The ECFS major has developed two pathways for students to pursue in their degree program in the College of Education at the University of Washington.  The foundations of both pathways are the same in content and are required for the completion of a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) major in Early Childhood and Family Studies (ECFS) in the Core Pathway and in the Teaching & Learning Option Pathway. Neither option provides teacher certification.  In addition to the courses listed below, students must complete all other General Education requirements for the B.A. degree.

Early Childhood & Family Studies Major: Sample Coursework
(Course requirements change periodically. Please check back for the most up to date information or consult the ECFS adviser.)

Pre-Core (required before taking the Core courses) (8 credits)

  • ECFS 200  Introduction to Early Childhood & Family Studies (service learning) (3 credits)
  • EDPSY 302  Child Development (5 credits)

General Developmental Courses (16 credits)

  • ECFS 311 Teaching from the Inside Out:  Being a Resilient Educator (3 credits)
  • EDPSY 406  Learning and Teaching in our Changing World (5 credits)
  • EDUC 305  Purpose of Public Schools in a Democracy (5 credits) or EDUC 310 Current Issues in Education (5 credits)
  • EDSPE 404  Exceptional Children (3 credits)

Core Courses (20 credits)

  • NSG 432  Infants & Young Children:  Risk & Resilience (5 credits)
  • ECFS 419  Family & Community Influences on the Young Child (5 credits)
  • ECFS 401  Understanding Early Childhood & Family Studies Research (5 credits)
  • ECFS 402  Social Policy & Organization Related to Early Childhood (5 credits)

At this point the two pathways differ and students in the Teaching & Learning Option take courses designed for those interested in early learning and preschool education or preparation for early elementary education.  Students in these courses are concurrently taking service learning courses, as assignments are linked to observation and interaction with young children.  Students in the core pathway have a wide range of multi-disciplinary courses from which to choose electives, and this is where they can examine how their learning goals for the ECFS major align with other areas of study at the University of Washington.  Students who want to teach older children or youth may select the core pathway as a way to explore teacher education and diversify the coursework they take to highlight their areas of interest within education.  

Teaching & Learning required elective courses (32 credits)

  • ECFS 301  Early Childhood Curriculum (5 credits)
  • ECFS 312  Positive Behavioral Support in Early Childhood (3 credits)
  • ECFS 321  Engaging Interactions & Environments (3 credits)
  • ECFS 400  Child Observation & Assessment (5 credits)
  • ECFS 410  Language & Literacy in the Preschool (5 credits)
  • ECFS 411  Young Children's Mathematics & Science (5 credits) 
  • students will choose from one of the following options:
    • EDUC 170  Math for Elementary School Teachers (5 credits)
    • ECFS 412  Learning with Digital Media in Early Childhood (3 credits)
    • ECFS 480 Individualizing Teaching & Learning (5 credits)

Service Learning & Research Experience (10+ credits)

  • ECFS 200 has a service learning component and is required for both pathways.
  • Junior Year - ECFS 303: Juniors choose a service learning placement as a classroom assistant in a preschool, kindergarten, or first grade classroom that serves a low-income, high-need population. Juniors are expected to volunteer three to five hours per week and move on to ECFS 304 to continue their placement.  Students in the core pathway do not continue on with service learning unless they want to. 
  • Senior Year (ECFS 454/455/456): This sequence is for Teaching and Learning option students only. Seniors choose a service learning placement in an early childhood setting that reflects their professional interests, usually an early learning environment. These settings can include preschool through third grade classrooms and Seniors are expected to volunteer two to four hours per week.  
  • ECFS 403 Senior Project (includes a weekly seminar) (3 credits) - this is required for the Core pathway.  

ECFS Core Pathway elective options (30 credits)

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