Social and Behavioral Sciences

BA in Social and Behavioral Sciences - Early Childhood Studies Concentration, Minor, and Certification

Career Options

SBS ECS Program Courses APPROVED for Maine Department of Education EC CERTIFICATION

(081 Early Childhood Teacher Endorsement) Credit: 

SBS 200J Human Growth & Development approved to meet the 3 credits required in child development or developmental psychology.

SBS 305 Child Development approved to meet the 3 credits required in child development or developmental psychology.
SBS 310 Childhood and Society can be applied to advanced child development under "completed a minimum of 6 semester hours in at least two of the following areas:

  • creative arts
  • family studies
  • observation of the young child/assessment of the young child
  • social studies for the young child/advanced child development
  • early learning environments
  • additional early literacy "

EDU 336 Children's Literature approved to meet the children's literature requirement of 3 semester hours.
SBS 341 The Family approved to meet family studies under advanced child development.

SBS 375 Infant Mental Health: Zero to Six Years approved to meet the "infant/toddler development" requirement of 3 semester hours.

SBS 399 Resilience in Early Childhood and Across the Lifespan accepted for the 081 endorsement under "early learning environments" within advanced child development.

SBS 450 Assessing Individual Differences in Children to meet the assessment of the young child under advanced child development

Early Childhood Studies Minor or Concentration


The Early Childhood Studies Concentration is simply a way for SBS majors to organize their 6 required SBS electives (18 credits); one is selected from each of the six categories described below. These six content categories are based upon the recommendations of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and our community advisors.  Any substitutions must be approved by faculty advisor.

The Early Childhood Studies Minor is available to students with any major (including but not limited to SBS).  For non-SBS students, the minor consists of six courses or 18 credits.  If an SBS student wants to pursue ECS as a minor, they are required to take four, extra SBS electives (12 credits) in addition to the requirements of the SBS concentration.

Both the concentration and the minor provide the skills needed of professionals working with young children and their families, as well as the academic background required for graduate study or advanced training in the field.

Students pursuing Early Childhood Studies (ECS) as either a minor or a concentration must complete the necessary paperwork in the Student Success Center so that ECS appears on their MaineStreet Academic Plan.

Students may also choose to earn their certification from the State of Maine in Early Childhood Teacher (081 birth-5) which requires specific courses within and beyond the ECS Minor (see below).

Please visit the Office of Undergraduate Admission for application information.

In addition to the requirements listed in the SBS major, the following requirements apply:

Early Childhood Studies Concentration: Choose one course from each of the following six categories: child development, family, leadership and professionalism, systems, children and evaluation, and teaching/preparing children for learning.  

1. Child Development

SBS/HRD200: Multicultural Human Development
SBS 305: Child Development

2. Family

SBS 341: The Family*

3. Leadership and Professionalism

SBS 301: Group Dynamics
SBS 302: Interpersonal Behavior

4. Systems

EDU/LAE 200: Education in the U.S
SBS 310: Childhood and Society*
SBS 346: Introduction to Social Services

5. Children and Evaluation

SBS 350: Psychosocial Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence
SBS 375: Infant Mental Health & Attachment*
SBS 450: Approaches to Assessing Individual Differences in Children

6. Teaching / Preparing Children for Learning

SBS 199: Introduction to Early Childhood
SBS 336: Children’s Literature*
SBS 340: Language Acquisition and Development*
SBS 391: Mathematics in Early Childhood Education*
SBS 392: Science in Early Childhood Education*
SBS393: Exceptionality in Early Childhood Education*

* ECT 081 certification required courses

Early Childhood Studies Minor:  Students must complete courses in each of the six categories described above for the ESC Concentration (above) plus four, additional courses (12 credits) in SBS. Non-SBS students may complete the minor with one course from the six categories. 

Early Childhood Teacher Certificaton (081) with Early Childhood Studies Minor

The State of Maine’s Early Childhood Teacher certification (081), which currently covers children from birth to age five, is required for public school pre-K programs and other federally funded programs. This specific credential ensures that early educators have specialized training specific to the developmental levels of the children with whom they work. The Early Childhood Teacher Endorsement (081) is a different certification than the K-3 (029) or K-8 (020) Endorsement.

For the Early Childhood Teacher (081) certification recommendation the ECS Minor is declared, and the student completes either SBS/HRD 200 (a SBS requirement) or SBS305, then all asterisked (*) courses above.  Note that if a student is pursuing the Early Childhood Studies (ECS) minor with 081 certification, the SBS major required internship course (LAC 447) must be taken with a placement in Early Childhood Education. Students are advised to consult with their faculty advisors early regarding choice of internship placements.

 Acceptance into the Bachelor of Arts in Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Early Childhood Teacher (081) Certification Track is contingent upon admission to USM, declaration of the Early Childhood Teacher (081) Certification Track through the Office of Educator Preparation in Tk20, and successful completion of the University's writing and mathematics proficiency requirements.  The acceptance criteria, declaration procedures, and candidacy directions can be found on the OEP web site at  Acceptance criteria include passing Praxis Core, a GPA of 3.0, a current state criminal history record check, an essay, and two recommendation forms. Once the declaration has been accepted, students must subscribe and pay for Tk20. Students in the Early Childhood Teacher (081) Certification Track must maintain a GPA of 3.0 through out their program and complete candidacy prior to the LAC447 Internship (with an Early Childhood placement).  Candidacy includes passing Praxis II, a GPA of 3.0, an essay, three recommendation forms, and interview.


Tk20 Subscription:

 All undergraduate and graduate students who matriculate into an Educator Preparation program or pathway in USM summer 2013 or later are required to subscribe to the Tk20 online data management system.  The subscription allows students to use the system for assessment, advisement, field-experience and career portfolio management.  The subscription fee of $103 covers some of the expenses related to the administration and assessment of the program.  For loan purposes, it will be eligible for consideration as part of the costs.  The subscription is a one-time payment and must be made by each student during the first semester of program or pathway matriculation (check with individual programs and pathways for specific subscription timelines).  Subscription instructions are posted on the Office of Educator Preparation website:

 Professional Education Council Policy: In order for USM's Education Preparation Unit program completers to be recommended by the institution to the state for certification or licensure, the candidate must provide evidence of meeting all certification requirements including proficiency of the standards relevant to his/her state approved professional program and this evidence must be compiled and assessed within the context of the Unit's data management system (i.e. Tk20).

 Students who fail to meet any of the academic or professional requirements of this track of the major must withdraw from this track, though they may still complete all requirements for the B.A. in Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Early Childhood Studies minor without 081 certification.

Requirements for students pursuing 081 certification with approved SBS courses

3 semester hours in each:                                          SBS Course

Child development or developmental psychology     SBS/HRD 200 or SBS 305
Infant/toddler development                                        SBS 375
Language development & early literacy                    SBS 340
 Children’s literature   EDU 336
 Mathematics in Early Childhood Education SBS 391
 Science in Early Childhood Education SBS392 
 Exceptionality in Early Childhood Education SBS 393

A minimum of six credit hours in at least 2 of the following areas: with SBS courses 

Family studies SBS 341
Advanced child development  SBS 310
Assessment of young children SBS 450

Additional areas for credit hours: Observation of the young child; Early learning environments; Social studies for the young child; and, Additional early literacy.