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How to Start Up a SCECA Student Organization

1. Contact your Student Affairs Office

Many colleges and universities have certain and specific guidelines and requirements to follow in order to start a charter organization. A charter organization is an organization that has not previously been an established organization on your campus. If there already was a SCECA student group on your campus, you may just have to find out how to get it reinstated.

2. Complete and return the necessary paperwork

Many colleges and universities have an application process that must be  completed and returned to be considered for chartering. Usually the application process involves providing detailed information about the organization. Such information may include:

  • full name of organization
  • organization’s purpose
  • membership criteria (if any)
  • major activities that the organization may sponsor
  • local, state, or national affiliations
  • funding information such as dues
  • official contact information for the organization including mailing address and website address
  • contact information for the faculty sponsor that will serve as the faculty advisor
  • contact information for the President, Vice-president, and Treasurer.
  • a roster (A minimum number of members may be required to charter an organization.)

3. Include all necessary forms

In addition to all the paperwork your organization may be required to submit your Constitution and By-laws.

4. Membership Form

Once your SCECA Student Organization has been established, you must have all prospective members complete the SCECA Membership Form. The faculty advisor should then return the forms and payments to Becky Wardlaw, SCECA’s Executive Director. Student dues are $25.00 a year before 12/1/2018 and $30.00/year after 12/1/2018. It is important that the faculty advisor send forms and payments to Mrs. Wardlaw so a database of student members at your university can be compiled. It is recommended that the faculty advisor keep a record of paid members prior to sending off the forms and payments to Mrs. Wardlaw.

5. Helpful information

The SCECA Student Organization is affiliated with the state (SCECA) and regional (SECA) organization. As stated in the SCECA constitution, a suggested name for the Student organization of SCECA shall be the Student South Carolina Early Childhood Association at {Name of the Institution of higher learning}, or in the abbreviated form, SSCECA-___. An example of a Constitution and Bylaws used by Winthrop University is attached for your reference. This is a modified constitution developed directly from the SCECA State Constitution and Bylaws. Any questions, please feel free to contact Becky Wardlaw or 803-960-0323.

Below is the sample Student Constitution that you may download for use in setting up a SCECA Student Organization.

Constitution Student Organization of the South Carolina Early Childhood Association

I.   Name

The name of this organization shall be the Student South Carolina Early Childhood Association at {Name of the Institution of higher learning}, or in the abbreviated form, SSCECA-___.

II.  Purpose

To increase awareness of the needs and to work for the knowledge and understanding of young children in South Carolina both at school and at home and to provide opportunities for cooperation between parents, teachers, research workers, doctors, religious workers, social workers, and others in the field.

III.  Objectives

A.   To increase awareness of the needs of young children in the state of South Carolina at childcare facilities, preschool facilities, in the public schools and at home

B.   To work for increase knowledge and understanding of young children in the state of South Carolina at child care facilities, preschool facilities, in the public schools and at home

C.   To encourage professional growth of members through workshops, meetings, speakers, conferences, and field trips

D.   To stimulate awareness of legislation and research dealing with children and their families.

IV.   Membership and Dues

A.   Definition- Membership shall be open to all students on any South Carolina campus of higher learning who are concerned with the young children of South Carolina and their families.

B.  Qualifications- A member in good standing shall be any student at any university, college, or technical school of higher learning in South Carolina who has paid his/her SCECA dues.

C. Dues- The amount of membership dues for the Student Group shall be recommended by the elected officers and shall be voted on by the members with any change in the amount of dues being ratified by a majority voting if a quorum is present. A quorum is the majority of the membership.

D. Privileges of Membership

1.  Membership shall entitle each member to membership in the Southern Early Childhood Association (SECA) and the South Carolina Early Childhood Association (SCECA).

2.  Membership shall entitle each member to all newsletters and regular publications of SECA and SCECA.

3.  Membership shall entitle each member to vote on matters related to changes in the election of officers in SECA and SCECA.

V.  Officers

A.  Officers- The elected officers shall consist of President, Vice President, Secretary and/or Treasurer, Publicity Chairperson or Reporter. There shall be an Executive Board composed of these elected officers.

B.  Election of Officers- A slate of officers shall be submitted for nominations by the Executive Board at a regularly      scheduled meeting. Based on these nominations and nominations from the floor, an election will be held and officers will be elected by a quorum.

C.   Duties of the Officers

1.  The President shall be responsible for presiding at all meetings of the membership and the Executive Board, appointing chairpersons of committees with the help of the Executive Board and Faculty Advisor and perform all other duties incident to the office.

2.   The Vice President shall be responsible for planning and executing a membership drive to increase professional growth of all students who plan careers dealing with young children and the carrying out of the duties of the President in his/her absence. The Vice President shall also be responsible for planning and executing the program of work and any fund-raising projects as delegated by the Executive Board and the Faculty Advisor.

3.  The Secretary and/or Treasurer shall be responsible for keeping the minutes and for all correspondence relating  to the Association, as well as maintaining an accurate account of the financial transactions of the association.

4.   The Publicity Chairperson/Reporter shall be responsible for gathering news and writing accounts of all association activities and submitting them to appropriate media. He/she shall also be responsible for publicizing and announcing the meetings and field trips.

5.  Duties of the officers may be changed at the direction of the Executive Board and the Faculty Advisor rather than by constitutional action.

6.  Officers shall assume the duties of their offices at the beginning of the academic year.  The incoming officers shall receive training from the outgoing officers before the end of their term.

7.  If, during their elected year of office, any of the elected officers find they are unable to serve in the elected capacity, they shall submit a letter of resignation to the Executive Board and the Faculty Advisor.

8.  Any vacant office may be filled by a vote of the SSECA Executive Board.

VI.   Faculty Advisor

The Faculty Advisor of the Student Group shall be one or more of the faculty in the area of early childhood education or related child and family services field.

VII.   Meetings of the Executive Board and General Meetings

A.  Executive Board meetings shall be held at least once during each quarter during the nine-month school year. The President may call association and Executive Board meetings. Meetings shall be planned toward fulfilling the purposes of the SSCECA.

B.  Procedures of the meetings -  The rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised  shall govern the association in all cases to which they are applicable. Business shall be conducted during regular meetings.

VIII.   Committees

The President with the advice of the Executive Board and the Faculty Advisor shall appoint committees.

IX. Conduct

A.  SSECA and its members agree to uphold and abide by the rules and regulations of their respective institution of higher learning.

B.  SSCECA agrees to accept the responsibility for the behavior of its members and guests at any of its functions.

C.   This organization or its individual members do not allow hazing, in any form.

X.  Amendments to the Constitution

A.   A proposal to alter, amend, or repeal the provisions of this constitution shall be proposed by any member of the organization and a discussion shall follow at the same meeting. Voting on the proposed amendment shall occur at the same meeting if sufficient information is available at that time for discussion. If information is insufficient for discussion, the amendment may be tabled until information for discussion has been collected. Voting on the proposed amendment may then occur at the next regularly scheduled meeting or at a special called meeting if the matter is urgent.

B.  Amendments or revisions of the Constitution may not go into effect until submitted to the SCECA Student Groups Chairperson and approved by the SCECA Executive Board. The SCECA Board will notify the SSCECA of its decision immediately in writing following its meeting.

Award Opportunities:

1.  The SCECA Student Group Start Up Grant

Open to Early Childhood Advisors who want to establish a professional membership group affiliated with the South Carolina Early Childhood Association on their high school or two/four year college/university campus. SCECA’s Student Group Chairperson will assist the Student Advisor with the steps to establish a new group and supply a SCECA Student Group Constitution.


  • The high school or college affiliate who will be the Student Group Advisor must be a current member of SCECA and teach at a high school or college/university in SC.
  • The grant is for a new student group organization. If a group had a SCECA affiliated student group and it has been inactive for a period of at least three years, the Student Group Advisor may apply for the grant to activate the student group again.
  • The Student Advisor submits the grant application.
  • The Student Advisor further agrees to write an article for the SCOPE newsletter about how the grant was helpful in starting the student group from your school to encourage other high school or colleges/universities to consider starting a student group.

2.  SCECA Student Group Travel Grant

This award is available to all current student group members of the South Carolina Early Childhood Association (SCECA) who are interested in attending the SCECA Conference. Two awards are available in the amount of $400 each and are to be used for conference expenses only. These expenses include: conference registration, accommodations, mileage and food. All members of the group applying must be current student members of SCECA.

Application requirements include:

  • A short narrative as the why your group would like to attend the conference
  • A brief explanation/breakdown of how the monies will be spent
  • Application must be signed by the Student Group Advisor and the advisor must attend with the conference with the students.

Please note that the recipients of the grant will be required to write a short summary of their experience to be published in the next edition of SCOPE, the SCECA newsletter, following their attendance at the conference. Deadline for submitting the article is 30 days after the conference.