CDA Training Pathways
Online • Live • 120 PD Hrs
This program guides candidates through the entire CDA credentialing process. The self-paced coursework gives students the flexibility to learn on their own schedule, while our dedicated faculty provide one-on-one coaching and the additional support necessary to ensure all of our students complete the entire CDA program.
Earning a CDA® credential demonstrates educators’ knowledge, skills, and abilities in the early childhood education field as well as their commitment to professional development. Designed for working Head Start/Early Head Start professionals, The Academy’s CDA® Training Pathway gives learners the flexibility and support they need to achieve their goals.
This four-month program guides and coaches candidates through the entire credentialing process and provides a comprehensive network of support to ensure every candidate completes the program, including
- Regular meetings with CDA Professional Development coaches
- One-on-one check-ins on deadlines and milestones
- Access to a national cohort of peers
- A navigator, a mentor who can show local support and encouragement
The CDA Pathway is designed for educators working in pre-school settings or with infants and toddlers. In addition to meeting the Council for Professional Recognition’s coursework requirements, this training provides candidates with everything they need to know to succeed in Head Start.
Start Dates: New cohorts are accepted on a monthly basis (See registration page for more information on upcoming availability)
Target Audience: Instruction and Effective Practice, Parents and Families, Support Services
- Earn a minimum of a high school diploma/GED or be enrolled in a high school career and technical program.
- Complete 480 hours of experience working with children in the group setting the candidate is earning the CDA in (Infant/Toddler or Preschool). The CDA candidate should have 80% of these hours completed by the time of enrollment in the NHSA CDA course.
Completion Timeline/Duration: Four months
Head Start Alignment: Includes alignments with the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework in each module.
A Pathway Beyond
Educators who earn their Child Development Associate (CDA) credential through this program will receive support enrolling at National University and nine semester credits towards their Bachelor’s Degree—at no additional cost. This credit-bearing program is recognized as the equivalent of taking "ECE 201: The Growing Child: Zero to 8," "HED 220: Health, Nutrition, and Safety," and "ECE 210: Child, Family, School, and Community.”
Professional Development Coaches
- Online, Self Paced Coursework
- Live Sessions with Professional Development Coach
- 120 hours of education and portfolio requirements
- Six Months of Access to Online Course
- All Course Materials: the CDA Competency Standards book, CDA essentials book, and CDA essential workbook
- The CDA Exam cost is included as well as the verification visit both mandatory requirements to obtain the CDA credential
- Video Content
- Access to Cohort of Peers
- Discussion Forums
- Certificate of Completion
- Best-in-class preparation to take The Council of Professional Recognition's CDA Exam
- Enrollment support to National University
- Nine Semester Credits