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Early Childhood Higher Education Programs Receive NAEYC Accreditation

September 20, 2019

The National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs is pleased to announce that it has granted first-time accreditation to early childhood degree programs at six institutions of higher education during its most recent meeting. In addition, the Commission voted to renew accreditation for programs at eight institutions. This brings the total number of institutions with accredited programs to 206 in 40 states across the country.

"We are so pleased and proud to have earned reaccreditation of our Early Childhood programs,” said Joan Parris, Director of Early Childhood Community Education at Norwalk Community College in Connecticut. “The process of self-study supports our philosophy of continuous improvement. As we continue to make data driven decisions to strengthen our program we feel a pride in knowing that we are sending the best trained early childhood teachers into the field."

Early childhood professional preparation programs serve a wide-range of students and prepare early childhood educators for a variety of early learning settings. Accreditation serves as a mechanism for ensuring a consistent and high level of program quality and alignment to the NAEYC Initial and Advanced Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation Programs while respecting the unique mission and context of each degree program.

"NAEYC Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs is a hallmark of quality assurance for the early childhood preparation profession," said Mary Harrill, Senior Director of Higher Education at NAEYC. "We congratulate all of the programs that have recently achieved accreditation. Their dedication, through the accreditation process, to program improvement, to the students they serve, and to the early learning settings in which their graduates will work is to be commended.”

To earn and retain accreditation, professional preparation programs must demonstrate that they:

  • Align to NAEYC’s Professional Preparation Standards;
  • Respond to the unique needs of their degree candidates and communities;
  • Provide intentional learning experiences for their degree candidates to obtain the knowledge and skills needed to be effective early childhood educators; and,
  • Continuously assess and reflect on their degree candidates’ performance.

The newly-accredited degree programs are:

  • Bay College (MI): A.A.S. Early Childhood Care and Education
  • Clackamas Community College (OR): A.A.S. Early Childhood Education and Family Studies
  • Henry Ford College (MI): A.A. Children and Families
  • NHTI Concord’s Community College (NH): A.S. Early Childhood Education
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks (AK): A.A.S. Early Childhood Education
  • Washtenaw Community College (MI): A.A.S. Child Care Professional
The following programs have renewed accreditation:
  • Cape Fear Community College (NC): A.A.S. Early Childhood Education
  • Community College of Allegheny County (PA): A.S. Early Education and Child Development
  • Delta College (MI): A.A.A. Child Development
  • Harcum College (PA): A.A. Early Childhood Education
  • Harrisburg Area Community College (PA): A.A. Early Childhood--Elementary Education--Early Care and Education Track; A.A. Early Childhood--Elementary Education—Pre-Teaching Track
  • Norwalk Community College (CT): A.S. Early Childhood Education – Career Program; A.S. Early Childhood Education – Transfer Program
  • Pima Community College (AZ): A.A.S. Early Childhood Studies
  • Wharton County Junior College (TX): A.A.S. Early Childhood Development

For more information, visit the NAEYC Early Childhood Higher Education Accreditation system website.

Contributor: Mary Harrill, NAEYC