Houseman to Lead in New U. S. Department of Education Project


Under the leadership of Tammra Houseman, Coordinator of the Early Childhood Education Program, Bay College will participate in a grant awarded to the University of Toledo (UT) by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

UT faculty, and colleagues at four Michigan community colleges will work together on Great Start for Higher Education (GSHE), a project to enhance the quality of preparation for future early childhood education professionals. The outcome of the project will be early childhood teachers with associate degrees who are better prepared to meet the needs of young children with disabilities and their families. The grant is for $1,250,000 over five years (January 2019 to December 2024) and is a competitive award based on peer review and ranking of a national pool of applications.

UT faculty member Dr. Laurie Dinnebeil and national consultant Camille Catlett of the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute in Chapel Hill, NC will partner with Ms. Houseman, as well as other campus and community partners. The GSHE team will provide intensive professional development for Bay College colleagues related to their emphasis on evidence-based practices for supporting children and families of diverse abilities, cultures, languages, and life circumstances. "Participation in the Great Start for Higher Education project will help our faculty examine and improve our teaching and learning processes to better prepare our graduates to effectively support all young children and their families,” said Ms. Houseman. “This project also strengthens our program's national accreditation with NAEYC,” she continued, “integrating inclusive practices across our curriculum.” The Bay College ECE Program was recently granted full accreditation status without conditions and is the only accredited early childhood education program in the UP and surrounding region.

Regional advisory boards comprised of early childhood experts, family members of children with disabilities, graduates of community college early childhood education programs, representatives from state agencies, and other early childhood and early childhood special education professionals will guide the work of Great Start for Higher Education. Bay College is the fourth and final partner to join project colleagues from Monroe County Community College, Grand Rapids Community College, and Mott Community College.