The SMC Education/Early Childhood Program prepares students for careers in early care and education, including transfer to a four-year college/university. Our program values and builds upon the diverse work experiences of our students, both aspiring early educators and other professionals working in the field.
In collaboration with our community partners, our program provides students with opportunities to construct their identity as an early-care and education professional, by developing knowledge and skills and connecting theory to practice. Through coursework, site observations, fieldwork, mentoring, tutoring and professional development, students build their capacity for reflective practice and global citizenship, in order to serve the unique needs of children, families, and communities.
Many colleges and universities offer baccalaureate degrees in this field. Students planning to transfer to a four-year college or university need to know which courses completed at Santa Monica College will be accepted at the specific college/university. Please consult with an ECE Counselor. SMC has transfer articulation agreements with the many UC and CSU campuses, as well as many private and out-of-state institutions.
Degrees and Certificates
Infant & Toddler Teacher
Embark on a rich path of growth and professional development in our Early Childhood Education Infant & Toddler program. Infant and toddler professionals work in early childhood education centers, child development facilities and family child care homes.
Preschool Assistant & Teacher (Transfer Pathway Available)
Make a difference in children’s lives during key stages of growth and development. Preschool, or pre-kindergarten (Pre-K) is an early childhood education program that provides care and education to children between the ages of 3-5 years.
Transitional Kindergarten Teacher
Earn a multi-subject credential and immerse yourself in an interactive, experiential learning environment that trains you to teach Transitional Kindergarten or TK.
Elementary Education Teacher (Transfer Pathway)
The perfect fit if you plan to transfer and complete a Liberal Studies Degree and/or a multiple-subject teaching credential.
Early Intervention Assistant
Our specialized early childhood intervention program equips you with the knowledge, tools, and experience you need to teach from a culturally sensitive and family-focused perspective. We emphasize strengths-based learning for individuals across all abilities and backgrounds.
This unique program provides a foundation in environmental education and stewardship for early educators through the lens of developmentally appropriate nature-based practices. Explore nature focused activities through the principles and practices of the Forest Kindergarten movement and learn how to create, manage, and promote a high quality outdoor learning environment for children.
Child & Adolescent Development (Transfer)
The Child and Adolescent Development degree is designed for students who intend to work with children, youth and their families in social work, community-based settings, in preparation for elementary or secondary education services, counseling, developmental psychology and non-profit agencies.
Skill Building (Noncredit)
Free skill building classes provide job training and can serve as a first step toward pursuing a certificate of achievement or associate degree at SMC.