Early Childhood Studies

The Early Childhood Studies (ECS) Program

The early years are a critical time in that the care and education received during this period will impact children’s academic and social trajectories throughout their lives. The Early Childhood Studies program is distinctive because the major emphasizes the first eight years of life and the significance of this period in children's overall development.

The strength of the ECS program redoubles Cal Poly Pomona’s commitment to the value of diversity in preparing future practitioners to be integrative thinkers and model leaders. Over the course of their studies, ECS students gain appropriate knowledge, skills, and dispositions that reflect the perspective of quality, equity, and fairness in their work with young children and families. Based on an understanding of diversity as an asset to be cultivated and celebrated, ECS students are prepared to promote social justice within early childhood education and on behalf of the children and families they serve.

While at Cal Poly Pomona, ECS students study processes important for early childhood development and identify implications of theory in the examination and application of principles and practices within diverse family, program, and community contexts. Program graduates are prepared to work with infants and toddlers, preschoolers, Transitional Kindergarten, and the early primary school years (kindergarten through grade 3). Graduates are also prepared for careers in home visiting, family support programs, and other professional contexts that focus on working with young children and families.

ECS Curriculum 

The baccalaureate program contains a total of 180-quarter units including articulated transfer courses. Students who meet the requirements for general admission to the University can elect ECS as their major. For the next few years, the Early Childhood Studies Program will be offered for upper division students only.  Eventually our four-year program will be offered.  Students who have completed the lower division core courses (ECS 100, 110, 201/201A, 210/210A, 220, & 235) that are articulated from another institution of higher education must have received a grade of C or better in each of these courses in order to enter the ECS major. As well, students are required to earn a grade of C or better in all major coursework in order to graduate. During the first two years of the program, students can only be admitted into the Early Childhood Studies program during the fall terms (Fall 2016 and Fall 2017).

Why Major in Early Childhood Studies?

The major in Early Childhood Studies prepares students with appropriate knowledge, skills and dispositions that reflect the perspective of quality, equity, and fairness in their work with children from birth to age eight and their families. Other skills acquired within the program consist of the following:

  • Students are prepared to teach programs serving children from birth through age 8
  • Students understand and relate to diversity of languages and cultures in and among children and families
  • Students can meet the diverse needs of all children including those with special needs
  • Students are reflective and deliberative practitioners
  • Students link content to pedagogy
  • Students actively engage children in learning
  • Students integrate research, theory and best practice into their professional work

What Can I Do With My Degree?

Early Childhood Studies provides an excellent foundation for a range of careers working with young children and their families in many areas, including education, health and human services. A BA degree in Early Childhood Studies is timely, given the increasing expectation that those working in early care and education possess a minimum of a BA degree.

The program will provide the subject matter preparation for the multiple subjects and special education teaching credentials, as well as related professional programs in health and human services such as child life specialists, home visitors, and family advocates. Graduates will also be prepared to pursue professional careers and graduate studies in related fields such as:

  • Teaching infants, toddlers and preschoolers
  • Early intervention
  • Administration of programs for young children families
  • Graduate studies in education, social work, human development and counseling
  • Community-based early care and education programs

For more information about this program contact:

Nancy Hurlbut, Interim Dean

College of Education & Integrative Studies

(909) 869-2319