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CDA Program

Child Development Associate (CDA) Preparation:

Students in this course will prepare their professional portfolios prior to applying for the CDA in either infant/toddler, preschool or family childcare. Through active weekly discussions and submission of assignments, students will prepare the resource collection, the competency statements and the professional philosophy statement for the professional portfolio. At the end of this course, students are prepared to apply for the CDA Credential through the Council for Professional Recognition in Washington, D.C.

CDA Candidates can train for a credential in the following early childhood settings:

  1. Center-based infant/toddler,
  2. Center-based preschool,
  3. Family home childcare, and
  4. Bilingual

This CDA training program is for individuals  who are interested in a career in early childhood education but who have little or no recent childcare experience.  The course can be offered during the day, as well as evening.  Class schedules are updated annually. Candidates will attend three-hour CDA classes twice a week, in addition to  practicum and other assignments to begin compiling their Professional Resource File.  After an overview of the early childhood field and child development principles, they will be placed in a licensed childcare facility for on-the-job training (practicum).  The students must complete 120 classroom hours and 480 practicum hours to total 600 clock hours of childcare experience needed to apply for the National CDA Credential. 

  • Candidates will select a Professional Development Specialist from the Council of Recognition whom will complete the on-site classroom observation, review the CDA Portfolio, and the reflective dialogue.
  • Candidates must schedule their CDA written test with Person Vue Testing Center.  (Cost of the test is included in the $425.00 Assessment Fee).

Upon graduates completing the course requirement and passing the CDA Verification Visit/Exam students will be qualified for the following positions.

  • Assistant Teacher
  • Paraprofessional
  • Family Child Care Provider

TIS  uses a pass/fail system to determine satisfactory academic progress, where 70% or better score on a test means a P or Pass. Students are tested at the end of each Competency Standard.  Students must receive a score of 70% or better to pass the course along with completing the CDA Portfolio and 480 Hours of Practicum.

The Student Progress Report system was designed to assist in communicating academic performance to students. The system includes a collection stage and a communication stage with opportunities for additional data mining that will lend support to customization, tutoring, and/or intervention within the learning environment.

The primary function of the system is to alert students of the danger of unsatisfactory academic performance and to point out resources that can help these students succeed academically. Students receive notification monthly. The CDA Progress Report provides notification to students regarding their current progress, missed assignments, and low unit assessment scores.  Progress Reports are delivered early enough to allow solution of student problems such as absenteeism, missed assignments, low test scores, and incomplete CDA Portfolios. The procedure is initiated during the fourth week of the CDA program using the Portfolio Checklist. Students are encouraged to meet with their course instructor/advisor.