The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential is the most widely recognized national credential in early childhood education (ECE) and is considered ‘The Best First Step’ on the path of career advancement in ECE.  The Council for Professional Recognition is now awarding more than 20,000 CDA credentials annually.  In Massachusetts, the CDA supports a viable, competency based career pathway that provides certification as ‘Lead Teacher’ from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). 

North Shore Community College (NSCC) has had a robust and rigorous CDA program since 1998, offering a stackable workforce credential that articulates directly into the Associate’s degree program in Early Childhood Education. 

In the past nine years, two hundred fifty (250) students have earned their national CDA Credential through the CDA program at North Shore Community College.  A whopping 58% of those students continued on to earn their AS degree at NSCC; with more than half continuing on to Merrimack College or Salem State University to obtain a Bachelor’s degree.

The current CDA program at NSCC is aligned with and funded through the Career Pathways grant, so that there is no cost to the educator.  The following courses are included in the CDA Pathways at North Shore Community College:

ECE101 – Child Growth & Development                                3 credits

ECE124 – Intro to CDA and Portfolio Development          6 credits

Upon completion of the program and attainment of the national CDA Credential, an additional 6 credits can be earned for ECE245 – Field Placement and Seminar 1 in ECE.

The Career Pathways grant will also cover the costs of CDA application fees and the required Verification Visit by a CDA Professional Development Specialist.

To apply for courses to earn a CDA Credential, visit the College Pathways page and view the course offerings at North Shore Community College.