Early Childhood Education Associate Degree Program Receives Accreditation with Flying Colors

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Bay College is proud to announce that the Early Childhood Education Associate Degree Program has been granted Accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The Commission for the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs completed their assessment of program components and the results of the 3-day site visit to main campus in March, granting the program their first Accreditation. Bay College ECE Program is the first and only higher education ECE program to be recognized in the Upper Peninsula. They join 11 other associate level programs at community colleges across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

Specific areas of strength cited by the review team include: The dedication, commitment and passion among faculty; support of community stakeholders through a highly engaged advisory committee, emphasis on student support and success, extensive practicum experiences in a variety of settings and age groups; student collaboration and engagement, the variety of learning opportunities offered, the incredible campus resources provided to students; and the strong articulation agreement with Lake Superior State University enabling students to complete a bachelor’s degree right on Bay’s main campus.

“It was a challenging 3-year process that began under former Program Coordinator, Connie Martinsen, and led to a careful examination and alignment of all aspects of the program,” said Program Coordinator and Lead Instructor, Tammra Barteld. “The program reflects our commitment to provide high quality preparation to both current and future early childhood professionals from across the region,” added Barteld. The NAEYC Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation are comprehensively embedded throughout all coursework for the purpose of inspiring, empowering and equipping early educators.”

According to Barteld, “Students come to our program with a variety of goals; some selecting to take the coursework to attain a Child Development Associate (CDA) and others a 1-year Certificate in Early Childhood Care. Most however, pursue the full 2-year AAS Degree and about half of these graduates move on to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, as they hope to attain a position as a lead teacher with Head Start or GSRP. Some enter the program already working full-time in the field while others have yet to work directly with young children.”

Regardless of goal or status, the program is solidly preparing EC professionals for a variety of positions across the field and employers around the region can be assured of the level of knowledge and understanding they can expect from a Bay ECE graduate. Attaining the accreditation is important as it provides a framework of excellence in early education by which professionals across the field can depend on.

For more information about Bay’s ECE Program, contact Tammra Barteld at tammra.barteld@baycollege.edu or 906-217-4158.

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