EC-TEaMH Graduate Certificate Program

Early Childhood-Transdisciplinary Education and Mental Health (EC-TEaMH) Graduate Certificate

EC-TEaMH is an interdisciplinary program focusing on professional preparation and skills enhancement of early childhood educators who work with young children who demonstrate socio-emotional and behavioral problems and their parents.

The EC-TEaMH Certificate program provides professionals in the field of infant-family and early childhood mental health with the core knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to support the social and emotional development and well-being of infants and young children within the context of their family and culture.

Admission Prerequisites

  • Successful completion of a BA/BS degree in Child Development or related field
  • Completion of a Cal State Apply application and all supplementary documents submitted online to the program application
  • 2 letters of recommendation required from individuals you have interacted with professionally

How to apply


Program Features

  • 1-year academic program: 15 graduate credits
  • Courses can be applied towards graduate degree
  • 4 foundation courses based on evidence-based practices
  • 2 practicum courses with reflective practice facilitated by experienced clinical supervisors
  • Coursework and supervised practicum aligned with California Compendium of Training Guidelines, Personnel Competencies, and Professional Endorsement Criteria for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health, 2016
  • Designed for working professionals
  • Gainful Employment Program Disclosure

In-depth program description

Certificate program details

The EC-TEaMH program meets the needs of early childhood education professionals by providing appropriate field-based training for recognizing and responding to behavioral challenges in effective ways.

The EC-TEaMH Certificate Program focuses on clinically-based, professional preparation and skills enhancement of early childhood educators who work with young children who demonstrate socio-emotional and behavioral problems. In accordance with Congressional recommendations, the certificate will instruct and mentor early childhood educators to implement early intervention behavioral support services based on the Response to Intervention (RTI) and the Recognition and Response models to children and staff on their site.

These skilled and well-trained early childhood professionals will reduce the level of risk, enhance developmental outcomes, and therefore reduce costs of future needed interventions for these children when they are attending school. The certificate program follow the California Compendium of Training Guidelines, Personnel Competencies, and Professional Endorsement Criteria for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health, 2016.

Socio-emotional development in the early years is among the most critical foundations to school readiness (Walsh, 2004). The National Academy of Science study “From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The science of early childhood development” listed intellectual skills, motivation to learn, health, and socio-emotional development as the key qualities needed for success in school. This certificate program will prepare early childhood educators to provide socio-emotional and behavioral support to children attending their programs and their families.

This certificate program is targeted to current and future professionals who are or intend to become early childhood socio-emotional and behavior regulation intervention specialists. The potential clients are from the fields of early childhood education, special education, counseling, school  psychology, social work, marriage and family therapy, psychology or related areas.

Unit Requirements

  • 15 program units are required to earn the certificate in Early Childhood Transdisciplinary Education and Mental Health (EC-TEaMH).
  • 12 units of seminar courses addressing core knowledge foundations and three units of practicum/ field experience. Courses in the certificate program may be applied to the master’s degree in child development, if applicable.

Course overview

Required courses for the certificate will teach students about different theories in child behavior intervention and prevention, positive behavior support for children with challenging behavior, eco-behavioral assessment and intervention, and advanced behavior analysis. This knowledge base will then be applied in the community. Students will complete a total of 120 hours of supervised practicum with young children in San Diego County. The certificate will be earned through completion of the required courses and supervised practicum. The Department of Child and Family Development will work with students to help them earn the certificate within 1 academic year. Courses taken as part of the certificate program may be applied towards a Master’s degree.

Knowledge Area (12 units):

  • CFD 670: Seminar in Human Development Theories Intervention and Prevention (3)
  • CFD 671: Seminar in supporting Early Childhood Mental Health (3)
  • CFD 580: Observation and Assessment of Young Children's Environment and Relationships (3)
  • SPED: 676 Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis (3)

Experience Area

  • Field Experience/ Practicum (3 units): *CFD 697A Advanced Field Experience (Cr/NC) (3)

*(120 hours of supervised practicum must be completed over the course of 2 semesters)

Preparation for M.S. Degree

Students who have completed the EC-TEaMH Certificate will have earned 12 units towards the Master of Science degree.

Many students complete the EC-TEaMH Certificate before continuing to the M.S. Degree in Child Development. The focus of the M.S. in Child Development is on the early years and prevention with an emphasis on parent-child inter-generational relationships to enhance school readiness and prepare teachers to work with families with a focus on socio-emotional and behavior support in educational settings and homes.

After completion of the EC-TEaMH Certificate, students may be able to complete the M.S. in Child Development within 1 academic year (2 semesters). EC-TEaMH graduates are also eligible to apply to the M.S. in Child Development with the Concentration in Early Childhood Mental Health and pursue clinical licensure as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC).

A note to SDSU Master of Social Work students

The EC-TEaMH program is now in collaboration with the SDSU School of Social Work! More information on the program will be posted soon. Graduate students in the School of Social Work are invited to take EC-TEaMH courses.  For more information about this opportunity, please email Kellie Scott.


Contact Us

Sarah Rieth, Graduate Advisor
Email: [email protected]