West Shore Community College has been awarded a $15,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education Race to the Top Fund.
The grant will be used to underwrite the costs to seek accreditation of the college’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) program from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
The NAEYC Commission on Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation sets a standard of excellence for early childhood programs that prepare professionals at the associate degree level and accredits programs that have demonstrated they meet this standard, thereby benefiting the early childhood profession, young children, families, and communities.
WSCC offers an associate of applied arts and sciences degree and a certificate in Early Childhood Education.
According to Lisa Morley, WSCC professor of early childhood education, higher education officials throughout the state of Michigan are considering linking NAEYC accreditation to articulation between institutions. A 2014 review of the college’s ECE program indicates over 74% of graduates are pursuing an advanced degree following the completion of an associate’s degree.
“Accreditation recognizes excellence in early childhood professional preparation at a critical time when public demand for early childhood professionals with specialized degrees and credentials is increasing. As a result, we will design and implement assessment systems to provide evidence of students’ performance in relation to national professional standards and use this data to improve the quality of teaching and learning.”
Since 2006, NAEYC accreditation has provided a framework for self-study, external evaluation, and improvement in the quality of professional preparation programs. There are now more than 150 institutions with accredited programs in 30 states and over 110 institutions in 35 states with programs in self-study.
Author: Thomas Hawley | Executive Director of College Communications & Community Engagement