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Catalog 2019-20

Child Development Associate Skills Certificate

The Child Development Associate (CDA) program represents a national effort to credential qualified early childhood educators working with children from birth to age five. At Schoolcraft College, CDA preparation consists of meeting the objectives and requirements of five courses in the early child- hood curriculum that address the Competency Goals in 13 Functional Areas identified by the CDA Professional Preparation program. Candidates must also document 480 hours of professional experience working with children within the last three years, prepare a professional resource file and be formally observed working with children. For more information on the CDA Credential visit

Students who satisfactorily complete the program requirements qualify for a certificate of program completion. The following are the required courses necessary to meet CDA competencies. To earn the CDA, candidates may then apply to the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition. The Council charges an application fee, assigns a representative to assess the candidate and awards this national credential.

Not all courses are offered each semester.  Students should work with an academic advisor to develop a schedule that will work for them. Students planning to transfer should check the transfer institution’s requirements/guides or discuss their options with an academic advisor. Number of credits may vary depending on the course selection. 

Schoolcraft program code # CRT.00315
Download the Curriculum Guide (PDF)

Sample Plan

First Year - Fall Semester

Program Total: 17 Credits

* Choose course depending upon the type of CDA Credentials the student is pursuing. Check with the Early Childhood Education and Special Education Department for more information. Students must successfully pass courses with field experiences with a grade of a 2.5 in order to be eligible to earn credit for the course. Students that do not pass the course at the second attempt may not remain in the program.

Students in the Early Childhood Education program must adhere to the Code of Ethics of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Council for Exceptional Children along with the Early Childhood Education and Special Education Department policies. Early Childhood Education and Special Education Department policies are provided from the department to the student in their field experience courses.

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Learn more about Credit Hours, Course Load, Study Expectations and more in the student handbook.