Early Childhood Excellence

Supporting educators in their careers and serving the region’s crucial need for well trained teachers.

Southern California faces a severe shortage of credentialed early childhood educators. The Early Childhood Excellence initiative addresses this crisis by supporting undergraduate students seeking the PK-3 Specialist Instruction Credential, as well as offering coursework for mid-career teachers who want to earn the new credential as well. Teachers will learn culturally relevant and sustaining practices, and through the support of the initiative, will be able to complete their degrees and credentials with minimal debt. They will also participate in professional development and support networks, to increase overall retention.


Jenny C. Chiappe, Ph.D. Co-Director, ECE

Jenny C. Chiappe is an Assistant Professor in the Special Education Program at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Dr. Chiappe earned a doctorate in Special Education at UCLA and Cal State LA. Her research interests include teacher practices to address the academic and social needs of students with disabilities and creating inclusive settings for students with and without disabilities. Prior to pursuing her doctorate, Dr. Chiappe worked as a special education teacher to support students with a range of abilities in inclusive settings from preschool to upper elementary school.

Kimberly Radmacher, Ph.D., Co-Director, ECE

Kimberley Radmacher is an Associate Professor in the Child Development Department. She began teaching at CSUDH in 2008 and served as the Child Development Department Chair for 10 years. She received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research focuses on social and emotional development with an emphasis on identity development and peer and family relationships. Her identity research bridges the work on social class, stigma, and identity development to examine young adults’ conceptions of social class and the processes through which they come to perceive social class as an aspect of their own identity as well as its intersection with other social identities such as gender and ethnicity.