Credit Programs

Tuition-Free Child Development Associate Credential

Through grant-sponsored funding made available from the Early Childhood Education Professional Development Organization (ECE PDO) at PASSHE, you can earn a Child Development Associate® (CDA) Credential at no cost! The CDA is a great stepping stone to advance your career.


How Can You Qualify for Free Tuition?

  • You must be a Pennsylvania resident. 
  • You must be a current employee at a certified child care program for 3 months or more or demon-strate employment history of 6 months in child care if you are newly hired.
    • Students actively enrolled in PDO activities will not be impacted by a change of employer, as long as the new employer is a certified child care program.
  • You must work a minimum of 25 hours per week directly in a certified child care program.
  • You must be interested in pursuing coursework at a participating college toward an AA or BA degree, or a CDA credential.

What are the Benefits?

According to a 2019 survey of Certified Bookkeepers (CBs) by Lewis & Clark, Raleigh, NC:

  • On successful completion of 120 hours of coursework, you will be prepared for the CDA credentialing exam!
  • Textbooks are provided at no cost and are yours to keep on successful course completion.
  • A lending library of technical supports (loaner laptop and Wi-Fi “hotspot”) throughout the course is available based on need and a first-come/first-served basis.
  • Support from and access to a Student Success Coach.
  • Free online tutoring support at
  • A professional review of your work prior to your credentialing submission.

Certificate Information

Program Delivery

All courses are offered asynchronously online in the fall, spring and summer terms. 

Three courses are required for the Child Development Associate (CDA) certification:

  • ECH 204 – Child Development and Brain Building Science Credits: 3
    • Prerequisite(s): Restricted to entry into the Early Childhood Credential (ECC) Pathway or Early Childhood Apprenticeship (ECA) Pathway.
  • ECH 205 – Positive Behavioral Supports for Young Children Credits: 3
    • Prerequisite(s): Entry into the Early Childhood Credential (ECC) Pathway or Early Childhood Apprenticeship (ECA) Pathway
  • ECH 206 – Becoming an Early Childhood Professional Credits: 3
    • Prerequisite(s):Entry into the Early Childhood Credential (ECC) Pathway or Early Childhood Apprenticeship (ECA) Pathway

For full course descriptions, please see the Undergraduate Catalog. These three courses are included as course substitutions in the Bachelor of Science degree for PK-4 certification.  

Cancellation Policy
Shippensburg University reserves the right to cancel any courses due to insufficient enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances. 

Student Testimonials

“I’m learning things that I haven’t known before, and it will benefit me in the future as I work at the daycare and interact with young children.”

“The professors I have dealt with while working toward my education have been accommodating and kind. They are helping me be the best student I can be.”

“It is very convenient to take classes online while working full time. My professors have all been great and provided support. I have learned so much over the last two semesters and have implemented so much of it in my classroom!”

“I feel these classes are helping me become a better professional because I understand what my students need and are going through. It is very rewarding for me when my students can master the skills I taught him or her, and it helps me understand I am doing something right as a teacher.

Registration Information

STEP 1: APPLY HERE for tuition support. 

STEP 2Once your eligibility is confirmed, a Professional Development (PD) Coordinator will contact you to help you understand all the benefits that await you! 

STEP 3: Register for classes and get excited that you’ve taken important steps to advance your career! 

Visit to learn more, including how others have earned their CDA!


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