Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education-Instruction and Curriculum: Early Childhood Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Dr. Sherie Klee

Second Advisor

Dr. Kathryn Ohle

Academic Year



Historically, kindergarten is the place where many children receive their educational foundation. The current demand on children and educators has changed from play-based education to more of an academic focus, for which some children are not ready. At University Prep Art and Design Elementary School, incoming kindergartners are assessed when they are admitted and then invited to participate in a weeklong summer bridge program. This project will explain different factors that provide reasoning as to why children are not ready for kindergarten and give a layout of a transitional program that children, teachers, and families can participate in to better support young children as they are entering kindergarten. In this transitional program, children would attend a half-day program where they would engage in meaningful and impactful activities to help facilitate their transition into a structured school setting. Meanwhile, parents would attend a one-day preparatory workshop where they would gain insight and instruction guided by quality modeling of professional educators who would illustrate different techniques and activities they could do at home with their child. Preschool and kindergarten teachers would take part in professional development where they collaborate on best practices to support the academic as well as social-emotional transition from preschool into kindergarten.