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Division of Continuing and Global Education

Early Childhood Education (ECE) 24-Unit Transitional Kindergarten (TK) Certificate Program

Preparing ECE Teachers for California’s Transitional Kindergarten, Kindergarten and ECE Programs 

ECEThe Early Childhood Education (ECE) 24-Unit Transitional Kindergarten (TK) Certificate Program offers intensive preparation for teachers who have, or are obtaining a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and want to enhance their ECE qualifications for teaching in TK or K classrooms. The program consists of 24 units of required ECE coursework. The ECE 24-Unit TK Certificate Program is a learning community of ECE professionals who:

  • Demonstrate knowledge, skills and dispositions that promote development and learning for children attending TK, Kindergarten, Preschool and other ECE programs.
  • Create developmentally appropriate and responsive early learning environments that address common core standards for state-funded programs 
  • Are responsive to ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity
  • Have expertise in English language development
  • Utilize strategies to include children with a variety of special needs
  • Build strong relationships with families and communities
  • Have collaborative partnerships with schools and service agencies
  • Apply current ECE research to ECE practice and implement the latest technology 
  • Engage in reflection, documentation, self-assessment and life-long learning
  • Advocate for children, families and quality ECE practices  


Required Courses

The ECE 24-Unit TK Certificate Program has eight required courses for the TK Program that can be completed in less than a year. The TK courses are offered through the Division of Continuing and Global Education (CGE). ECE graduate students admitted to Fresno State may be allowed to substitute some of the courses in their graduate studies leading to the MA degree as indicated in parentheses.

This introductory class examines research and best practices as recommended by the California Learning Foundations to support academic success. Course topics include: child development and learning, early literacy, adult-child interaction, early learning approaches, ECE environment, observational assessment, and early intervention strategies. 

This course explores ECE program and curriculum models that encourage partnering with families to support children's learning and development. Other topics include how to establish positive relationships, home visiting, home-based services and community resources. Positive guidance, healthy social-emotional development and stress reduction are covered. (3 units)

Play-based Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math inquiries and activities based on every day and active learning experiences take into account the developmental needs and learning styles of young children. California Common Core Standards for Math and Science, Next Generation Science standards and related resources for ECE classrooms, and pedagogical practices and documentation methods that inform curriculum development and instruction are highlighted. (MA course, LEE 233 may be substituted) (3 units)

A comprehensive study of the field of early childhood education, including principles of early childhood education, parent relations, use of community resources, and organization of programs in early childhood education.

Organizing the ECE classroom involves developing curriculum, selecting materials, designing indoor and outdoor environments, scheduling, grouping and working with other ECE professionals and parents. Participants will learn about the QRIS system and how to use observational- and evidence-based assessments such as ECERS-3, CLASS and DRDP to improve the ECE classroom environment, enhance interactions, expand learning opportunities and modify the learning environment for children with special needs. (3 units)

Literacy integrates spoken and written language, literature study and thematic topics to promote communication and literacy acquisition of literacy and address the multiple abilities of diverse learners while meeting California common core standards and TK and Kindergarten goals. The course includes the California Preschool and Kindergarten curriculum frameworks, Desired Results system, and developmentally appropriate assessment strategies to guide literacy instruction. (MA course, LEE 232 may be substituted)

Culture is interpreted broadly including: student family, ethnicity, language, the culture of the profession, and classroom culture. This course examines how culture, ethnic, and linguistic backgrounds of children can become resources for creating inclusive TK & K programs and creating responsive curriculum for young children with an emphasis on teaching strategies for English learners. (MA in ECE course, LEE 271 may be substituted)

This supervised ECE field experience in a preschool, TK, or K classroom Includes work with children and families, meetings and consultations with other ECE professionals in TK and K and related programs. Prerequisite: Completion of one of the required TK courses. (MA course, LEE 241 may be substituted if 45 hours of field experience are completed in a preschool, TK or K placement) (3 units)


For More Information

For more information on the specific qualifications for teaching transition kindergarten, go to: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/gs/em/kinderfaq.asp

For those interested in the ECE 24-Unit TK Certificate Program please contact ECE-Certificate-Program@mail.fresnostate.edu or the Program Coordinator, Dr. Pei-Ying Wu at peiwu@mail.fresnostate.edu

For More Information