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Program Report for the Initial Preparation of Early Childhood Teachers National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

Section I - Context

State or Institutional Policies

The Multiple Subject Credential Early Childhood Education Program at California State University, Fresno is a long established and NCATE-recognized option for earning a Preliminary California Multiple Subject Credential.  Going beyond the responsibility to prepare candidates to teach in grades TK-6 (based on the program’s Multiple Subject Credential designation), the ECE option focuses on preparing teachers for working with children from birth through age eight with special emphasis on grades Transitional Kindergarten through third.  The ECE program has been able to meet the challenge of an expanded scope of preparation by developing its own inclusive coursework and fieldwork experiences, by requiring two additional classes over and above those required by the Multiple Subject Credential Program (Integrated Curriculum-3 units; Managing Early Learning Environments-1 unit), and by supplementing the Multiple Subject Credential Program’s assessment requirements.  Since last reporting, enrollment in the Teaching Credential Program at California State University has significantly decreased.  Subsequently, the Early Childhood Program option is allowed to admit up to twenty-five students each spring semester only.  Our data sets reported for each assessment reflect that reduction in ECE teacher candidates by 50% annually.

Field and Clinical Experiences

ECE candidates are prepared for their future roles as teacher-leaders in infant through grade 3 settings through a program emphasis on the scholar/practitioner model, a model that is characterized by a strong (and immediate) theory-to-practice tie in every ECE course. Some of the coursework field experiences are facilitated in scheduled student teaching courses while other fieldwork is done in venues and at times other than those arranged for student teaching each semester.  Throughout their preservice training, ECE candidates have ample opportunities to observe young children and consult with professionals in the field, and to have field experiences that include designing and teaching projects, and documenting and assessing learning.  Additionally, this dimension of program philosophy is reinforced by the physical proximity of field experience to university classroom learning where in semesters one and two, candidates attend classes at a school site providing them access to the faculty, staff, students, school community, and physical environment of the work place, thereby allowing for both planned and unplanned “teachable moments” and enhancing their professional identity as early childhood educators.  In their third and final semester/phase, candidates are assigned to a primary public school classroom five full days a week for the entire 17-week semester.

The information below provides the reviewer with a list of planned fieldwork experiences in each of the program’s three “phases” or semesters.  Some assignments meet the State and university competencies for student teaching while others reinforce coursework content consistent with the theory-to-practice model used by the Multiple Subject Credential Early Childhood Education Program at California State University, Fresno

Phase 1: 

  1. EHD174ECE requires candidates to complete 51 hours of supervised reading instruction in grades 4-6 as part of their Multiple Subject Credential requirement to master specific reading competencies. Candidates are expected to assess students’ reading skills, plan standards-based lessons based on that assessment, and provide 51 hours of direct instruction to individuals and small groups.
  2. CI171ECE requires teacher candidates to complete the Infant Assessment  (Assessment #2) as a fieldwork assignment.  This assignment involves the observation of infants and interviewing parents regarding their child’s social-emotional development under the supervision an NAEYC-accredited preschool infant teacher at the Joyce M. Huggins Early Education Center in the Kremen School of Education and Human Development (KSOEHD) (Approximately 6 hours).
  3. LEE172ECE requires candidates to provide minimum of 15 hours of service in a community organization whose mission is to support young children and families and to document opportunities for professional cooperation and collaboration.
  4. CI175 requires candidates to spend fifteen hours observing mathematics instruction in a pre-K-3 grade setting, assessing students’ mathematics skills, planning lessons with the cooperating teacher, and instructing small groups of students.  

Phase 2:

  1. EHD178ECE requires candidates to

1)  Complete 51 hours of supervised reading instruction in a kindergarten or first grade classroom as part of their Multiple Subject Credential requirements.  Candidates’ skills in planning and implementing reading instruction is documented by the Site Visitation Project (Assessment #5).

2)  Complete 20 hours observing infants, toddlers and preschool students and facilitating a learning-project under supervision at one of those three levels in the Joyce M. Huggins Early Education Center, an NAEYC-accredited Reggio Emilia-inspired preschool in the KSOEHD over a three week period.  Their experience is documented through the Infant, Toddler and Preschool Assessment (Assessment #3).

3)  Complete 72 hours of fieldwork over a 12-week period in an assigned transitional kindergarten (pre-k), kindergarten or primary grade classroom where they are expected to provide both general content instruction as well as to design and teach a ten-lesson unit in science or social studies.

4)  Observe two integrated inquiry-model science lessons taught by a model Master Teaching.

  1. EHD177ECE requires candidates to develop a case study of a child in kindergarten or first grade.  The candidate selects and administers appropriate assessments and, based on the results, designs a plan of instruction for the child that is implemented in the candidate’s supervised reading fieldwork in EHD178ECE. 
  2. LEE148 reinforces candidates’ field experiences by

1)      Assigning and scoring the Infant, Toddler, and Preschool Assessment (Assessment #3) completed by candidates in their Huggins Center fieldwork experience.

2)      Assigning the Teacher Work Sample that guides the planning and facilitation of the 10-lesson unit required in EHD178ECE.

  1. CI150ECE assigns a minimum of 15 hours of field study components to the

 EHD178ECE public school fieldwork experience by assigning:

1)  A Behavioral Plan that outlines consequences for both positive and poor choices and provides a referenced rational for its design.

2)  A Student Intervention Plan that encourages behavioral improvement for a child in the fieldwork environment who is having trouble with adaptive, normative behavior.

3)  A narrated videotape that evaluates teaching procedures and facilitated guided practice, transitions, the organization of materials and the physical environment, the facilitation of a classroom meeting, and the use of proximity and redirection to reduce negative student behavior.

Phase 3:

  1. EHD170ECE is a 640-hour, full-time, supervised field experience in a transitional kindergarten, kindergarten, first, second, or third grade public school classroom.  Candidates assume full responsibility for at least two weeks of planning and teaching.  In that field experience students complete:

1)   The Teaching Sample Project (Assessment #1) that documents a two-week unit — planning, teaching, assessing, and reflecting.

2)  The Holistic Proficiency Project (Assessment #4) where the student documents mastery of state Teacher Performance Expectations (TPAs) by gathering and organizing performance artifacts.

  1. SPED120 requires candidates to observe one student for 15 hours in a public, private, or residential facility that serves individuals with disabilities and prepare a written report describing the context, the student, and the appropriateness of services provided.

Program of Study

(See file to attach: “Section 1, #3: Program of Study.”)


 Not Applicable

Three Years of Data on Candidate Enrollment










ECE Faculty

  • Shareen Abramson
  • Jacques Benninga
  • Susan Macy
  • Marilyn Shelton
  • Cathy Yun

Section II - List of Assessments

Teaching Sample Project


Semester 3,





Infant Assessment


Semester 1,





Infant, Toddler, Preschool Assessment


Semester 2,





Holistic Proficiency Project


Semester 3, EHD170ECE




Site Visitation Project

Paper-pencil documentation of lesson planning & reflection

Semester 2, EHD178ECE






Pre-test at orientation; post-test at exit interview




Section III - Relationship of Assessment to Standards

  • Standard 1— Assessments 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Standard 2 —Assessments 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Standard 3— Assessments 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Standard 4— Assessments 1, 3, 4, 5
  • Standard 5— Assessments 1,3, 4, 5, 6

Section IV - Evidence for Meeting Standards

Since the last NCATE review of NAEYC national recognition at California State University, the Multiple Subject Credential Early Childhood Education Option has seen growth in popularity while falling victim to the effects of an overall drop in enrollment in the Credential Programs at the University.  Nevertheless, the program has sustained its unique identity in the Kremen School of Education and Human Development, its high quality, and its credibility in the educational community.  Great efforts have been made to assure that the NAEYC Standards remain at the core of the program’s knowledge base and remain the guiding influences in the practice of Program graduates despite changes in California’s credentialing demands and changes in the state’s public school curriculum and accountability systems.   Critical to this sustainability has been the Program’s systematic assessment, the disaggregation of data by Standard, and the analysis of that discreet data by all ECE faculty despite retirements and new-hires over the years. 

None of the assessments administered in the Initial Program have been substantially changed since the last review.  Each has shown itself to be a valid and reliable assessment of NAEYC Standards.  Each assessment evaluates multiple standards along the whole birth to age 8 spectrum, allowing the Program to triangulate data and make more informed decisions with regard to content knowledge; professional pedagogical knowledge, skills and dispositions; and student learning.  And finally, the Program has been able to use some assessment tools already required by the Credential Program, making the assessment system manageable for faculty and students alike.

Overall Findings

Findings: Content Knowledge

1. Data indicate an overwhelming number of candidates have strong content knowledge in the area of child development and normative behavior and that they are able to make recommendations to parents based on observational comparisons.

2. Candidates continue to perform at a high level with regard to their understanding of the legal and ethical obligations to English learners, gifted students, and students with disabilities.

Findings: Professional and Pedagogical Knowledge, Skill, and Dispositions

1. Multiple assessments indicate that candidate’s skills in designing assessments at the TK-grade 3 level have improved, but that same skill is showing mixed results at the infant/toddler/preschool levels.

2. Candidate’s ability to analyze test data and make decisions based on those data remains a relative strength birth through grade 3.

3. Candidates are showing improvement in their ability to reflect on their own practice and to link professional improvement strategies to their personal insight. Rather than a deficit indicated by earlier data, this has become an area of relative strength in the Program.

4. Content knowledge and pedagogy in early literacy/reading continues to be moderately strong.  Content knowledge and pedagogy in science and math have strengthened somewhat while the same elements in history/social science remain static.

5. Data related to the development of ethical dispositions continues to show a positive programmatic impact, especially with dilemmas related to gender and cultural contexts.  The data continue to clearly indicate a significant pre- post-test improvement in post-conventional thinking.

Findings: Student Learning

1. Data indicate that candidates are relatively strong in engaging students in learning at all levels, birth through grade 3, in one-on-one or small group instruction, although the vast majority of students continue to “meet” rather than “exceed” expectations in this area.

2. Data related to adaptations for English learners pre-K—grade 3 are mixed.


1. Continue to strengthen content knowledge his history/social science by using more examples of integration of history/social science and stronger content areas such as reading, mathematics, and now science; by focusing on history/social science content when exploring the alignment of content standards with assessment; and when reinforcing specific English-learner strategies for making content more comprehensible.

2. Provide more large-group teaching experiences in Phase 2 of the program.  Specifically, logistical changes in the K-3 reading and curriculum placements can require more whole-group instruction and co-teaching techniques can be utilized to provide teacher candidates with more support and modeling by Master Teachers.

3. Provide more exposure to assessment techniques and instruments used with infants, toddlers, and pre-school children through observations, video, and direct assignments in coursework.

4. Continue to improve candidates’ skills in assessment in TK-grade 3 classrooms by adding a competency in candidates’ final field experience that better assures practice with multiple forms of assessment

5. Collaborate with professors in the math education program who are responsible for teaching assessment skills to determine where ECE-specific classes can provide additional instruction in assessment.

6. Strengthen instruction to English learner populations by adjusting current assignments to require more explicit documentation of appropriate strategies and their immediate effect upon learning.

7. Align coursework and fieldwork syllabi and Program-related assessments and data collection strategies with the 2010 NAEYC Standards and key elements. 

 Actions Taken

The use of outcome-based assessments and the analysis of the data to make improvements in our Program has improved candidate performance over time by significantly impacting the content and delivery system in program coursework and fieldwork.  Recent examples include:

1. The establishment of a “school site partnership.”  Classes are held on campus to take advantage of “teachable moments,” to allow our candidates to participate in some staff development opportunities, to provide our candidates with exposure to the culture of California’s public schools, and to establish a closer working relationship between University-level and school site-level educators that is of mutual benefit,

2. The establishment of an ECE-designated section of SPED120, Teaching Students with Special Needs in Mainstream Settings.  This section focuses on young children with disabilities and the accommodations necessary in the primary classroom.  In addition, our candidates are exposed to the special education teacher assigned to the Joyce M. Huggins Early Education Center.  Candidates become much more aware of students with disabilities in infant, toddler, and preschool settings and the type of accommodations necessary for full inclusion in the learning experience.

3. ECE candidates are fully participating in special seminars in their first semester that focus on History/Social Studies content and pedagogy.

4. An ECE section has been established for CI176 that addresses math and assessment.  The class is being taught by an experienced faculty with expertise is issues related to young children. 

5. Strategies for English learners are being integrated into all content-related coursework to provide a broader repertoire of strategies and more direct application of theory to practice.

6. Advice on growing trends and issues in ECE has been solicited from members of the ECE Program’s Advisory Board to allow faculty to adjust curriculum and fieldwork to better meet the needs of the workplace.

7. Data is reported in a disaggregated manner, allowing for more discreet analysis that better directs our Program improvement efforts.