Bachelor of Arts in Child and Adolescent Development: Concentration in Early Care and Education

Concentration in Early Care and Education

The concentration in Early Care and Education is for students who wish to work primarily with young children (infants, toddlers, and preschoolers) and their families in settings such as childcare centers and preschools. This concentration is recommended for students who wish to meet the requirements for the Child Development Permit issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The Department of Child & Adolescent Development at San Francisco State University prepares the early childhood workforce through this concentration. The Early Care and Education concentration is also recommended as preparation for students who wish to become early intervention specialists (birth-kindergarten) and plan to enroll in the Early Childhood Special Education credential program after graduation.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. To promote and advocate for social justice and be culturally aware, sensitive, and responsive in the context of CAD.

  2. To understand the professional roles and responsibilities in the field of CAD in a variety of work settings.

  3. To apply developmental, learning, and cultural theories used in the context of the field.

  4. To communicate clearly, respectfully, persuasively, coherently, and powerfully in the context of CAD including but not limited to working with children, families, and colleagues.

  5. To write clearly, cohesively, and persuasively in the CAD genre in a variety of formats including but not limited to reports, policy analyses, assessments, and proposals.

  6. To understand research methods, assessment, evaluation, and data collection, analysis, and reporting; to conduct action research in the context of CAD.

  7. To be able to locate and utilize a variety of appropriate and relevant resources and technologies in the context of CAD.

Child and Adolescent Development Major (B.A.): Concentration in Early Care and Education — 45 units

All courses for the major must be completed with a grade of C or better. CR/NC grading is only accepted for Early Childhood Internship (CAD 611).

Core Requirements (24 units)

CAD 210Introduction to Applied Child and Adolescent Development3
CAD 260Children, Families, and Community: An Ecological Perspective3
CAD 300Professional Roles and Careers in Child and Adolescent Development3
CAD 410GWApplied Developmental Science: Prenatal Through Early Childhood - GWAR3
CAD 411Applied Developmental Science: Middle Childhood through Emerging Adulthood3
CAD 500Research Methods in Child and Adolescent Development3
CAD 625Children, Youth, and Public Policy3
CAD 660Applied Advanced Developmental Science in Child and Adolescent Development3

Early Childhood Foundations and Programs (3 units)

Select One:

CAD 215Foundations in Early Childhood3
CAD 230Principles and Practices in Early Childhood Programs3

Special Needs Children and Families (3 units)1

Select One:

SPED 330Introduction to Disability3
SPED 370Young Children Disabled or At Risk and Their Families3
SPED 675Working with Families of Young Children with Disabilities3

Supporting Development and Learning (3 units)1,2

Select One:

E ED 600Advanced Issues in Child Development and Learning3
E ED 603Understanding and Supporting Children's Socio-Emotional Development3
E ED 611Transforming Infant-Toddler Education and Care3
E ED 668Multicultural Education and Social Justice for Young Children3
SPED 620The Science of Early Intervention3
SPED 671Positive Behavior Support for Young Children3
SPED 672Inclusive Learning Environments for Young Children3

Curriculum and Methods (3 units)2

Select One:

CAD 330Curriculum and Development in Early Childhood3
E ED 602Innovative Early Childhood Education Curriculum3
FCS 422Early Childhood Education Curriculum: Birth to Five3

Observation and Assessment (3 units)

Select One:

CAD 420Assessment and Observation with Children3
E ED 610Classroom Assessment and Evaluation for Young Children3

Administration/Leadership & Working with Families (3 units)

Select One:

CAD 423Administration of Programs for Young Children3
CAD 510Adult Supervision and Leadership in Early Childhood Programs3
E ED 604Advanced Issues in Collaboration with Families and Communities in Early Childhood Education3
E ED 607Leadership and Administration in ECE3

Concentration Electives (3 units)

Select One:

CAD 610
CAD 611
Early Childhood Internship Seminar
and Early Childhood Internship 3
E ED 614Science, Math, and Technology Curricular in ECE3
E ED 616Multilingualism and Multiliteracies in the Early Years3
MUS 601Music for Children3

Two upper-division SPED courses are recommended – one 300-level and one 600-level – selected from: SPED 330, SPED 370, SPED 620, SPED 671, SPED 672, and SPED 675.


Elementary Education Course Policy: 30 hours observation/participation outside the classroom are required for Elementary Education courses (E ED). If a student takes more than one Elementary Education course per semester, 30 hours are the maximum total required and will cover all Elementary Education courses taken in that specific semester. 


CAD 610 and CAD 611 must be taken concurrently.

Complementary Studies

To fulfill the Complementary Studies requirement, all students completing a B.A. degree must take 12 units from courses outside of the primary prefix of their major and not cross-listed with the primary prefix for the major. This requirement is automatically fulfilled when completing a Child and Adolescent Development major. Students may need to take additional units, however, to reach the 120 minimum units required for graduation.

General Education Requirements 

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Humanities LD 3 C2
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD 3 E
Ethnic Studies LD 3 F
Physical and/or Life Science UD 3 UD-B
Arts and/or Humanities UD 3 UD-C
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
SF State Studies
Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), a major or minor, or an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities LD or UD 3 AERM
Environmental Sustainability LD or UD 3 ES
Global Perspectives LD or UD 3 GP
Social Justice LD or UD 3 SJ

Note: LD = Lower-Division; UD = Upper-Division.

First-Time Student Roadmap (4 Year)

  1. The roadmaps presented in this Bulletin are intended as suggested plans of study and do not replace meeting with an advisor. For a more personalized roadmap, please use the Degree Planner tool found in your Student Center.
  2. In order to choose your English Composition A2 course and your QR/Math B4 course, please complete the online advising activities at and Questions? Contact Gator Smart Start.

First-Time Student Roadmap

SF State Scholars

The San Francisco State Scholars program provides undergraduate students with an accelerated pathway to a graduate degree. Students in this program pursue a bachelor’s and master’s degree simultaneously. This program allows students to earn graduate credit while in their junior and/or senior year, reducing the number of semesters required for completion of a master’s degree.

B.A. in Child and Adolescent Development: Concentration in Early Care and Education, M.A. in Special Education, and Early Childhood Special Education Credential SF Scholars Roadmap

B.A. in Child and Adolescent Development: Concentration in Early Care and Education, M.A. in Special Education, and Extensive Support Needs Credential SF Scholars Roadmap

Transfer Student Roadmap (2 Year)

For students with an AS-T in Early Childhood Education.
ECE ADT Roadmap

For students with an AA-T in Child and Adolescent Development.
CAD ADT Roadmap

For students with an AA-T in Elementary Teacher Education.
ETE ADT Roadmap

This degree program is an approved pathway (“similar” major) for students earning the ADT in Early Childhood Education

California legislation SB 1440 (2009) mandated the creation of the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) to be awarded by the California Community Colleges. Two types of ADTs are awarded: Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) and Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T). 

Note: no specific degree is required for admission as an upper-division student. However, the ADT includes specific guarantees related to admission and graduation and is designed to clarify the transfer process and strengthen lower-division preparation for the major.

An ADT totals 60 units and in most cases includes completion of all lower-division General Education requirements and at least 18 units in a specific major. (The Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science AS-T degrees defer 3 units in lower-division GE area C and 3 units in lower-division GE area D until after transfer.) Students pursuing an ADT are guaranteed admission to the CSU if minimum eligibility requirements are met, though not necessarily to the CSU campus of primary choice.

Upon verification that the ADT has been awarded prior to matriculation at SF State, students are guaranteed B.A. or B.S. completion in 60 units if pursuing a “similar” major after transfer. Determinations about “similar” majors at SF State are made by faculty in the discipline.

Degree completion in 60 units cannot be guaranteed when a student simultaneously pursues an additional major, a minor, certificate, or credential.

A sample advising roadmap for students who have earned an ADT and continue in a "similar" major at SF State is available on the Roadmaps tab on the degree requirements page for the major. The roadmap displays:

  • How many lower-division units required for the major have been completed upon entry based on the award of a specific ADT;
  • Which lower-division requirements are considered complete upon entry based on the award of a specific ADT;
  • How to complete the remaining 60 units for the degree in four semesters.

Students who have earned an ADT should seek advising in the major department during the first semester of attendance.

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower-division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California Government

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), please visit Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine:

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower-division major requirements for this major;
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government requirements.

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 semester units/90 quarter units required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper-division transfer (for example, if a course was not passed on the first attempt or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California Community College of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower-division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding the award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower-division General Education in Areas C and D until after transfer to focus on preparation courses for the major. This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.

Transferring From Institutions Other Than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower-division General Education requirements. Note that, as described below, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3, and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower-division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. To review more information about the A3 requirement, please visit

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.