Early Childhood Director Credential
Fully Online Certificate Program
The 3-course (9-credit) Early Childhood Director Credential program is offered completely online allowing for flexibility and convenience in completing coursework. Each course is 3 credits and delivered in an online format, and is limited to 25 students. The six courses will be offered throughout the calendar year enabling students to easily complete the three of six courses within six months to one year.
To be eligible for the Pennsylvania Director Credential, students must successfully complete the required business course (ECH 564) and at least two additional courses from this set of six. Candidates must have previously completed a bachelor’s degree.
Students who take courses for the PA Director Credential at Shippensburg University may take the courses on a non-degree basis. Each student is responsible for submitting an application for a Director Credential directly to the Pennsylvania Keys to Quality program with the Office of Child Development and Early Learning. The credential is awarded by the PA Key, not Shippensburg University. For more information, visit http://www.pakeys.org/keystone-stars/rising-stars/.
To be eligible for the PA Directors Credential, students must successfully complete the required business course (ECH 564) and at least two additional courses from this set of six. Candidates must have successfully completed and earn their bachelor’s degree.
Students who take courses for the PA Director Credential at Shippensburg University may take the courses on a non-degree basis. Each student is responsible for submitting an application for a Director Credential directly to the Pennsylvania Keys to Quality program with the Office of Child Development and Early Learning. The credential is awarded by the PA Key, not Shippensburg University. For more information, visit pakeys.org.
To register for a course, please visit www.ship.edu/pcde/registration_information. You will find directions here for Admitted and Returning Students as well as directions for New Non-Degree Students
Tuition & Financial Assistance Options
Pennsylvania Keys to Quality offers a College Tuition Reimbursement Voucher up to $500 per college credit and up to $3000 per year in tuition reimbursement. The application can be found at pakeys.org.
Tuition scholarships of up to $900 are available through a partnership of Shippensburg University and the Mid-State Regional Key. To be eligible, students must be currently employed full time as a director or assistant director of a STARS facility and may not receive additional funds/grants/financial aid for the course.
Degree seeking graduate students enrolled at least part-time (6-8 credits) at Shippensburg University are eligible to receive the Federal Direct Stafford Loan. Graduate students enrolled in less than 6 credits may apply for an Alternative Loan to cover the cost of education.
Earn Your Master of Education Degree
The courses taken as part of the Director Credential may be transferred directly into a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction-Early Childhood Cluster at Shippensburg University. Candidates must also meet the following requirements:
- Hold a Bachelor's degree in early childhood education, child development, special education, elementary education or human services or hold a bachelor's degree in any other field, including 30 credit hours of early childhood education, child development, special education, elementary education, or human services
- Have an undergraduate overall grade point average of at least 2.75 or an approved score on the Miller Analogies Test.
- Submit an application to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
- Provide official transcripts of all undergraduate/graduate work.
- Complete a questionnaire concerning teaching background and future goals.
- Submit three letters of reference.
- Appear for an interview and a planning review with department faculty.
Find out more about the Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction-Early Childhood Cluster and course descriptions.
Course Info & Schedule
Each course is 3 credits and delivered in an online format. Each course is limited to 25 students. The six courses will be offered throughout the calendar year enabling students to easily complete the three of six courses within six months to one year.
ECH 563 Leadership in Early Childhood Education (3 crs.)
Designed to prepare personnel to function in the role of administrator of early childhood programs. Examines types of early childhood programs and their underlying rationales, ways of establishing early childhood programs, methods of funding and financing programs, and considers the coordinating role of the administrator in working with other personnel.
Courses begin: Spring 2019 - Dates TBD
ECH 564 The Business of Child Care (3 crs.)
Designed specifically for directors of child care centers seeking a director credential from the Pennsylvania Keys to Professional Development with the Office of Child Development and Early Learning. Students will critically reflect on current business practices. Topics will include strategic planning, fiscal management, risk management, policy development, communication and conflict resolution, and grant writing.
Course begins: May 21 - June 29, 2018 Summer A October 22 - December 14, 2018 Fall 2018
ECH 540 Families and Early Childhood Education (3 crs.)
Examines theory and research from the area of family studies. Emphasis is on characteristics of families with young children and how early childhood practitioners can best apply this information in their work settings. Field assignments required.
Course begins: July 2 - August 3, 2018
TCH 575 Advanced Child Development (3 crs.)
Stresses the results of scientific studies which are used to examine cognitive, physical, and social processes in child development from birth to pre-adolescence with an emphasis placed on the early years. Influence of child’s environment, home, and school are explored.
Course begins: August 27 - December 14, 2018
ECH 577 Early Childhood Curriculum and Assessment (3 crs.)
Investigates contemporary curricular issues, model programs, and appropriate forms of assessment of young children. Curriculum, teaching strategies, and program organization and evaluation decisions are analyzed from the viewpoints of current theory and research.
Course Date: Spring 2019 - Dates TBD
ECH 565 Health and Safety Practices in Early Childhood (3 crs.)
Stresses assessment of national health and safety standards for early childhood programs, as well as the development and evaluation of educational programs designed to improve the health and safety outcomes of young children and their families. Students will learn best practices in measuring program outcomes as a critical part of overall program evaluation. While the focus is on health and safety, skills learned in developing a program outcome model will be directly applicable to overall program development and evaluation as funders are increasingly requesting outcome measurement as part of grant application.
Course Date: December 17, 2018 - January 18, 2019
Program & Faculty Support
For Director Credential program and content-specific information:
Rebecca Ward, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Early Childhood Education
For general info regarding registration, payment, and online education:
Office of Professional, Continuing, and Distance Education (PCDE)