CA Preliminary Credential: PK-3 Early Childhood Education Specialist Instruction (ECESI)

NOTE: This program is pending CTC approval upon date of publication. The program becomes active following the date of official CTC approval.

California Preliminary PK-3 Early Childhood Education Specialist Instruction Credential

The Graduate Program in Education offers a Preliminary PK-3 Early Childhood Education Specialist Instruction Credential Program. Eligible students may apply their credential course work toward a subsequent Master of Arts in Education. 

Undergraduate Integrated Teaching Credential Program (ITEP)

Admission Requirements

  • A graduate program application with the corresponding fee.
  • Official transcripts of all academic degree applicable courses. 
  • A cumulative 2.7 GPA or above in undergraduate work. 
  • Applicants with a GPA lower than 2.7 may be admitted with provisional status. In such case, they must complete the first required 6 units of the program with a 3.0 GPA or higher.
  • The GPA requirement is waived for a candidate with a Master’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • Three professional references listed on one document including names, titles, and contact information
  • Personal statement addressing the rationale for pursuing this credential and what makes them an ideal candidate.
  • Employment verification, if applicable.
  • A copy of Child Development Permit, if applicable.
  • An interview with Graduate Education Personnel.

Grade Requirements for Credential Coursework

See Program Grade Requirements.

Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC)

Credential requirements may change at any time during a student’s program based on legislative action by the CTC. According to CTC regulations, the institution has an obligation to public schools to deny admission and to dismiss candidates who are deemed, unsuitable teachers.

Subject Matter Competency  Requirement

Candidates for the PK-3 ECE Specialist Instruction Credential candidates must meet the subject matter requirements before enrolling in the second module of their first semester in the program, where they will begin daily whole class instructional responsibilities in a PK-3 setting. 

Candidates may meet the subject matter competence requirement through one of the following two options:

1. Possession of a baccalaureate degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with a degree major in Child Development, Child and Adolescent Development, Human Development, Early Childhood Education, Child and Family Studies, Early Childhood Studies, Human Development and Family Science, Family Science, or Child, Adolescent, and Family Studies.

2. Completion of 24 semester units or the equivalent quarter units of non-remedial, degree-applicable coursework at a regionally accredited institution of higher education in early childhood education and/or child development. Candidates who need to complete such course work will be provided with appropriate options and supported in registration upon admission.

Candidates should submit all relevant official transcripts to the admission counselor during the admission process. Candidates who have not met the SMC requirement will be admitted to the program provisionally. Within two weeks of admission, the Assistant Director and/or Student Teaching Placement Coordinator will advise those candidates on how to meet the SMC requirement via email, a phone call, and/or an in-person or virtual meeting. The Assistant Director and Student Teaching Placement Coordinator will track the satisfactory status of SMC for each candidate.

Candidates should meet the SMC requirement before starting the ECED 508 Advanced Practicum I course, the first of two full-time student teaching courses.  

Additional Credential Program Requirements

  • Certificate of Clearance or Substitute Teaching Permit Verification: An application for fingerprint clearance must be submitted prior to beginning the credential program. A fee is required for the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) Clearance process.
  • TB Test Clearance: Must be submitted prior to beginning the credential coursework.
  • Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA). All students pursuing a PK-3 ECE Specialist Instruction credential must pass the RICA exam prior to applying for the credential. This exam is normally taken after completion of the reading courses.
  • Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certificate. 

Clinical Practice Fieldwork

Clinical Practice Fieldwork is a full-time teaching experience at a school site. Credential candidates must complete a continuous clinical practice experience in a multicultural, multilingual environment. All assignments must be completed under the supervision of a credentialed Master Teacher in the subject matter area that will appear on the student’s credential. A University Supervisor will be assigned to each Student Teacher for supervision and support. 

Clinical Practice placements will be made by the department in local partner schools that satisfy EL Authorization requirements. Candidates cannot be placed at a school where their own children currently attend, or where their relatives are employed. Placement outside a 12-mile radius of the Vanguard University campus requires a payment of $150 to cover additional mileage for the University Supervisor. 

  • CalTPA (California Teaching Performance Assessment)
    • Cycle 1 taken during ECED508 Advanced Practicum I: Clinical Practice Fieldwork for PK-3 SO in PK-TK.  
    • Cycle 2 taken during ECED509 Advanced Practicum II: Clinical Practice Fieldwork for PK-3 SO in K-3.  

CTC requirements for the Clear Credential

Following issuance of the Preliminary Credential, a candidate will complete the Clear Credential requirements through an induction program offered through the school district in which they are employed, or through an alternative program sponsor.

  1. Candidates build on prior knowledge, life experiences, and interests to engage and support all students in learning.
  2. Candidates create and maintain effective environments for learning by engaging all students in purposeful learning activities.
  3. Candidates possess a clear understanding of subject matter and organize instruction for student learning.
  4. Candidates plan instruction and design learning experiences for all students that draws upon and values each student’s background, prior knowledge and interests.
  5. Candidates assess student learning by establishing and clearly communicating learning goals for each student.
  6. Candidates reflect on their teaching practice and actively engage in planning their professional development.
ECED-500Classroom Management and Guiding the Young Child's Behavior3
ECED-504Foundations of Teaching for Early Childhood Educators3
ECED-505Advanced Curriculum Design and Development in Early Childhood Education3
ECED-507STEM/STEAM: Math for the Young Child3
ECED-508Advanced Practicum I3-4
ECED-509Advanced Practicum II4
ECED-530Lang/Lit for Young Child Multicultural Communities3
ECED-531Advanced Strategies of Observation, Doumentation, and Assessment3
ECED-532Clinical Practice Seminar 1 and CalTPA Cycle 12
ECED-533Clinical Practice Seminar II/CalTPA 2 Cycle 12
Total Units29-30