Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education (BAECE)

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The Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education (BAECE) has been designed to include the competencies and guidelines as established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Child Development Associates National Competency Standards (CDA). The completion of the BAECE degree program meets the educational requirements needed for the Child Development Associates National Licensing program and meets the requirements of the State of California Child Development Permits.

Non-residents of California; military personnel or their dependents; and international students should contact the Department of Education of the state in which they reside or intend to reside, or the Ministry of Education of the country in which they live, to determine specific requirements for employment. State or country specific coursework, in addition to the BAECE degree program, may be required to obtain a permit, license or credential necessary for employment. Candidates assume the responsibility for determining and meeting these requirements.

The program is based on a conceptual framework of current theory, contemporary perspectives and sound research findings. Focus is on knowledge, attitudes, skills, practice, reflection and field experiences needed to become efficient, competent, and effective professionals in the field of early childhood education. Emphasis is on designing appropriate learning environments, individual and adaptive curricula, and instructional strategies and techniques to maximize learning outcomes. Topics demonstrated, both in writing and discussion, provide a broad-based foundation of child development in the areas of familial and socio-cultural influences on learning and brain development, parent empowerment, peer cooperation and collaboration, early cognition, emerging literacy (listening, speaking, reading and writing), ongoing participant observation and appropriate developmental screening assessments, child advocacy, law and ethics, and, most important, play as pedagogy.

Background Check
Agencies/schools collaborating with the Sanford College of Education to provide field experience, often require a background check and TB clearance prior to acceptance of a student into their facility. Candidates who do not have a Certificate of Clearance will not be able to attend the field experience component of the course and, therefore, will be unable to complete their program of study. Any fee or cost associated with background checks and TB testing is the responsibility of the student.

Note: ALL ECE prefix courses require a field experience in an approved setting. An approved setting is working with children from Birth to Age 5 in a general education, inclusive setting. Recommended sites are Early Head Start, Head Start, CA State Preschools and NAEYC accredited sites.

Students may be required to provide proof of current DTAP, MMR, and Flu vaccinations in order to complete their field work per SB792. Any fee or cost associated with this requirement is the responsibility of the student.

Arkansas Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education Disclosure
Enrollment in the Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education offered by National University may require Arkansas applicants/students to pursue teacher/administrator licensure in California and then earn an Arkansas educator or school administrator license by reciprocity. The State of Arkansas has additional course requirements in order to earn an Arkansas license in the program area or a similar program area, and Arkansas applicants/students must check the website for information on Arkansas reciprocity:

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Identify essential concepts, inquiry tools, and structure of content areas and resources for early childhood education.
  • Develop oral, written and technological skills for communicating with families and very young children.
  • Create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for young children.
  • Use systematic observations, documentation, and other assessment strategies in partnership with families and professionals to positively influence children’s development and learning.
  • Implement a curriculum that promotes development and learning outcomes for diverse young children.
  • Demonstrate ethical, legal, and professional standards in early childhood education.
  • Create positive relationships and supportive interactions with young children.


To receive a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education degree, students must complete at least 180 quarter units as articulated below, 45 of which must be completed in residence at National University, 76.5 of which must be completed at the upper-division level, and the University General Education requirements. In the absence of transfer credit, additional general electives may be necessary to satisfy total units for the degree. The following courses are specific degree requirements. Refer to the section on undergraduate admission procedures for specific information regarding admission and evaluation. All students receiving an undergraduate degree in Nevada are required by State Law to complete a course in Nevada Constitution.
Preparation for the Major (4 courses; 18 quarter units)
Requirements for the Major (12 courses; 54 quarter units)
Core Requisite(s):
Upper-Division Electives or Concentration Requirements (4 courses; 18 quarter units)
Candidates must choose four (4) elective courses from the following: