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SMC|Academic Programs| Early Childhood Education / Education|Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the core 12 units in ECE?
A:  Psychology 11, ECE 2, ECE 11, ECE 4 or 5 or 8 or 17
 
Q: What is a permit?
A: Child Development Permits are issued by California's Commission on Teacher Credentialing (January 1997). California law requires that teachers in state-funded child care and development programs possess a Child Development Permit. There are various levels (Assistant, Associate, Teacher, Master Teacher, Site Supervisor and Program Director. There are varying requirements for each level. For more information see the State of California Child Development Permit Matrix.
 
Q: What is a certificate?
A: SMC offers two ECE certificates-the Department Certificate (12 units) and the Certificate of Achievement (30 units). The classes taken for the certificates may be used to meet permit requirements and the major requirements for an AA in ECE.
 
Q: What are the requirements to get an AA in ECE?
A: An AA degree requires a total of 60 units. These units come from meeting the requirements of various areas – the major, general education and electives. The ECE major consists of 30 units. These are the same classes that are required for the ECE Certificate of Achievement. Information on general education requirements is provided by the AA General Education information sheet. Because completion of the major and general education requirements usually do not add up to 60 units, students will need to take additional classes from any area (electives) to make sure and reach the required 60 units.
 
Q: What are the requirements to teach elementary school?
A: To teach at the elementary school level (typically grades K-5), you will need a Bachelor’s degree and a multiple subject credential. Future elementary school teachers usually major in Liberal Studies. However, you can have any major and still be eligible to enter a credential program.  Early Childhood Education is a great alternative to Liberal Studies because of the foundation it provides in understanding how children grow, develop and learn. Comprehensive information on the requirements to teach elementary school is provided by the Teacher Preparation Advisement Guide.
 
Q: What are the requirements to teach middle and high school?
A: To teach middle or high school you will need a Bachelor’s degree and a single subject credential. Future middle and high school teachers usually major in the subject they plan to teach. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, you may be able to teach math and science without having to major in these subjects. This is especially true for grades 6-9. Authorizations also make it possible to qualify to teach other subjects without having a major in that subject. Comprehensive information on the requirements to teach middle and high school is provided by the Teacher Preparation Advisement Guide.
 
Q: How do I apply for the Department Certificate?
A: Students apply for the Department Certificate by completing an application with the ECE Department.
 
Q: How do I apply for a Certificate of Achievement?
A: To apply for a Certificate of Achievement, students need to file an application with the Admissions and Records Office.
 
Q: How do I apply for a permit?
A: Permit applications need to be filed with the Commission on Teaching Credentialing (CTC).  Please see the ECE Counselor for help with submitting your permit application.
 
Q: How do I file for my A.A. degree?
A: Petitions to graduate need to be filed with the Admissions and Records Office by the appropriate deadline.
 
Q: What can I do with an ECE degree?
A: Students with a background in child development can pursue professional opportunities in many related fields including teaching, social services, producing children's films, books and magazines, educational television, children's toys and educational software. Graduates may also work in community and support services as home visitors and child advocates at the local, state or national level.
 
Q: What forms of financial assistance are available?
A: Financial aid has many forms – grants, work study and loans. Applying for financial aid requires that you complete FASFA. More information may be obtained from the Financial Aid Department.  Other forms of assistance include scholarships, department grants (ESP), and assistance from the Child Development Training Consortium.
 
Q: What are the requirements to be a Special Education teacher?
A: To teach students with special needs in grades K-12, you will need a Bachelor’s degree and a specialist credential. Future special education teachers usually major in Liberal Studies. However, you can have any major and still be eligible to enter a credential program.  Early Childhood Education is a great alternative to Liberal Studies because of the foundation it provides in understanding how children grow, develop and learn. Comprehensive credential information is provided by the Teacher Preparation Advisement Guide.
 
Q: What is the Intervention Assistant Certificate?
A: The Early Childhood Intervention programs will prepare students for career placements in public and/or private early intervention and educational settings that serve typically and atypically developing young children. Specific jobs and responsibilities may include serving as an early childhood educator with a specialization in working with children with special needs, special education assistant for children birth to eight years of age, a one-to-one aide for a child (e.g., “inclusion facilitator”), classroom aide with expertise in special needs, or as an assistant to the early intervention team for infants birth to three years of age.
  
Q: What tutoring services are available?
A: Please click on the link below to access the various tutoring centers provided by SMC.
 
Q: What professional organizations are related to Education/ECE?
A:  Founded in 1926, The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is the world's largest organization working on behalf of young children with nearly 80,000 members, a national network of more than 300 state and local Affiliates, and a growing global alliance of like-minded organizations.
Similarly, the California Teachers Association (CTA) has become one of the strongest advocates for educators in the country. CTA includes teachers, counselors, school librarians, social workers, psychologists, and nurses. The SCTA is the student section of the CTA.

Q: How do I request an evaluation of coursework from other institutions?  ?
A:  Evaluation and application of credit from other institutions towards the SMC AA degree and/or transfer institutions can be a complex process when the previous coursework has not been completed at another California Community College.  Students need to schedule a counseling appointment.  Prepare for your counseling appointment by bringing an unofficial copy of all transcripts​ from institutions you attended, and copies of course descriptions from the institution's catalogue.  If you are requesting an evaluation of English composition courses, be prepared to bring a copy of the course syllabus too.  If you do not have the syllabus, contact the department at the institution where the course was completed to obtain a copy.  It is the student's responsibility to have official transcripts, from all institutions attended, sent directly to the SMC admissions office.