum of 20 hours per week in an approved educational setting

Senior Capstone Project and Application Experience

  • Research project based on assessment, instruction, and impact on children’s learning and area of early childhood education
  • Design a community based project applying theory and current research from the early childhood field
  • Mentored, integrated, sequential field experience planned by the student, the University field supervisor, and the site mentor
  • Experiences in all the roles and responsibilities in mentor’s area
  • Project is mentored by skilled professionals and practitioners in the field
  • Log of experiences with reflections
  • Demonstration of impact on child and family learning and community through a professional portfolio of the candidate’s experience
  • Presentation to Heritage University faculty and ECS professional community Leaders


1. ECS Alternative General University Course Requirements


AA/DTA: 60 credits

Minimum total credits 120, including 48 Upper Division Credits

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