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​Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education (ECE; also nursery education) is a branch of education theory which relates to the teaching of young children (formally and informally) up until the age of about eight. ​Infant/toddler education, a subset of early childhood education, denotes the education of children from birth to age two.

Career Options

Students looking to pursue a career working with young children should consider a formal education program in early childhood education. This highly-specialized degree program covers both basic and advanced topics regarding childhood learning developments, and is even required of some educators to gain employment in related professions.​

​​Faculty Voice

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Sarah Burnett Sarah Burnett

In almost every job she’d ever had, Dr. Sarah Burnett was always teaching. In high school, she worked with her art teacher to help children with special needs. When she graduated, she taught biology to school children in West Africa. Even in her retail positions, Sarah was always tasked with training new employees. She realized it was time for a career shift. She first enrolled in American Sign Language classes and ultimately completed a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education at The Johns Hopkins University. The retail industry’s loss was a gain for children with special needs

“I am a firm believer that the first five years of a child’s life are the most important,” Sarah says of her specialization. “After completing my Master’s, I had the privilege of being the program director at Creative Home Programs, an organization that goes into homes and works with families who have children with disabilities under the age of three. I wanted to train people in this important work that changes the lives of children at the most crucial point in their development.” She also has a PhD in Education with a specialization in special education from Claremont University.

Academic Programs in Early Childhood Education

The academic maps below will give you an idea of the classes you need to take. However, please meet with a counselor to personalize your education plan.

​School Trailhead for Social & Behavioral Sciences 
Suggested Initial Coursework​​
Associate of Arts (AA) Degree - Area of Emphasis (AOE)
in Social & Behavioral Sciences - CSU Pathway

Child & Adolescent Development for Transfer (ADT) - Pathways for Transfer to a CSU or UC School
Early Childhood Education for Transfer (ADT) - Pathways for Transfer to a CSU or UC School
​​Program Flyer (Early Childhood Education)
​​Program Flyer (Early Childhood Education - Education ​Assistant)
​​Program Flyer (Early Childhood Education - Intervention Assistant)
​​​Program Flyer (Early Childhood Education - Twelve Core Units)

Additional Resources

​​What can I do with this major? (Child and Family Studies)
​​​​​Riverside Community College District General Education (RCCD GE) Requirements (PLAN A)​​​​
​​​California State University General Education (CSU GE) Requirements (PLAN B)
For students who would like to transfer to a campus in the California State University (CSU) system
​​​​​Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) Requirements (PLAN C)
For students who would like to transfer to a campus in either the California State University (CSU) or University of California (UC) system

Contact Information

Peter Boelman
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Quinton Bemiller
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​Instructional Department Specialist
Debbie Karrer
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Admin. Assistant to the Dean
Full-Time Faculty
​Sarah Burnett
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