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Child Development Microcredential

What is a Microcredential?

Whether you are looking to upgrade skills in your current profession or enter a new field, a microcredential may be for you. Microcredentials are short, industry-focused credentials designed to provide in-demand skills that reflect the “shop floor” needs of industry. They are accelerated or “bite sized” training opportunities focused on a specific professional or career discipline and can lead to a certificate or to an initial or advanced degree. 

Early Childhood students working in the on-campus Laboratory Preschool.The Child Development Microcredential taught at SUNY Schenectady exceeds the 120 clock hours of professional development required by the Council for Professional Recognition to obtain the international CDA Credential. The Child Development Microcredential provides a minimum of 195 hours of professional development for the Infant Toddler CDA, the Preschool CDA, and the Family Child Care CDA. The college courses for the 3 CDA types are offered virtually Monday and Wednesday evenings, January to July. It focuses on the six CDA Competency Standards, recognized nationally and internationally, and established by The Council for Professional Recognition.

The program prepares students to:

  • Demonstrate professional knowledge of early childhood development.
  • Plan, implement, assess and evaluate a developmentally appropriate curriculum that aligns with standards set forth by National Association for the Education of Young Children, New York State Early Learning Guidelines and The NYS Prekindergarten Learning Standards, as applicable for the Preschool CDA.
  • Demonstrate the skills and abilities of the effective early childhood teaching professional.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the early childhood professional dedicated to ethical practice and cultural responsiveness.

Child Development Microcredential Courses

This course focuses on curriculum development and assessment by applying early childhood education philosophies for children birth through eight years of age. Students reflect upon their roles as teachers in planning, implementing and evaluating criteria that impacts child development and academic content areas. This course emphasizes in-depth studies of developmentally appropriate curriculum models for the methods and strategies that inform the development of meaningful and relevant curricula. Students spend a minimum of ten observation hours in the Laboratory Preschool. (By the end of the first of class in ECH 121, students must submit (A) a notarized criminal conviction statement, and (B) a signed I Will Statement to uphold the National Association for the Education of Young Children Code of Ethics and the SUNY Schenectady Early Childhood Education Program Professional Behaviors.)

This course focuses on cultural, scientific, and mathematical explorations for children birth to second grade. Students utilize STEM materials and experiences to foster children’s critical thinking skills in scientific and mathematical thought processes. The course requires students to implement developmentally appropriate social studies, math and science activities to address diversity in children’s learning styles. Students spend a minimum of ten observational hours in the Laboratory Preschool.

This course allows students the opportunity for direct practical teaching and learning in early childhood education within community agencies and/or the SUNY Schenectady Early Childhood Program Integrated Laboratory Preschool. Additionally, in a seminar setting, students reflect on and share their experiences. Students will spend eight to ten hours per week in their field placement to accumulate a minimum of 130 hours. 

This course examines infant and toddler development with an emphasis on the importance of the first thirty-six months in relation to human development. It emphasizes attachment, early brain research, and developmentally appropriate practices as critical factors which impact a caregiver’s role in meeting individual children’s needs. The course requires ten observation hours.

This course is a study into the principles of child growth and development from conception to adolescence. The course content will focus on the physical, cognitive, social and emotional domains of development. The student will be required to observe the development of a child outside the classroom in order to complete a comprehensive child study project. In order to complete this major project, 10-20 hours of outside observation are required.

Learn More

To learn more about the Child Development Microcredential, please reach out to Lauren Lankau at 518-396-5982 or or reach out to Professor Tammy Calhoun at 518-381-1295 or