Early Childhood Certificate

Certificate of Completion

Online Early Childhood Education

Quick Facts

  • 12 credits to a certificate of completion
  • Less than one year
  • Fully online
  • Classes start every quarter. Take courses in any order
  • Open to degree and non-degree students as well as graduate and undergraduate levels
  • Take courses that may be used as credit toward a bachelor’s or master’s degree or count towards your Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) or required upper division credits on the Oregon Registry (Steps 9–10)

The Online Early Childhood Education certificate of completion develops your practice as an early childhood professional with in-depth, research-based, and innovation professional practices. The Online Early Childhood Education certificate of completion is a unique, interdisciplinary early childhood series. It combines the strength and expertise for those expanding their knowledge of children birth to eight years.


John Nimmo
Program Coordinator


Elizabeth Snyder
Admissions Advisor

Program Benefits

  • Enhance your knowledge and skills in working with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and young children through research-based practice
  • Choose a specialization or choose your own courses
    • Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood
    • Equity and Inclusive Education
    • Infants and Toddlers
    • Inquiry Based Curriculum
    • Leading in Early Childhood
    • Trauma Informed Early Childhood
  • Experience incredible value: Learn from experienced teachers who have scholarly expertise and advanced degrees—and do so fully online and at an accessible price

Program Specifics

  • Upon completion of 12 ECE credits in the series, students are eligible to receive an Early Childhood Education Series Certificate of Completion (non-licensure).
  • Continue working as you learn in this distance-accessible online program

About the program

Complete classes in a variety of speciality areas All of our classes have a strong basis in the constructivist philosophy, which is grounded in the work of Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky. We believe that children and teachers construct knowledge, alone and together, through interaction with the social and physical world. Gain wider knowledge about the issues of diversity and social justice. Become a highly reflective and responsive teacher whose deep understanding of development, curriculum and culture is focused on the unique needs and issues of young children and their families. Online classes align with NAEYC and DEC standards.

Our graduates

Earning the 12-credit certificate will guide and support you in your work with children, prenatal through age eight, and their families. Focus on the skills needed for your work as educators, parents, home visitors, administrators, and other early childhood professionals. Our graduates become better prepared in their roles as:

  • Child care educators and teachers
  • Family child care professionals
  • Head Start and Early Head Start professionals
  • Program directors and administrators
  • Early intervention and special education specialists
  • Home visitors
  • Parents

Why PSU?

PSU’s individual support resources and real-world applications incorporate the needs of the whole person. This nurtures the strong convictions and fearless confidence critical to academic success. PSU is also the public research university for the Portland metro area.

The Online Early Childhood Education certificate program draws on the practice of early childhood researchers and the educators at the PSU laboratory school, the Helen Gordon Child Development Center. We hold an  anti-bias and inquiry-based education focus.

As a program serving regional, national and international communities, creative, engaging collaborations from colleagues outside Portland, Oregon, and the Pacific Northwest—with online learning, your work becomes part of a global collaboration. Our online classes embrace a strength-based approach to learning. In coming together as a community of learners, you will share a deeper understanding of the topic with your classmates. We believe in collaborative learning with real-world applications. We are passionate about early childhood education and are committed to supporting equity and inclusion in education.