Child Development Associate Certificate

Format: On Campus
Application Deadlines
  • Fall 2022 Regular Deadline Extension: July 26, 2022

Offered in partnership with the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute (PDI) the Child Development Associate (CDA) Certificate at the CUNY School of Professional Studies is the only compre­hensive credit-bearing Child Development Associate (CDA) certificate in New York City. The program provides students not only with the required coursework but also advisement, writing support, portfolio creation, career services, and classroom observation in pursuit of the Child Development Associate Credential. 

Students in the program:

  • Demonstrate the use of the developmental perspective in their work with young children and families.
  • Support second-language learners and children with special needs in early childhood education programs effectively.
  • Examine and reflect on their teaching, both orally and in writing.
  • Apply effective classroom practices and create developmentally appropriate learning environments.
  • Use strategies and techniques to strengthen connections between their centers and children's homes.
  • Use skills and resources to assist parents in caring effectively for their children.

Fieldwork

120 hours of supervised fieldwork per course is required, regardless of whether a student intends to pursue the CDA. Fieldwork will be supervised by a course instructor or assigned fieldwork observer. A vital source of evidence of a student’s skills is actual hands-on work as a teacher with children and families, which also provides a student with an opportunity to learn through experience. Fieldwork offers a student an opportunity to see her practice in light of new knowledge from the CDA course work. 

Students currently employed by a licensed program serving children birth – 5 years can utilize their place of employment for their fieldwork hours. Students who are not employed by a licensed program will be placed in a site that is agreed upon by the instructor and student. Students are required to complete 480 hours of fieldwork prior to completion of the certificate program.

Testimonials

Ever since I enrolled at CUNY SPS CDA program, many doors have opened for me. Firstly, I feel better prepared to work with children in the classroom. My coursework has enabled me to build a positive, curiosity-filled, nurturing, and safe learning environment for my diverse learners. Each day brings a new adventure with the chance to apply my learning within my classroom walls.The CDA coursework has taught me many strategies that I have been able to implement in my classroom. I am thankful for this opportunity every day.
– Jasminie Jones, CUNY SPS CDA Alumna

 

Khadijah Frederick

When I took the CDA course in 2018, I just needed 16-18 Ed credits for work but I didn't realize that I would learn so much from that program and how it would change me and become the catalyst I needed to get me back in to school to finish my degree. It changed my perspective and truly made me a better educator. I didn't go on to become certified by OCFS but it sparked something else in me.
Now I am 3 classes away from the finish line, I'm so excited to close this chapter and proud of myself for finally seeing this through. I owe so much to the knowledge I learned from you and the other professors in the CDA program. Those courses taught me tools that I use in my trainings and orientations with my current and perspective staff. It became more than a minor licensing requirement for work and DOH, it sparked me to take my education further.
– Khadijah Frederick, CUNY SPS CDA Alumna

Career Prospects

The certificate is designed for preschool teachers, childcare workers, and other individuals looking to work in Early Childhood Education. The nationally recognized Child Development Associate Credential has been accepted as a state requirement for working in many early childhood centers.

The structure and curriculum of the CDA Certificate are designed to complement the Child Development Associate National Credentialing Program’s Competency Standards. Students who complete the requirements of these credit-bearing courses, with faculty advisement, can go on to submit a portfolio to the Council for Professional Recognition in order to earn the CDA Credential.

Credits earned through the successful completion of these CDA courses may also be applied to degree programs, thus establishing the foundation for career advancement.

Scholarship Opportunities

Eligible students can take advantage of the following scholarship opportunities:

Custom Programs

For more information on how the CDA Certificate can benefit your staff and organization, please contact Claudine Campanelli, Director of Career Services and Higher Education, New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute: claudine.campanelli@cuny.edu or Maxine Barton, College Assistant: maxine.barton@cuny.edu.

Articulation Agreements

Articulation agreements are formal agreements between CUNY SPS and two-year colleges and universities, allowing students to transfer the maximum number of credits with ease to our CDA Certificate from institutions with which we have an established transfer process in place.

Admissions Criteria

Candidates for admission to undergraduate level certificate programs must possess a high school diploma or a High School Equivalency diploma from New York State (also known as TASC or GED). Applicants are required to submit a personal statement. Current employment and background as an assistant teacher is an advantage but not essential for admission.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall 2022 Regular Deadline Extension: July 26, 2022
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Recent News About Child Development Associate Certificate

2022 Outstanding Dissertation Award

February 10, 2022

American Montessori Society

Dr. Claudine Campanelli, who oversees the CUNY SPS Child Development Associate (CDA) and Children’s Program Administrator Credential (CPAC) programs, has been awarded the 2022 Outstanding Dissertation Award by the American Montessori Society (AMS) for her dissertation "Birth to Three Language Acquisition: Influences of Ambient Language in the Montessori Setting". She will be sharing her research findings at the 2022 national AMS conference this March.
Kadeatrice holding children's book

Child Development Associate Certificate Students Publish Children's Books

June 29, 2021

CUNY SPS is proud to celebrate the publication of three children’s books written by students in the School’s Child Development Associate (CDA) Certificate program.

How the Credit-Bearing CDA Shapes Careers: Janell Barron’s Story

June 23, 2021

New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute

Claudine Campanelli, who oversees the CUNY SPS undergraduate Child Development Associate (CDA) and the graduate Children’s Program Administrator Credential (CPAC) programs, interviews CDA alum Janell Barron on the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute blog. During their conversation, Barron shares how the credit-bearing CDA program has shaped her career in the last five years.
CDA Gold Standard Comprehensive Seal

CUNY SPS Awarded CDA Gold Standard

November 30, 2020

The CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) is proud to announce that its Child Development Associate (CDA) Certificate program has been granted the prestigious CDA Gold...