Taking the lead in building the capacity of the ECE workforce in Fresno

Launching A New Early Childhood Education (ECE) 24-Unit Transitional Kindergarten (TK) Certificate Program to support district partners.

Recognizing the need of district partners to provide well-qualified TK teachers in the classroom, Kremen is launching a transitional kindergarten program through Continuing and Global Education that allows participants to obtain 24 ECE units within 9 months virtually over evenings and the weekends.  

The ECE 24-Unit Transitional Kindergarten (TK) Certificate Program is a user-friendly program that was created by Dr. Pei-Ying Wu, an assistant professor in the Early Childhood Education Program and the Fansler Chair leading the Joyce M. Huggins Early Education Center. Dr. Wu’s research interests focus on early childhood teachers’ professional development and self-efficacy, making her the perfect candidate to lead this program. 

The program came about as a result of the state of California investing $2.7 billion in the universal kindergarten program in order to include all the state’s 4-year-olds by the 2025-26 school year. It is open to teachers who have, or are obtaining a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and want to meet the state requirements while enhancing their ECE qualifications. It emphasizes hands-on experiences and provides opportunities for teachers to apply the knowledge learned from coursework to their classroom. 

This certificate program is a great workforce development option customized to the needs of current TK teachers who are looking for hands-on experiences and opportunities to apply the knowledge learned from the coursework to their classrooms. 

The Huggins Center serves as a regional model for some of the best practices in ECE. The Huggins Center provides services for children of university students, faculty, staff and to the community between the ages of 3 months and 12 years. The center is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and is one of three centers operated by the Fresno State Programs for Children. Brittney S. Randolph is the Director of Programs for Children, a comprehensive early care and education program that holds a 5-star rating from Fresno County’s Early Stars. This center works in partnership with the larger community to provide opportunities for learning and for developing partnerships that will benefit young children and families. The center also provides training, demonstration and research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students in education, child development, marriage, child and family therapy, and other related areas as well as for professionals in the field.

Beyond supporting the current TK workforce, the demand projections for well-qualified ECE teachers also prompt Kremen to actively prepare for the development of a new credentialing program specific to early childhood educators. With the recent approval of the PK-3rd ECE Specialist Credential, Kremen faculty began to collaborate with other CSU campuses, ECE-related degree programs (e.g. community colleges), Fresno Superintendent of Schools and LEAs on pathways and program design, curriculum development, coursework articulation, accreditation, and recruitment. 

For those interested in the ECE 24-Unit TK Certificate Program or PK-3 ECE Specialist Instruction Credential program please contact the Program Coordinator, Dr. Pei-Ying Wu at peiwu@mail.fresnostate.edu 

(Written by Dr. Pei-Ying Wu, an assistant professor in the Early Childhood Education Program/Fansler Chair, and Audra Burwell, a Creative Writing student employed by the Kremen School of Education and Human Development.)

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