ECE 495: Early Childhood Education Capstone

Course Description

This is the required Capstone course for students in the Early Childhood Education bachelor’s degree program. The course is taken in the student’s last semester. It is designed to allow students to share their knowledge of early childhood pedagogy through a formal presentation on the topic. Students develop a project narrative, use the virtual library to research to find sources to write an outline, write a research paper, and create a project presentation that they give within their community. Students will also make connections to prior learning from courses taken within the major, evaluate and synthesize information and connect to their own professional work experiences. A grade of "C" is required for students to pass the Capstone course. (3 credits)


  • Students must have completed most of their concentration courses and take this course in their last semester. Academic Counselor approval is required to register.
  • ECE 101: Introduction to Early Childhood Education
  • ECE 176: Health, Safety and Nutrition: Birth to Eight
  • ECE 205: Diversity and Ethics in Early Childhood Education
  • ECE 210: Observation and Assessment in ECE Program
  • ECE 217: The Exceptional Learner
  • ECE 231: Early Language and Literacy Development
  • ECE 247: Child Development: Birth to Eight
  • EDU 360: Families, Schools and the Community
  • ENG 101: English Composition 1
  • ENG 102: English Composition 2
  • PSY 301: Psychology of Play

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Student learning outcomes are based on the 2020 Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators. The topic you choose for this project must allow you to demonstrate that you have met the following competencies:

  1. Identify and involve oneself with the early childhood field and serve as an informed advocate for young children, families and the profession (PS&C 6a).
  2. Know about and uphold ethical and other early childhood professional guidelines (PS&C 6b).
  3. Use Professional communication skills, including technology-mediated strategies, to effectively support young children's learning and development and work with families and colleagues (PS&C 6c).
  4. Engage in continuous, collaborative learning to inform practice (PS&C 6d).
  5. Develop and sustain the habit of reflective and intentional practices in daily work with young children and as members of the early childhood profession (PS&C 6e). 

Course Activities and Grading

Make recommendations for change (of personal practices) based on new findings


Capstone Project (Final Project)




Grading Standards

The project will:

  • Develop a narrative to express with clarity the background and rationale for choosing the topic.
  • Develop a research-based outline to include peer-reviewed sources (no less than 8 sources).
  • Write a research paper of 12-15 pages, formatted to APA.
  • Create artifacts to use during the project presentation.
  • Write a narrative describing the presentation experience.
  • Evaluate critically the validity of the project within the major.
  • Reflect proficiency in the terminology and language appropriate to the major.
  • Reveal the personal thoughts and opinions of the student.
  • Demonstrate the writing proficiencies of the senior level of college writing.
  • Be a minimum of 35 pages. Typical projects are between 50-100 pages. Evaluate critically the validity of the project within the major.


A = exemplary level of performance

B = high level of performance

C = satisfactory level of performance 

F = unsatisfactory level of performance 

Required Text

  • There is no required textbook for this Capstone course.

Recommended Resource

  • Student should have an up-to-date reference guide for citation methods, appropriate word usage, grammar and punctuation. A Writer’s Reference, 6th edition is one such resource.

Course Schedule





  • Review student learning outcomes for the course.
  • Participate in Discussion Board - Introduce yourself to your Instructor and your peers. Include your background, academic goals, professional interests and anything else you’d like to share.
  • Choose topic and select format for project.
  • Engage in discussion with Instructor about project.
  • Assignment: Submit Milestone 1.



  • Engage in research to find sources of interest for the research paper.
  • Assignment: Submit Milestone 2.



  • Continue to research on topic and begin writing research paper.



  • Continue writing research paper.
  • Participate in Discussion Board
  • Engage in discussions with Instructor



  • Assignment:  Submit Milestone 3.



  • Begin project work.
  • Present project.
  • Engage in discussions with Instructor.



  • Continue project work.
  • Engage in discussion with Instructor about project (as needed).
  • Assignment: Submit Milestone 4:  Project work



  • Participate in Discussion Board
  • Complete Project Evaluation form
  • Compile full project portfolio and submit for grading.
  • Complete Course Evaluation

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.