Child Development Questions

What is the CDEC program philosophy?

Our program promotes a philosophy which:

  • Is child-centered, developmental, and culturally sensitive.
  • Addresses the individual needs of “the whole child” ~ socially, emotionally, physically, and cognitively.
  • Teaches principles of developmentally appropriate practice, as advocated by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Views the child in the social context of family and community.

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What degree or certificates can I receive?

As a child development student, you will be working toward the following degree and/or certificates. Your advisor will work with you to decide which is best for your individual educational and career goals.

  • Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Child Development ~ 60 credits
  • Early Childhood certificate ~ 33 credits
  • Early Childhood Administrator’s certificate ~ 32 credits
  • Family Advocate certificate ~ 46 credits
  • CDA Training ~ 9 credits, preparation for national assessment by CDA Council

Note: Courses taken for certificates can also be applied toward the Associate’s degree, so you may graduate with one or more certificates, in addition to your AAS.

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How will I know which classes to take?

After choosing your degree plan(s), each semester you will meet with your advisor to discuss options for the next semester’s classes. Your advisor will make recommendations, assist in your registration, and add completed courses to your degree plan.


*It is very important to work with your advisor to choose the correct classes, so be sure to make this contact each semester!


Advisors for the Child Development/Early Childhood program are:


Stephanie Deering, program director

Reese Campus, Building 5, Room 512A



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When and where are my classes?

Child Development classes are offered either fall or spring semester each year, and are scheduled one night per week, from 6:00-8:50. That means that for each class you will come to campus on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, OR Thursday. In general, your classes will meet on the Reese Campus in Building #5. CDEC also has one class per semester on the Plainview campus, and some course offerings during 8-week summer session I at Reese. You can view all class listings in SPC’s Schedule of Classes in paper form, or online at

We also have some courses which are offered online, as well as in the face-to-face environment.

Online courses for Child Development include:

  • TECA 1303.151 ~ Families, School, and the Community (fall semester)
  • TECA 1318.151 ~ Wellness of the Young Child (spring semester)
  • CDEC 1317.151; CDEC 2322.151; CDEC 2324.151 ~ CDA Training


For other classes on your degree plan (such as English, Sociology, etc.) you may also have online options, along with various campus locations – Levelland, Reese, Plainview, or Advanced Technology Center (Lubbock). Again, see the class listings or consult your advisor about these choices.

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What books and materials do I need?

Each semester your instructor in each class will provide you with a syllabus which gives you specific textbook and materials information. Textbooks are available at the SPC Bookstore on the Reese campus (in Building #8), and textbooks for online classes are also sold at the bookstore on the Levelland campus. For each class you will also need a 3-ring notebook for handouts, notes, assignments, etc.

You can also find your adopted textbooks on the SPC website, using the Reese Bookstore link; simply type in your course number to see the required books. You may also use this link to purchase your books with a credit card.


If you purchase or rent your textbooks from another source, please be sure that you have the correct title and publishing information, and that you will have access to your book when class begins. If delivery date is later, you will probably have difficulty completing your assignments and may not be successful in the course.

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What if I have a learning disability?

“South Plains College is committed to providing equitable opportunities for success and offers assistance to student with disabilities based on their unique needs. Any student who anticipates a need for accommodations must contact the Special Services Office on either the Levelland campus or SPC Reese Center at the time the decision is made to attend SPC. Adequate notice to make arrangements of necessary accommodations is required. Contact the Special Services Office for more information on procedures and required documentation.” (South Plains College General Catalog)


  • Special Services Office on the Reese campus is located in Building #8, Rooms 809 and 811.
  • Or you may call 806-716-4654.
  • If you qualify for accommodations, Special Services will communicate with your instructors about implementing these in your course work.



What do I need to know about grades?


To be successful and to apply your course toward your degree plan in Child Development,

you MUST earn a “C” or better in the course.


Important information!


Grading criteria will be included in each course syllabus, and will be based on a 1000 point system. To earn a “C” you will need to obtain 75%, or 750 of 1000 points. (To earn an “A” you will need 90% or 900 points, and to earn a “B” you will need 80% or 800 points.) Any class in which you earn less than a “C” will need to be retaken during another semester in order to apply to your degree plan.

For courses outside the Child Development department, a “D” or better may be acceptable, but will need to be approved by your advisor.

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Does attendance affect my grade?

The answer to this question is “YES!” Attendance in class affects your grade in a number of ways.


You need to be in class to:

1)    Participate in learning experiences and interact with your classmates

2)    Receive new information and updates on assignments

3)    Receive points allocated toward your final grade

4)    Prevent an instructor initiated “drop”


We all realize that circumstances arise which may prevent you from attending a class session. For this reason it is very important to attend all classes for which you do not have a valid excuse for an absence. Keep in mind that “life happens!” and there may be times in the future (illness, death in the family, etc.) when you really cannot attend.

More specific information on the attendance system can be found in each course syllabus.

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How do I keep track of my grades?

As stated above, each syllabus will give you the grading criteria for that class, along with the components required to be successful. Each class will have specific assignments with a specific number of points allocated. To keep track you should record each assignment you complete and the points received. Keeping a running total of your scores will let you know how you are doing toward your goal. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to talk to your instructor.

At the end of the semester, your instructor will compile your scores and submit your final grade to the registrar at South Plains College. Your final grades will then be posted in Campus Connect (under student information – Grades) and on your college transcript. Again, if you have any questions or concerns, talk to your instructor as soon as possible.

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Why do I have to have a criminal background check?

Each semester you will be asked to consent to a criminal background check to ensure that there is nothing in your past that will prohibit you from working with children. This keeps the children safe and also prevents students from pursuing a degree for which they will not be employable in the future. Basically, it is a college requirement that protects all involved.

If you have specific questions about the background check, you are encouraged to discuss these privately with your advisor or instructor of your class. Most of the time there is nothing to worry about, but it is better to have your questions answered promptly and with privacy.

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What department rules do I need to know about?

As a student in child development you are expected to abide by the standards of student conduct as described in the South Plains College Student Guide. Copies will be distributed at the beginning of each semester and you will be asked to review the guide and provide your signature to verify that you understand and agree to follow those rules.


In the child development department, the following rules will also apply:

  • Cell phones must be turned OFF during class sessions. This includes text messaging!
  • Electronic communication between instructor and students will utilize the South Plains College email system. Instructor will not initiate communication using private email accounts or text messaging.

In addition, each of your instructors may have specific expectations for class behavior included in each written syllabus. Be sure that you read your syllabus carefully, and if you do not understand the expectations, be sure to ask!

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Does CDEC have a student organization?

Yes, our student organization is “Advocates for Children Today” or ACT.


The mission of this organization is:

  • To promote professional development in the field of early childhood.
  • To provide service and education to the community.
  • To encourage personal relationships among individuals of diverse backgrounds.


As a student in child development you are automatically qualified as a member. ACT meets on a monthly basis (usually at 5:00 pm on Tuesdays) to work on projects, share experiences from the field, and network with other professionals.

We strongly recommend that you become active in our student organization. Whether you’re a leader or a follower, ACT is a great opportunity for you to expand your horizons, supplement your academic program, and have FUN!!


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