Dr. Bonnie G. Metcalf School of Education


Early Childhood Studies

Why Major in Early Childhood Studies?

The early years are a critical time in the life of a young child. During this time children develop physically, socially and cognitively at a phenomenal rate. Children and their families need the support and expertise of skilled professionals who understand this stage of early childhood.

The BA in Early Childhood Studies (ECS) program is designed for both first-time freshman and transfer students. The ECS coursework focuses on young children’s growth and development including cognitive, social, emotional and perceptual-motor development. Students will also become familiar with various assessments and developmentally appropriate learning environments for young children.  This major also provides an excellent foundation for the special education teaching credential and Early Childhood Special Education Added Authorization (ECSE). The Early Childhood Studies degree will open up other careers beyond teaching and will prepare students to be leaders in those fields, leaders in early intervention, leaders in research, leaders in early childhood advocacy and county offices of education.   

Links to External Career Information Resources

Students who complete the Early Childhood Studies coursework are prepared to plan and implement developmentally appropriate programs in early childhood settings. Upon completion of an undergraduate degree, students will be eligible to apply for a Child Development Permit (link to non-CBU site).

For more information about early childhood education jobs should visit the following Web sites (non-CBU sites):

Frequently asked questions about the ECS major

Question: What is the difference between the Liberal Studies major and the Early Childhood Studies major?

Answer: The Liberal Studies major is designed to offer both depth and breadth of content. The Elementary Subject Matter Liberal Studies major's specific purpose is to provide courses aligned with state standards and prepare students for the demands of the classroom. Conceptual, the LBS program is to give students the opportunity to see the big picture, i.e., think well, write well. While the LBS major covers general knowledge, the Early Childhood Studies major focuses on coursework in both early childhood studies and early childhood intervention. This is a very specific major that prepares students to not only teach young children but also grooms them for other fields outside of education.

Question: Are there any prerequisites?

Answer: Yes, students must take English 113 and English 123.

Question: Do students in the EC Studies major have to take the CBEST?

Answer: Only if they want to go into public K-12 teaching.

Question: What about the CSET? I heard the LBS major prepares students for the CSET. Will the EC Studies major prepare them as well?

Answer:The LBS major, specifically ESM majors, may be better prepared to take the CSET, but remember, not all EC Studies will be interested in public school teaching.


What career opportunities does this degree prepare you for?

What can you do with an ECS degree from CBU? Students interested in K-12 teaching can apply to the credential program. Those interested in teaching Pre-K Special Day Classes or working with disabled or developmentally delayed children, 0- 8 years old, may focus on obtaining an Early Childhood Education Specialist credential.

The EC Studies major provides a solid foundation in developmental theory preparing the student for teaching, however, many early childhood studies majors are aware of only a few of their career options. There are many more positions than one might realize that are available to an early education professional. Below are a few positions that show the range of options you have. Remember to network when looking for careers in this field. Every person or association you join is another contact you have. Explore your options by clicking on a career below.

  • Child Care Liaisons
  • Child Life Specialists
  • Director-Child Education & Development Services
  • Director-Preschool
  • Early Childhood Education Center Manager
  • Early Childhood Executive Directors/Directors
  • Early Childhood Family Development Specialists
  • Early Childhood Program Development Specialists
  • Early Childhood Quality Management Specialist
  • Early Intervention Specialist
  • Early Intervention Program Autism Team Supervisor
  • Education Specialist, Head Start
  • Pre-K-3rd Grade Elementary Teachers
  • Site Supervisor Early Childhood Education Program

Other Career Paths include Early Childhood Software Developers, Merchandisers, Photographers and Playground/Environment Designers