Early Childhood Studies

Welcome to the part-time direct-entry Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Studies (ECS) program at Ryerson University.

Our program – the first degree-completion ECS program in Canada – combines The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education’s adult-learning expertise with the academic strengths of the School of Early Childhood Studies.

Working with partners across the early care and learning community, we take great pride in meeting the lifelong learning needs of people who devote their professional lives to supporting young children and their families. Our experience, resources, and commitment to learning and teaching excellence empower us to offer a variety of meaningful paths that will give you the knowledge and skills you need to advance in this socially vital field.

The need for well-trained ECE professionals has never been greater. It’s particularly important that early care and learning programs and approaches are attuned to our swiftly diversifying and changing society. Ontario has a variety of programs for young children and families, including full-day kindergarten, multi-service, and family support centres. For professionals who have chosen a career in the field of early care and learning, it is vitally important to have access to the education needed to develop optimal learning environments for all children.

About the Program

Ryerson University’s part-time direct-entry program leading to a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Studies (ECS) was the first in Canada to offer a degree-completion avenue to community college graduates. Since its inception in 1982, the program has expanded each year (more than 200 students are now enrolled). Many graduates occupy key positions in early childhood education (ECE) and allied professions.

Our direct-entry program is specifically designed for students who are working in the field and want to enhance their mobility in careers involving young children and families. The curriculum emphasizes the philosophy, theory, pedagogy, and practices related to state-of-the-art ECE in a diverse society. Students learn about child and lifespan development, psychology, curriculum design, the nature of learning, teaching practice, and the various family, community, and social contexts that influence children’s development and learning success.

As a Ryerson student you will build on the knowledge and skills you have gained through previous academic studies as well as personal and professional experience. You will also develop a more analytical approach to ECE practice. The program will expand your understanding of your role as an early childhood educator within a broader field of associated professions.

Through Ryerson University’s G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, the School of Early Childhood Studies offers quality courses in a variety of delivery modes to facilitate students’ progress. Flexible scheduling for many courses may allow learners to study at their own pace and at times convenient to them. Degree completion can usually be achieved in 3–5 years of part-time study. Starting in September 2012, the degree completion program can be completed through distance education, with the exception of a two-week summer residency on campus.

For more information about Ryerson’s part-time direct-entry program in ECS, consult this website or visit www.ryerson.ca/ecs.

General inquiries can be made by phone at 416-979-5000, ext. 7636.

Program Curriculum

The Early Childhood Studies (ECS) curriculum is made up of four types of courses:

  • required courses (including field placements)
  • professional electives
  • professionally related electives
  • liberal studies electives

For the most up-to-date overview of the program curriculum, visit the Early Childhood Studies page of Ryerson University's Undergraduate Calendar. 

Note on course codes: Chang School courses are identical in curriculum to the undergraduate courses listed in Ryerson's Undergraduate Calendar. Add a 'C' to course codes to find the Chang School equivalent. For example, CLD 314 - Literacy in the Early Years is CCLD 314 - Literacy in the Early Years when taken through The Chang School.

For more information about program curriculum, contact Jennifer Butterly.

Email: jennifer.butterly@ryerson.ca
Phone: 416-979-5000, ext. 7636

Industry and Careers

To view more alumni profiles and to learn more about career pathways, see Careers in Early Childhood Studies.

Field Education

Field education (often called placement) is a crucial component of the part-time direct-entry Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Studies program.

As a student in an applied professional program, you will be required to link your theoretical courses with experiential learning in a particular setting. Field education will enable you to explore new practicum settings, develop confidence, and practise teaching and leadership skills. You will have the opportunity to pursue new career goals utilizing a repertoire of professional and ethical practices.

In third year you can fulfill your requirements in a four-week block or in a three-days-per-week format. Similarly, in fourth year, depending on the term, you may be able to complete your field education in a five-week block or in a three-days-per-week format.

You cannot graduate without successfully completing the field education component of the program.

Field Education at a Glance

 
Year Field Education Course Term Duration
3 CCLD 363 Field Education III any 20 full days
4 CCLD 464 Senior Internship any 25 full days

Third- or Fourth-Year Placement – Workplace Option

Students will have the opportunity to complete their third or fourth year placement in their workplace setting, provided they meet the following criteria:

  • They must be admitted to the part-time direct-entry program
  • They must be working in an early childhood education/education setting for at least 12 months in a full-time position
  • They must have CLEAR academic standing
  • The required project and tasks must be different from the student’s regular job description and responsibilities
  • The workplace setting, field educator, and proposal must be approved by the Field Education Coordinator

For more information, please see Workplace Field Placement: Part-time Program

Third- and Fourth-Year Distance Option

Fourth-year distance placement is available for students who are located outside the Greater Toronto area (GTA) and outside of the catchment area for field education for the School of Early Childhood Studies. The boundaries for distance placement are determined by the School of Early Childhood Studies.

Students who are intending to complete a distance placement option are responsible for locating their own placement sites. This placement site must be approved by the School of Early Childhood Studies.

For more information, please see Distance Field Placement: Part-time Program.

Pathway to Consecutive Bachelor of Education

Ryerson is the only university in Ontario to offer a collaborative 16-month consecutive BA/BEd program with a combined Early Childhood Studies (ECS) and Primary/Junior specialization. Graduates will enter the job market a full year earlier than their counterparts at other institutions.

Program length: 

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA): Four years of full-time study OR up to seven years of part-time study.
  • Bachelor of Education (BEd): Sixteen consecutive months of full-time study.

Eligibility: Current ECS students are eligible to apply in the fall of their final year of study.

Program entry: Students will begin the BEd program in the spring. The BEd program runs for 16 consecutive months, on Ryerson campus.

Degrees earned: Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Studies and Bachelor of Education with Primary/Junior Teacher Certification.

Testimonial

"Working in early childhood education has given me a better understanding of the large role educators play in the development of children. I have a diploma, but I wanted to gain more experience in the field. The Chang School was the best option because it offered flexibility in my schedule. In-class courses allowed me to network and interact with my instructors and other professionals in my field, while online courses made it easier for me to learn without commuting. Hybrid courses offered the best of both worlds. The Chang School has kept me in touch, allowing me to learn about current trends and careers. My instructors were phenomenal role models and inspired me to think outside the box, especially about issues around homelessness."

Jen Balido-Cadavez
Graduate, Early Childhood Education

Contact Us

School of Early Childhood Studies

In person: Kerr Hall South, 3rd floor, room KHS354
Phone: 416.979.5306
Fax: 416.979.5239
Web: www.ryerson.ca/ecs

Program Coordinator for Part-time Direct-Entry Students

In person: Kerr Hall South, 3rd floor, room KHS354
Phone: 416.979.5000, ext. 7636
Email: jennifer.butterly@ryerson.ca

Admission information for the Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Studies Part-time Direct-Entry program