Child Development
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At Siena Heights, the curriculum covers the growth, learning and development of children in three distinct age groups: Infant to Toddler, Pre-Primary, and Primary. The program offers a balance of educational theory and practical experience. Students observe and work regularly with children in schools and child development centers. 

FAST FACT – This state approved program is only one of 12 in Michigan in compliance with standards and approved for state funded pre-K programs. All programs meet the national standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

  • About: Child Development
  • Meet the Faculty
  • 3 Things: Child Development
  • Accreditation
  • Field Experience
  • Career Opportunities
  • Clubs & Organizations

The Child Development/ Early Childhood Education curriculum covers the growth, learning and development of children in three distinct age groups: Infant to Toddler, Pre-Primary and Primary. The program offers a balance of educational theory and practical experience. Students observe and work regularly with children in schools and child development centers.

The program meets the national standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

The purpose of the Child Development program is to establish quality programs for young children and their families and prepare competent and ethical childcare workers and educators.

Child Development is offered as a four-year Bachelor of Arts degree, a Bachelor of Arts degree with concentration in Montessori Education, a two-year Associate of Arts degree and Teacher Education endorsement (ZS) in Early Childhood Education. Students in Child Development also may pursue institute training to earn a Montessori credential through the Montessori Children’s House adjacent to campus.

Click here for more information about the degree requirements.

The program offers a balance of educational theory and practical experience. The Child Development curriculum includes the growth, learning and development of children in three distinct age groups: Infant/Toddler, Pre-Primary, and Early Primary. Course work focuses on developmental characteristics/behaviors, appropriate practices, assessment and administration.

Click here to view the courses.

The Child Development program meets the national standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Michigan State Board of Education. The program has also been identified as one of twelve institutions in the State of Michigan in compliance with state standards and approved for state-funded prekindergarten programs.

Meet or contact the Child Development faculty.

Students benefit from working with qualified and dedicated faculty who are actively involved in the Early Childhood field and professional organizations. In addition to teaching, full-time faculty serve as academic advisors to students. Faculty also work closely and collaborate with the Undergraduate and Graduate Teacher Education and Special Education programs.

Burke, Kathryn

Burke, Kathryn

Assistant Professor of Child Development57-264-7841

#1. Recognized by the Michigan Department of Education as one of 12 institutions in the state with Bachelor of Arts degree approval for teachers of state-funded preschool programs

#2. A total 80 percent of courses have field experience ranging from two to 160 hours (over 400 hours total)

#3. Hands-on approach to learning incorporating early childhood materials

Siena Heights University’s Teacher Education Program was granted Accreditation by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) for a period of seven years, from May 3, 2013 to May 3, 2020. This accreditation certifies that the forenamed professional education program has provided evidence that the program adheres to TEAC’s quality principles.

For a Summary of the Case, click here.

Learn about opportunities for field experience in centers and classrooms.

Child Development students observe and work regularly with children in schools and child development centers. Each course requires some type of field experience.

During the senior year, Child Development majors complete 320 hours at an approved placement site. The experience includes documentation of log hours, completion of lesson plans, individual child observations, responses to professional questions, daily journal reflections, list of curriculum ideas and student/supervisor evaluations.

At the completion of hours, the student is also required to meet with the Child Development faculty and submit a final report analyzing the experience and career relevance.

Students pursuing early childhood teacher certification endorsement are only required to complete 160 hours.

Click here for more detailed information about the field experience coursework.

Learn about career opportunities in Child Development.

Graduates in Child Development are prepared for a variety of careers working with young children and their families.

Career opportunities include direct service to children and families as child care program directors, lead/assistant caregivers, teachers (preschool, infant/toddler, elementary certification with early childhood endorsement), nannies, recreation leaders and early interventionists.

Careers providing indirect service include early childhood advocates, licensing specialists, consultants, researchers, consumer advocates, marketing representatives and software developers. In addition, graduates completing the Montessori concentration degree are prepared for placements with infants/toddlers (0-3) and early childhood (3-6) Montessori emphasis.

To prepare students for career placement, students compile a professional portfolio including résumé, log of field experience, professional statements and work samples. Students also participate in mock interviews which help to prepare them for future interviews.

Learn more about the T.E.A.C.H. organization(Teacher Education Association for Community Help).


Mission Statement

The Teacher Education Association for Community Help (T.E.A.C.H.) is an organization dedicated to reach out and help learners of the community who are in need, by providing supplies, support, and resources to enhance one’s education.

Statement of Eligibility

Those who are eligible:

  • Must maintain an overall GPA of 2.5
  • Must have three credits toward either educational or child development major at Siena Heights

All SHU students who are working toward an Education or Child Development major/minor without regard to race, religious creed, gender, national origin, differing abilities, or sexual orientation are eligible to participate in T.E.A.C.H.

Membership Fees

An annual fee of $5 is required while an active member of T.E.A.C.H.

Additional Info


  • Associate of Arts
  • Bachelor of Arts


  • Education Division


Meet Siena

Faculty & Staff

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Kathryn Burke

Child Development Instructor; Child Development Program Coordinator


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Brooke Boone '07

Director, Lenawee Christian School Little Cougars Program
Contact Us at (800) 521-0009.
Siena Heights University Main Campus. 1247 E. Siena Heights Dr. Adrian, MI 49221.