Early Childhood Studies

Program Level: Degrees, Certificates
Department: Mexican American Studies, Early Childhood Studies, Sociology, Social Work & History (MESSH)
Institute: Public Service
College: SAC

Early Childhood Studies Faculty & Staff Degrees and Certificates  Early Childhood Center Scholarships Resources

What is the Early Childhood Studies program?

The Early Childhood Studies program prepares early childhood educators for teaching positions in settings such as Early Head Start, Head Start, nationally accredited centers, licensed child care centers, and public school (teacher assistants).

What will I learn?

Students will explore their understanding of:

  • Promoting child development and learning from birth through age 8
  • Building family and community relationships
  • Observing, documenting, and assessing to support young children and families
  • Using developmentally effective approaches with young children
  • Using content knowledge to build a meaningful early childhood curriculum
  • Becoming a professional in the field of early childhood

In addition, students will have multiple opportunities to observe and practice in at least two of three early childhood age groups (birth - 3, 3-5, 5-8).

Students will learn to have excellence in all facets of the early childhood classroom, how to stay current in early childhood education research, and be advocates for children at the home, in the employment, in the community, and at the national level.

What's special about this program?

The Early Childhood Studies Associate Degree Program at San Antonio College is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, www.naeyc.org. The accreditation term runs from March 2016 through March 2023.

What can I do with this course of study?

A variety of opportunities exist for those who choose such a career:

  • Early childhood teacher
  • Early care and education director
  • Early care and education specialist
  • Teacher assistant

Students are recognized and sought out by local industry and higher education programs.

Our program prepares students to work in the field of child development and early childhood education programs.  If you want to become a certified elementary school teacher in the public schools, see the Associate of Arts in Teaching degrees in the Education program.


The first five years have much to do with how the next 80 turn out.

-Bill Gates

Conceptual Framework

San Antonio College Early Childhood Studies Program

Conceptual Framework

The San Antonio College Early Childhood Studies program mission is to prepare early childhood educators, provide quality educational experiences, advocate for children and families, and collaborate with the community we serve.

Developmentally appropriate practice is at the core of our program.  First and foremost, students are taught to always consider the child’s age, individual interests, abilities, and cultural background. We prepare students with a strong knowledge base in growth and development along with the understanding of how young children learn. Diversity, in all forms, is valued and welcome in our program. Each child and student is appreciated for their unique qualities.  Faculty provide all students equitable learning opportunities so they may be successful.  In support of the research, play is an indispensable component of childhood and recognized as the way children develop in all domains. Acknowledging the importance of accountability, the state standards for early childhood are utilized to plan meaningful curriculum and playful learning experiences. We educate our students not only what to teach, but how to teach.

Hands-on experience is an important part of our curriculum.  Our AAS degree plan requires two field experiences and three practicums working with children in order for students to connect theory with practice.  The field experiences expose students to how specific course information is implemented in the field. Our practicums involve practicing teaching and guidance strategies as they work directly with young children. We have two early childhood settings on-campus, our early childhood center, which is accredited by NAEYC and an Early Head Start program. Students can learn under the guidance of early childhood educators who model intentional teaching. Students receive individual feedback from faculty after their scheduled observations. These experiences prepare students to teach in a variety of early childhood settings. Working students may use their center for their lab setting. Our classes are designed to foster a community of learners through many active learning opportunities such as group projects, case studies, role-playing, and class presentations.

We recognize the importance of teacher and family relationships. When working with young children, early childhood educators collaborate with their families, respect their role in development of their children, and involve them as partners in decision making. The three R’s, being respectful, reciprocal, and responsive, guide students as they engage in meaningful, nurturing relationships with children and families.  Students are challenged to create an antibias approach to working with children and families. Class activities and field experiences engage students in understanding the rich diversity of our community.

Professionalism is interwoven throughout the program.  The NAEYC Code of Ethics is explored throughout our courses. Faculty model professionalism by being engaged in the community and the field, at the local, state and national level.  We are committed to advocating for quality early childhood programs, engaging in community initiatives, serving on boards, and providing training in the ECE community.  Students are also encouraged to be active participants in the early childhood field.  The Early Childhood Studies student club participates in on-campus service learning, as well as advocacy and professional organization experiences with our state affiliate (TXAEYC).   


The program is guided by the NAEYC Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs Standards which have been adopted as our program learning outcomes (Advancing the Early Childhood Profession, NAEYC Standards and Guidelines for Professional Development, NAEYC, 2012).  Also directing our program are the NAEYC position statements which are embedded in our lectures, courses, and assignments.

It is our utmost goal that graduates embrace the profession with a disposition of joy in learning and teaching.  We want students to be passionate about working with young children and their families. We stress the importance of being life-long learners as new research findings and practices evolve in our field.

The Early Childhood Studies program operates within the context of San Antonio College’s mission and values.


To empower our community for success by meeting the postsecondary learning needs of all San Antonio College Students through equitable educational practices for diverse populations in a globally networked society. To help students achieve their full potential by preparing them to graduate, transfer, or enter the workforce with effective critical thinking skills, communication proficiency, leadership ability, personal and civic responsibility, empirical and quantitative understanding, performance proficiency, and the ability to work effectively in teams.


  • Students First
  • Respect for All
  • Collaboration
  • Community Engaged
  • Can Do Spirit
  • Data-Informed
Outcome Measures

Outcome Measure #1 The Number of Program Completers

Academic Year

Number of program completers

% of program completers who were attending full-time (at the time of completion)

% of program completers who were attending part-time[1] (at the time of completion)













Outcome Measure #2:  The Program Completion Rate

Published timeframe for full-time students to complete

the early childhood program: Two years (4 semesters)

Academic year in which a Fall cohort of full-time candidates enrolled in the program (select three sequential years)

Percentage of those candidates who completed the program within 150% of the published timeframe

Percentage of those candidates who completed the program within 100%, 200% (twice) or 300% (three times) of the published timeframe (Please circle, underline or bold the indicator above on which the program will report.)

Fall 17 



Fall 2016



Fall 2015



Outcome Measure #3:  Institutional Selected Data:

The fall-to-fall retention rate in the program for each

of the three most recently completed academic years

Academic Year

% of Part-Time Candidates Enrolled in the Program (% of Total Enrollment)

Retention Rate among Part-Time Candidates

% of Full-Time Candidates Enrolled in the Program (% of Total Enrollment)

Retention Rate among Full-Time Candidates

2021 (Fall 2020) 





2020 (Fall 2019)





2019 (Fall 2018)





Program Outcomes

Program Outcomes with Fall 21 Data (Based on Key Assessments)

Standard 1 Promoting Child Development and Learning

1a. Knowing and understanding young children’s characteristics and needs, from birth through age 8.
83% of students met or exceeded the expectations

1b. Knowing and understanding the multiple influences on early development and learning.
83% of students met or exceeded the expectations

1c. Using developmental knowledge to create healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging learning environments for young children.
100% of students met or exceeded the expectations

Standard 2 Building Family and Community Relationships

2a. Knowing about and understanding diverse family and community characteristics.
100% of students met or exceeded the expectations

2b. Supporting and engaging families and communities through respectful, reciprocal relationships.
100% of students met or exceeded the expectations

2c. Involving families and communities in their children’s development and learning.
100% of students met or exceeded the expectations

Standard 3 Observing, Documenting, and Assessing to Support Young Children and Families

3a:  Understanding the goals, benefits and uses of assessment-including its use in development of appropriate goals, curriculum, and teaching strategies for young children.
100% of students met or exceeded the expectations

3b. Knowing about and using observation, documentation and other appropriate assessment tools and approaches, including the use of technology in documentation, assessment and data collection.
90% of students met or exceeded the expectations

3c. Understanding and practicing responsible assessment to promote positive outcomes for each child, including the use of assistive technology for children with disabilities.
88% of students met or exceeded the expectations

3d. Knowing about assessment partnerships with families and professional colleagues to build effective learning environments.
100% of students met or exceeded the expectations

Standard 4 Using Developmentally Effective Approaches

4a. Understanding positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation of their work with young children.
100% of students met or exceeded the expectations

4b. Knowing and understanding effective strategies and tools for early education, including appropriate uses of technology.
88% of students met or exceeded the expectations

4c. Using a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate teaching/learning approaches.
100% of students met or exceeded the expectations

4d:  Reflecting on own practice to promote positive outcomes for each child.
100% of students met or exceeded the expectations

Standard 5 Using Content Knowledge to Build Meaningful Curriculum Spring 21 Data (course is only taught in spring)

5a. Understanding content knowledge and resources in academic disciplines:  language and literacy; the arts-music, creative movement, dance, drama, visual arts; mathematics; science, physical activity, physical education, health and safety; and social studies.
88% of students met or exceeded the expectations

5b. Knowing and using the central concepts, inquiry tools, and structures of content areas or academic disciplines.
100% of students met or exceeded the expectations

5c. Using own knowledge, appropriate early learning standards, and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate developmentally meaningful and challenging curriculum for each child.
100% of students met or exceeded the expectations

Standard 6 Becoming a Professional

6a. Identifying and involving oneself with the early childhood field.
100% of students met or exceeded the expectations

6b. Knowing about and upholding ethical standards and other early childhood professional guidelines.
100% of students met or exceeded the expectations

6c. Engaging in continuous, collaborative learning to inform practice; using technology effectively with young children, with peers, and as a professional resource.
100% of students met or exceeded the expectations

6d. Integrating knowledgeable, reflective and critical perspectives on early education.
100% of students met or exceeded the expectations

6e. Engaging in informed advocacy for young children and the early childhood profession.
100% of students met or exceeded the expectations


Updates for Spring 2023

Students enrolled in classes can apply for the CCAMPIS grant to help pay for on-campus at SAC Early Childhood Center and off-campus care at select accredited early childhood programs.

Please email questions to Norma Padilla at npadilla@alamo.edu.

Child Care Application

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Contact Us

Program Coordinator

Terri Sinclair
Early Childhood Studies Bldg. (ECSB-218)
(210) 486-0521

Interim Chairperson

Dr. Seabrook Jones
Chance Academic Center Bldg. (CAC-303)
(210) 486-1716

Academic Unit Assistant

Beatrice Canales
Early Childhood Studies Bldg. (ECSB-206)
(210) 486-0526

Call center: (210) 212-5266


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Last Page Update

Last Updated: August 30, 2022