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Early Childhood Administrative and Leadership Certificate

Early Childhood Administrative and Leadership


Why Obtain an ECAL Certificate?

Are you looking to move into a leadership position in the field of Early Childhood Education? Or open your own child care center? Are you an entrepreneur seeking the tools to make your venture a success? The Early Childhood Administrative and Leadership Certificate will provide you with the skills to lead and serve early childhood educators, and create sustainable and fiscally healthy early childhood programs.

Program Details

  • No prerequisites or prior degree required
  • Complete in only 6 months
  • Earn 12 units of college credit
  • Online coursework at your convenience
  • 4 courses (6 weeks per course)
  • $1,170 per course
  • Financing available!

Who Will Benefit

  • Childcare providers
  • Child Development Specialists
  • Child Life Specialists
  • Early Childhood teachers
  • Owners of in-home child care
  • Those seeking to open a childcare center
  • Emerging leaders in ECE

Career Outcomes

  • Childcare center owner
  • Childcare site supervisor
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Leadership positions
  • Move up in the Child Development Permit Matrix

Attend an Information Session to learn more about this certificate! Upcoming session dates can be found on the Course Schedule and Dates tab.


Scholarships available for 15 students!

The Early Childhood Administrative and Leadership Certificate Program offers 15 full scholarships to students who apply and are found eligible. Scholarships are awarded by the Quality Counts California Workforce Development Grant through the California Department of Education (CDE), Early Learning and Care Division and will be paid directly to the University. To be eligible, recipients must be working in or actively pursing employment in the Early Childhood Education sector in San Bernardino County. Applications will be reviewed for eligibility criteria on a first-come, first-served basis. For any questions regarding this scholarship opportunity, please contact Dr. Van Schagen at 


To support the success of scholarship recipients, awardees will be expected to participate in the following:

  • Creating a workforce registry account in San Bernardino County (if a student does not already have one)

  • Create an educational plan with an advisor

  • Meet twice throughout the program with a Higher Education Mentor (via phone or zoom)

  • Complete 3 reflective journals during the certificate program

Meet the Team

Program Coordinator

Amy van Schagen, Ph.D.

Amy van Schagen, Ph.D.

Dr. Amy van Schagen developed the Early Childhood Administrative Leadership Certificate after serving as an Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellow at CSUSB and receiving a Jack H. Brown College of Business and Administration Teaching Innovation Grant. Dr. V conducted research in the community to identify barriers to accessing higher education for early childhood educators. The ECAL certificate is designed to address some of these barriers by providing courses that are taught in the evenings, a hybrid format (partially online), affordable, applicable for college credit, and taught in the community. The aim of the program is to provide tools for those currently in the field of early childhood education or interested in it to become leaders and feel confident in paving the path for young children using an entrepreneurial mindset and social equity lens.  

Dr. van Schagen is an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department, and serves as the Program Director for the ECAL Certificate program and the M.A. Child Development program. Prior to receiving her M.S. and Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, she worked for almost five years as an early childhood teacher. Dr. V has a passion for equity and higher wages in the early childhood workforce, and building access for all young children to have high quality early learning experiences. Outside of her career, Dr. V enjoys hiking, running, the beach, playing with her dogs, and spending time with her partner and family.


Patrick Person (Pat), M.B.A.

Patrick Person (Pat), M.B.A.

Pat Person is an adjunct professor teaching entrepreneurship at California State University, San Bernardino. Pat is a passionate entrepreneur and previous co-founder of an education startup called Kids That Code, Inc. The company seeks to inspire young children to pursue a career in technology by teaching them computer programming, game development, electronics and much more. Kids That Code started as a student class project at CSUSB and became a successful company. Mr. Person graduated from CSUSB with MBA degrees in both Marketing and Entrepreneurship. Pat is also the co-founder of a nonprofit called The Mista Pat Project to educate young people about careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM). The nonprofit is currently developing a groundbreaking kids’ technology TV show destined for PBS called “Technology with Mista Pat.”  

Chrystina Smith-Rasshan, Ph.D.

Chrystina Smith-Rasshan, Ph.D.
Dr. Chrystina Smith-Rasshan has been working in the field of Education for 20 years. During her career, she has worked as substitute teacher, instructor, academic advisor and grant manager. Her experience includes working with students in pre-K through college. In addition, she served for five years on the Board of Directors for a literacy-based non-profit organization.

From 2013 to 2016, she worked as a Staff Analyst II with First 5 San Bernardino. In this position, she managed the Early Learning initiatives program. Currently, she oversees the operations of the Early Learning and Development department at San Bernardino Superintendent of Schools. Under her leadership, the division has grown, and continues to diligently improve the learning opportunities for children ages 0-5 through county-wide educational programs and services.

To date, Dr. Smith-Rasshan has acquired over $15 million in funding, which is dedicated to increasing quality programs for young learners throughout San Bernardino County.

Alongside her extensive work experience, her academic achievements are notable. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from University of Redlands in 2002. Chrystina also holds a Masters of Education, which she earned in 2005 from National University, and earned her Doctoral degree in April 2020. Her Doctoral dissertation examines perceptions of Race and Leadership within Early Childhood Education. Outside of her career and academic accomplishments, in her spare time, she enjoys traveling, attending cultural and sports events, concerts and having culinary adventures with her husband and two sons. Overall, her dedication to community and family are essential to the work she does.

Kathy Adams, M.S.

Kathy Adams, M.S.

For the past 38 years, Ms. Kathryn Adams has worked in the field of early childhood education/child development with children from birth to eighteen including children with special needs and disabilities. Both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees are in child development. Ms. Adams earned an AA degree from Citrus College, a B.S. from CSU Fullerton and an M.S. from the University of La Verne (ULV).  She has a Teaching Credential in Child Care and Guidance from UCLA Extension and has taught at the high school level with teen parents for 7 years prior to teaching at the community college level. Ms. Adams has taught as an adjunct instructor at ULV. She has worked as a preschool teacher, a school-age teacher, an infant teacher, an infant specialist and an infant center program director. This is her 23rd year teaching full-time in the Child Development Department at Valley College.  Kathy served as Co-Chair of the SBVC Child Development Department from 2009-2019. She also served as the Coordinator of the Valley/Crafton Mentor Program from 1999-2013. She specializes in teaching Child Growth and Development, Infant and Toddler Development & Curriculum, Observation & Assessment, Guidance of Children and Adult Supervision & Mentoring. She loves teaching child development and hopes to inspire students to seek to understand children and the significant influence adults have on their growth and development. In her free time, Ms. Adams enjoys reading, walking, swimming, snow skiing, hiking and spending time with family and friends. She looks forward to sharing in the journey of mentoring and adult supervision!