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Early Childhood Development Program Achieves Accreditation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 10/24/2007
CONTACT: LENNA YOUNG, 646-1378
PENDLETON --- Tri-County Technical College’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) program has met the highest standards for teacher preparation and is among 34 associate degree programs to receive accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
The program received initial accreditation through the year 2014. In 2005 NAEYC launched a new accreditation system to recognize high-quality associate degree programs that prepare early childhood educators, said Lenna Young, head of the College’s Public Services Department. “Accreditation standards, based on research in early childhood development and learning, are performance based and describe what well-prepared graduates of associate degree programs should know and be able to do,” said Young.
“Through an active, strong ECD peer group within the S.C. Technical College System, our College’s ECD program became part of NAEYC’s first cohort of associate degree programs to seek accreditation. The cohort received training and support from the S.C. Child Care Career Development Center and the T.E.A.C.H. program,” said Young.
After completing an extensive self-study, the ECD program submitted a Self-Study Report during Fall 2006. In Spring 2007, the program was visited and reviewed by a Peer Review Team, who interviewed students, ECD faculty, the ECD Advisory Committee and college administrators. The team’s report was then forwarded to NAEYC’s National Commission of Early Childhood Professionals for an accreditation decision.
“This was a time for reflection, “said Young. “This accreditation process allowed us to step back and do some deep soul searching to determine what we are made of and what makes us tick. We want our students to be capable, committed and compelled. This is the heart and soul of our teaching philosophy. Although we have achieved accreditation, our work is not over. We will be continually looking at what we are doing and how we are doing it.”
The accreditation process has been a tremendous team effort, she added. “Our ECD program’s achieving accreditation represents the culmination of many efforts. The program is most grateful to ECD students, faculty, the Advisory Committee, and the vast Tri-County team members who shared their time and expertise in this endeavor,” she added.
Tri-County offers a certificate and diploma in Early Childhood Development and an associate degree in Occupational Technology with an emphasis in Early Childhood Development.
Currently there are around 100 students enrolled in Tri-County’s day and evening Early Childhood Education classes.