Master Teacher Certificate


This certificate meets the coursework requirements for the Master Teacher level of the California Child Development Permit and prepares students to be competent and effective teachers and caregiver supervisors in settings for young children ages 0-5.

Additional work experience with young children (175 days of 3 hours per day within 4 years) may be required to qualify for state permit. The Saddleback Certificate can be earned with coursework only.

Students are encouraged to apply for BOTH the college certificate and the state permit.

Complete all core courses, supervised field experience, including all prerequisite courses and specified general education courses to earn your certificate. A minimum grade of "C" in each course is required to receive the certificate.

Qualifies you for careers working directly or indirectly with children in related fields such as:

  • Master Teacher
  • Preschool & Pre-K Teacher
  • Infant & Toddler Teacher
  • Parent Co-op Teacher
  • Curriculum Specialist
  • Children's Advocacy
  • Children's Museums


Curriculum changes as industry standards transform. Please refer to the Saddleback College Catalog website as the following requirements may have changed since this webpage was published.

Download the Master Teacher checklist

Core Courses 

Course ID Title Units
CDE 101* Principles and Practices for Teaching Young Children 3
CDE 15* Child, Family and Community 3
CDE 7 or 7H* Child Growth and Development 3
CDE 110* Introduction to Curriculum 3
CDE 111* Child Guidance and Communication 3
CDE 112* Health, Safety and Nutrition 3
CDE 117* Teaching in a Diverse Society 3
CDE 120* Observation and Assessment 3

Supervised Field Experience Course

Course ID Title Units
CDE 121* Practicum: The Student Teaching Experience 5

Note: CD 121 must be completed in a setting approved by the instructor. You will be working with children whose ages correspond to the certificate you are receiving. Email the instructor for a practicum placement request as soon as you are registered in the course.

Adult Supervision Course

Course ID Title Units
CDE 127* Adult Supervision and Mentoring 3

Specialization Units:

Choose ONE of the clusters below (6 unit total)

Special Needs

Course ID Title Units
CDE 140* Curriculum and Strategies for Children with Special Needs 3
CDE 135* Introduction to Children with Special Needs 3

Infant Toddler

Course ID Title Units
CDE 123* Infant and Toddler Development 3
CDE 133* Infant/Toddler Care and Education 3

Curriculum (choose 2)

Course ID Title Units
CDE 115* Language and Literacy in Early Childhood
CDE 114* Creative and Dramatic Arts in Early Childhood 3
CDE 113* Math and Science in Early Childhood 3


General Education Requirements for Certificate (16 Units)

At least one degree applicable course in each of the following four (4) areas must be included. See Associate Degree, CSU or IGETC general education lists found in class schedule or student handbook for acceptable courses.

Content Area Units
English/Language Arts  
Science or Math  
Social Sciences  
Humanities/Fine Arts  
Total including at least one course from each area 16


Total units in Master Teacher Certificate: 54

*Course has a prerequisite, co-requisite, limitation, or recommended preparation; see course description in catalog.