Jul 15, 2024  
Graduate Catalog | 2024-2025 
Graduate Catalog | 2024-2025

Child and Family Development: Birth through Kindergarten, Graduate Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Child and Family Development: Birth through Kindergarten is a 24 credit hour program that prepares professionals for careers that serve young children with and without disabilities and their families. It is designed for prospective students already working in professional settings who wish to pursue a North Carolina Standard Professional 1 (SP1) Professional Educator’s License in Birth-Kindergarten (B-K) on a part-time basis.

All courses for the Graduate Certificate must be completed within five years.

General Requirements for Admission to the Graduate School

Please refer to admission information in The Graduate School  section.

Admission Requirements for Graduate Certificate in Teaching Programs

  1. An undergraduate degree in a related field* from a college or university accredited by an accepted accrediting body
  2. A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.75*
  3. Two professional references in a supervisory capacity (i. e. principal or manager) and/or academic references (i. e. professor)
  4. A statement of purpose
  5. A clear criminal background check
  6. Apply online at gradadmissions.uncc.edu

*For alternative ways to demonstrate academic competence, applicants may contact the Office of Teacher Education Advising and Licensure (TEAL)

Certificate Requirements

The NC State Board of Education requires that B-K candidates demonstrate content mastery with 24 relevant credit hours.  Due to the 24 credit hour curriculum of this certificate, students who do not have 6 relevant credit hours at the time of admission will be required to complete those hours in addition to the standard program of study prior to student teaching.  Contact the Office of Teacher Education Advising and Licensure for assistance with determining relevant credit hours.

Internship (6 credit hours)

A 6 credit hour internship is required for Graduate Certificate students.  The graduate-level internship is the culminating experience of the Graduate Certificate program, offering students the opportunity to demonstrate their readiness for the North Carolina Standard Professional 1 (SP1) Professional Educator’s License.  Students are assigned to an appropriate classroom for a full-time, semester-long experience under the supervision of the classroom teacher and university faculty.  This internship may be completed in a candidate’s employment site which meets placement criteria or the University can find a placement for the student.  Lateral entry teachers and teacher assistants must contact the Office of School and Community Partnerships to determine the appropriateness of their classroom for the internship experience and licensure requirements.  This contact should take place at least one semester before the internship.

Total Hours = 24 Credit Hours

Content Courses = 18 hours
Internship (Student Teaching) = 6 hours


All students are assigned an advisor upon formal admission to the program. Students should consult with their advisor at least once each semester.

Application for Degree

The Application for Degree/Graduation form supplied by the Graduate School must be received early in the last semester of the student’s program.

Clinical Field Experiences

Most courses require students to develop their knowledge, skills, and dispositions in community-based settings. All students are expected to complete clinical experiences in at least two significantly different settings. Candidates who are residency teachers and teacher assistants must move beyond their own classrooms, and employed candidates are encouraged to seek assistance and support from their administrators.


Upon successful completion of the Graduate Certificate, candidates are recommended for the North Carolina Initial Professional Educator’s License. For this license, students are required to complete an electronic licensure portfolio that is created during coursework and the internship. Students apply for the North Carolina Initial Professional Educator’s License in the TEAL Office.

Beginning Fall 2019, all candidates must meet the minimal cut score requirement on edTPA and meet all other student teaching requirements in order to receive a licensure recommendation.  For details, see https://edassessment.uncc.edu/edtpa-information.