What Courses Do I Take?

Learning Tracks

SFL's VA-ECAP team will determine required courses for each student during the application process. Typically, students will need to complete these four courses under the Child Development and Leadership & Management tracks listed below:

Reminder: Acceptance into VA-ECAP Credentialing Program is required prior to enrolling in NOVA course(s).

Leadership & Management
Offered by SFL

Child Development
Offered by NOVA

SFL LM 101 – Management 
(36 clock hours - CEUs awarded from NOVA)

CHD 120 Introduction to Early Childhood Education
(3 CR)

SFL LM 102 – Leadership*
(36 clock hours - CEUs awarded from NOVA)

*Prerequisite: SFL LM 101

CHD 205-Guiding the Behavior of Children*
(3 CR) 

*Prerequisite: CHD 120

Facts to Understand about Taking the Courses

Should I enroll in Level I or Level II?

Level I is designed for early childhood educators who have obtained a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential. If you have a current (unexpired) CDA in addition to the core requirements, you must apply for Level I.

Level II is designed for early childhood educators who have obtained an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education/Child Development or have a Bachelors/Masters degree in any field  and meet core requirements.

What is the difference in coursework between Level I and Level II?

Students from each level must complete a total of four courses under two tracks. Students enrolled in both levels must complete the CHD 120 & CHD 205 courses offered by NOVA. However, in each of the SFL courses (SFL LM 101 & SFL LM 102) students are placed in learning groups designed to challenge their level of learning. Students in each learning group are required to read course related content, articles, participate in rich discussions, and complete assignments.

Will I need to take courses under both tracks if I am enrolled in Level II?

Yes, Level II students will also need to take courses under both tracks to earn the VA-ECAP Credential.

What if I already took CHD 120 – Introduction to Early Childhood Education and CHD 205 – Guiding the Behavior of Children?
Applications for acceptance in the VA-ECAP Credentialing Program are reviewed by the SFL's VA-ECAP team who determines which courses each prospective student needs to complete. If you have already successfully completed CHD 120 & CHD 205 courses as part of your Associate’s degree in ECE/CD, you must provide a copy of your official transcripts, along with the VA-ECAP application, so that this information is considered in the application process.

What do I need to do in order to complete the courses?
Students must complete all assignments and course related tasks in a timely manner to successfully complete the SFL Leadership & Management courses. Students must follow all instructions posted by the instructor in the course delivery platform. For NOVA Child Development courses, please follow guidelines by NOVA instructors. 

Do I need to be employed at a center-based early learning program while enrolled in the VA-ECAP Credential Program?
Students must have access to a center-based early learning program while enrolled in the VA-ECAP Credential Program. Students who are not currently employed at a center-based early learning program must make their own arrangements for access to a center-based early learning program while enrolled in the credentialing program. Students will need to submit an Early Childhood Program Accessibility Verification Letter from a program director acknowledging access to their center-based early learning program to complete required assignments and tasks. 

How long does it take to complete the Credential Program?
Students can complete the entire credentialing program in as little as one semester if enrolled in all required courses simultaneously.  However, students can take as few as one course per semester to balance home, work, and school, as long as all course work is complete within a two-year window.