Transitional Kindergarten


About the Transitional Kindergarten Program

Immerse yourself in an interactive, experiential learning environment that trains you to teach Transitional Kindergarten or TK. Transitional Kindergarten is a publicly funded early childhood education program designed for 4-year-olds who turn 5 between September 2 and December 2. This specialized program provides a bridge between preschool and kindergarten, after which children transition to a kindergarten classroom.

Early childhood professionals support children’s ability to:

  • Learn
  • Be self-confident and have high self-esteem
  • Have positive social skills
  • Develop a sense of empathy

Transitional Kindergarten is part of the California K-12 public school system, modeled after a modified kindergarten curriculum that is age and developmentally appropriate. As a TK teacher, you must meet the credential requirements to teach kindergarten in the K-12 system. In addition to your credential, you will need a minimum of 24 units in early childhood education to teach in public education settings.

Our TK certificate program incorporates a combination of standards, including the Common Core Standards for Kindergarten and the California Department of Education’s Preschool Learning Foundations. These curricula help shape children’s early academic, social, and emotional skills, as well as impact self-confidence and cooperation.

The TK pathway at Santa Monica College provides you with a well-rounded education designed to help you meet early childhood education unit requirements, which include on-site observations and fieldwork hours.

Transfer Preparation

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 a 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

Certificate of Achievement - Transitional Kindergarten

24 units

The goal of the Transitional Kindergarten certificate is to provide a strand of unit-bearing curriculum specifically designed to meet the needs of current Transitional Kindergarten (TK) teachers, as well as Multiple Subject credential holders needing the Early Childhood unit required to be a TK teacher.

Program Map View Requirements

Potential Career Options

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