The Early Childhood Education Program at Biola’s School of Education offers state-approved coursework required for five of California’s child development permits: Assistant Teacher, Associate Teacher, Teacher, Master Teacher and Site Supervisor. Students completing the early childhood coursework will be better prepared to teach more effectively in public and private programs serving infants through grade three.

What Will I Study?

While completing early childhood coursework, students will engage in fieldwork assignments that provide them with hands-on experience in local infant, toddler and elementary-age educational settings. The School of Education partners with local schools to facilitate this fieldwork, with the aim of advancing students’ skills in working with young children.

During their time at Biola University, students can:

  • Complete permit coursework on campus or online
  • Add Early Childhood Education Program requirements to any major
  • Add an early childhood concentration with the liberal studies, elementary education and liberal studies, multidisciplinary majors, through the School of Education
  • Add the School-Age Emphasis Authorization to permits, allowing them to provide services in the care, development and instruction of children in before school, after school, and other school-age child care programs
  • Apply for desired permit directly to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing with Biola University’s verification of completion
Students completing the liberal studies, elementary education major with the early childhood concentration can simultaneously earn the California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and an Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) Standard Educator's Certificate, certifying them to teach preschool through adult education in a self-contained classroom.


Note: This list is intended to give you a quick glimpse into the program’s academic offerings, and should not be used as a guide for course selection or academic advising. For official program requirements, see the course catalog.

Prerequisite Courses

Note: Early childhood courses are subject to change.

This course examines the structure and function of the school, foundations of education, qualities required for teacher effectiveness, and contemporary issues in education. A 25-hour fieldwork practicum component is required. Successful completion of this course constitutes one of the requirements for admission to the Teacher Preparation Program. CBEST must be taken during this course.

Basic concepts of cognitive development, including psychosocial, moral and language development. Define concepts related to the development of personality and temperament. Examine scope of physical development of children and the connections between health and learning. These theories are investigated in light of classroom implications for identifying and describing individual differences in the development of children. Covers the impact of genetic, sociocultural and socioeconomic factors on the development of children and young adolescents.

A survey of psychology as an empirical/behavioral science with a consideration of underlying philosophical bases in light of a Christian worldview. Topics to be surveyed include development, cognition, learning, motivation, physiology, socialization, personality and psychopathology.

Core Requirements

Note: Early childhood courses are subject to change.

This course examines ways to create meaningful curriculum that is aligned with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) program standards, the California Preschool Learning Foundations, and the California Common Core and Content Standards. Teacher candidates develop curriculum plans that integrate language and literacy, mathematics, and play for children ages 3 to 8. Particular attention is given to the key role of adult-child interactions and teaching strategies supporting physical, social and intellectual development for all children.

The focus of this course is to provide an examination of family, community, societal, and cultural influences on children's schooling and learning. It highlights strategies for integrating family members and community resources into the learning process. Emphasis will be given to the exploration of culturally and linguistically appropriate anti-bias approaches that support all children and their families.

This course offers an overview of childhood behaviors and effective strategies for managing these behaviors in the classroom. It includes a review of learning and developmental theories. The course introduces effective strategies that facilitate active learning and differentiated instructional practices that support diverse learning needs are introduced.

This course explores the selection and use of formal and informal assessments to determine initial information for facilitating individual learning strategies and environments. Candidates enhance observational skills, assessment abilities, and communication reporting to families. Particular attention is given to the selection, administration, scoring, and interpretation of results obtained from assessments of young children to determine skills and abilities for the purpose of curriculum planning, learning environment design, and accommodations for children with special needs.

This course provides an opportunity for child development permit candidates placed in practicum sites to explore the relationship between theory and practice. Developmental issues, the role of the early childhood educator, and the relationship between programs and families will be examined. Child development permit candidates will explore and practice techniques for the observation and recording of behavior, examine environments; and plan, implement and evaluate developmentally appropriate, culturally relevant practices for your children.