Early Education program offers options
By Chloe Gregg
LCC has a Child Development and Early Education program that offers students a variety of programs to fit their needs.
Whether the students are already working in a childcare program, or have no experience but are really interested in teaching and working with young children, LCC has just the right program.
“The purpose (of the program) is to help prepare students to work in early childhood settings,” LCC Child Development Program Director Tricia McKay explained. “Our students are teachers, assistant teachers and administrators in childcare centers and preschool programs, etc.
“We have an associate degree in applied arts, a Certificate of Achievement and a brand new Certificate of Completion.”
The associate degree takes about 62 credits to complete, the Certificate of Achievement requires about 40 credits and the Certificate of Completion takes only 18 credits to finish.
The 18 credits from the Certificate of Completion can also be used as the 120 clock hours of training needed to complete the national credential CDA (Child Development Associate).
Although really meant for entry level, with a CDA, a student can work as an assistant or lead teacher, or even the director, of a childcare setting, depending on the employer and the setting.
“One purpose (the Certificate of Completion) may serve is for a student who doesn’t really have any experience that wants to get working in early childhood education and wants to get credits,” McKay said. “The certificate could also be useful to someone who already has a degree, but in another field, and now wants to work with young children.”
McKay said LCC has had students come in already with a bachelor’s degree in another field. For whatever reason, they now want to work in an early childcare setting. They don’t want to get another degree because they already have one, but just need credits in child development and early childhood education.
The Certificate of Completion can fulfill that need and give students 18 credits that are recognized by the state of Michigan, which provides the licenses for childcare providers within the state to operate.
Coursework for all of the certificates can also be applied to gaining an associate degree.
“Our program is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children,” McKay said.
She encouraged anyone who may be interested in working with children to consider taking one of the many helpful programs in childhood education that LCC has to offer.