Child Development Instructional Program Child Development Instructional Program

Program Overview

Children are our future – if you're committed to making a positive impact in the lives of children and their families, then the Child Development program at Columbia College is right for you. Students who choose this program will benefit from our highly-motivated teaching faculty, wide array of courses, and our state-of-the-art facility.

The program offers an entry-level Associate Child Development Teacher/Future Educators and Associate Infant/Toddler Certificate of Achievement as a starting point for a variety of careers working with children and families. The Associate of Science Child Development degree prepares students to work in the field, while the Associate of Science Transfer (AS-T) degree in Early Childhood Education provides a quick path to transfer to a California State University. For details on the requirements for our certificate and degrees refer to the Columbia College Catalog.

Career Training

The Child Development program is recommended for students wishing to enter the fields of: child care; elementary school teaching; child and family counseling and psychology; special education teaching; and medical careers relating to children. The College's instructional program not only offers great classes that you'll need for employment and/or transfer, but also provides hands-on experience in our high-quality Child Development Facility. Additionally, our program was awarded CAP(Curriculum Alignment Project) certification, which ensures transfer of inter-community college coursework in child development.

To assist you in determining which classes you need to meet your career goals, we've created a quick guide.  Click here: Career Goals to view the document.

If you plan to work in a state or federally funded program (state preschool or Head Start) you'll need to apply for a Child Development Permit issued by the CA Teacher Credentialing Office. We've created another quick guide to help you determine how our Columbia College classes meet the requirements of the permit. Click here: Courses for Permit to view the document. The Child Development Training Consortium can assist you with the costs of applying for your permit. Visit their website for details.

Student Networking

Students in the program work alongside mentor teachers to gain the experience they need to become skilled early childhood educators. Learn more about our Mentor Teachers here . Whether you're a new student or a seasoned teacher, our classes can help you achieve your goals of higher education, stay up-to-date with the latest research, learn best practices, and earn the units you need to be hired or advance at your workplace. In the Child Development & Family Care Services Facility that includes five buildings nestled under the existing trees, you'll find a healthy backdrop to learn and discover with the young children and your fellow students. Read about what students, staff, and children are up to at the child care center in our newsletter here. Students in the Child Development program also collaborate together to participate in outreach events around our campus and our community.

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Our faculty is committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning for all students. We are proud to offer exceptional experiences through our small class size, state of the art facility, and enthusiasm for our work. We invite you to explore the program and look forward to meeting you. For more information call (209) 588-5275.

To support student teachers working in the Child Development Center, the Child Development Instructional Program, Child Development Center, and Child Development-Future Educators Club hosted a Tea Party Fundraiser on February 3, 2017. Proceeds from the ticket sales and silent auction will allow student teachers to apply for their Child Development Teaching Permits issued through the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. For more information, please visit


Child Dev Center


Student Success

 Testimonial from Shauna Ginn Columbia Graduate: 2010
"The Child Development Professors and the teachers at the center played a big role in my growth in the field. They shared the same passion I did for children and it showed in the classroom. Working at the center, I was able to leave the classroom and put what I had learned into action. The opportunity I had in the Child Development Program at Columbia College is one that I will forever be grateful for.”
  Like many students, Shauna went on to earn a B.A. in Child Development with an emphasis in Child and Family Services from Stanislaus State University


Gainful Employment Disclosure
This program does not meet the requirements for Gainful Employment disclosure.  For more information on career options, please make an appointment to see a counselor by calling (209) 588-5109.  For gainful employment information for all CTE programs, click here.

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