Professional Certificate in Teaching Transitional Kindergarten

Professional Certificate in Teaching Transitional Kindergarten

Classroom Program


12 months


36 Units

UCR Extension

Transitional Kindergarten provides an opportunity for children who don't make the kindergarten age cutoff, to build the appropriate proficiencies to become school ready. Join our fully online program and understand the influences that affect children's early development while learning proven techniques to support their cognitive, physical, social and emotional advancement.

Demand for transitional kindergarten teachers is on the rise as more districts opt to incorporate TK into their schools. Whether an experienced teacher looking for a change, or a new educator fresh out of school, this program is designed to impart the knowledge and expertise needed to foster an effective learning environment where children can learn fundamental academics, while simultaneously developing maturity and confidence. Make your mark and pave the way to a successful outcome for young learners.

Designed For

Credentialed teachers and/or individuals who possess a bachelor’s degree and have passed the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST), who are looking to teach Transitional Kindergarten in California.

What You'll Learn

  • Influences on children's biological, physical, social-emotional and cognitive development
  • Quality teaching practices that address cultural and developmental differences
  • Methods for engaging parents and building a collaborative relationship between home and school
  • Language development in children ages 0-5 and strategies for working with English learners
  • Differentiated instruction techniques for TK-K combination classrooms
  • Evidence-based curriculum and bridging the Preschool Learning Foundations with the Common Core State Standards

What You Can Do With This Certificate

Teaching positions are available in both private and public schools.

Earning the Certificate

Prior to enrolling, please ensure that you meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited institution
  • Passing score on CBEST

Masters Pathway

Transfer all 36 units to earn a Master's degree.

  • School: California Baptist University
  • Location: Riverside, CA
  • Program: Master's of Science in Education, Transitional Kindergarten Concentration
  • Transferable Units: 36 units are transferable from the Teaching Transitional Kindergarten Certificate

For more information see How to Earn a Certificate

Certificate Courses

Our certificate programs are designed to be flexible, allowing you the option to take just a few courses or to earn the complete certificate. If choosing to complete the certificate, we recommend you get the most out of your experience by following the suggested completion path below.

Quarter 1

Transitional Kindergarten: Child Growth and Development


4.5 units

In-depth study of child development research and theory is presented, including discussion of the biological, physical, social-emotional and cognitive development of children. In order to understand the various influences on development, familial, social and cultural contexts will be explored.

Diversity and Responsive Teaching in a Transitional Kindergarten Classroom


4.5 units

Early childhood education practices that emphasize developmentally and culturally appropriate interactions, as well as anti-bias curricula are presented. You will develop awareness of quality teaching practices by exploring the similarities and differences regarding the children and families with whom they work in order to support fairness and issues of equity in the classroom. Research on the achievement gap, creating an inclusive environment, and English Language Learners will also be presented.

Quarter 2

Home, School and Community Collaborations for Transitional Kindergarten Teachers


4.5 units

Designed to develop the theoretical knowledge, practices and communication skills required for successful home and school relationship building. An understanding of the social and cultural capital of underrepresented student populations will help you engage with families and children from diverse backgrounds. You also discuss:

  • engaging community partners
  • parent involvement
  • PICT,
  • mental health
  • mentoring
  • family systems
  • collaborative groups
  • foster youth

Language, Literacy and Support for Preschool English Learners


4.5 units

Learn how implement the English Language Arts Common Core Standards and the California English Language Development Standards in a Transitional Kindergarten classroom. You will acquire a deeper knowledge of language development in children, as well as better understand your role as a teacher fostering and facilitating that development. You will explore:

  • strategies for teaching in a dual immersion classroom
  • differentiated instruction for TK-K combination classrooms
  • support for English Language Learners

Quarter 3

The Transitional Kindergarten Curriculum


4.5 units

Focus on evidence-based curriculum and developmentally appropriate activities that meet the specific needs of the TK classroom. Offers in-depth discussions on:

  • the DRDP assessment tool
  • bridging the California Preschool Learning Foundations and the California Common Core State Standards
  • individualized and differentiated instruction, including strategies for English Language Learners, and children with special needs
  • dual immersion and TK-K combination classes

Intentional Teacher Engagement in a Transitional Kindergarten Classroom


4.5 units

Offers strategies for effective instruction in a Transitional Kindergarten classroom. You will explore design of the learning environment and effective pedagogical techniques, including strategies for lesson planning and delivery, and collaboration and grouping. You will also discuss:

  • Inclusion
  • TK-K combination classes
  • English Language Learners
  • dual immersion
  • multi-tier system of supports
  • Response to Intervention

Quarter 4

Observation and Assessment in a Transitional Kindergarten Classroom


4.5 units

Learn effective formative and ongoing assessment tools, and successful observation strategies for evaluating the learning outcomes in children.

Practicum and Coaching for Transitional Kindergarten Teachers


4.5 units

Field experience in model educational settings where Transitional Kindergarten children are served. You will work closely with a practicum instructor and school site coach to gain experience in professional learning communities, Transitional Kindergarten network meetings and other collaborative activities at the school site and/or school district level.

“Whatever your goal, completing a professional certificate program will give you confidence to reach for the top. Join thousands of UCR Extension students whose lives have been transformed by our programs.”

Dr. Sharon Duffy

UCR Extension Professional Studies

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