CAA approves new early childhood minor

JJ Bullock, Editor-in-Chief

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The Council on Academic Affairs approved a new minor called “Early Childhood Program Administration” at its meeting Thursday afternoon and approved an additional five course changes.

The new minor is designed to make things easier for early childhood students at Eastern who are currently earning multiple different certificates or taking multiple classes designed to train them in early childhood care, this minor combines all those things into one package. 

“(Students) would have a degree in general studies with a concentration or certificate, it really didn’t have a name particularly,” said Mikki Sherwood, chair of human services and community leadership. “So, we had that option, and that’s good, that was for non-traditional students and we built that about 20 years ago, and it was designed for people working in the field. But we needed something for traditional students as well, because that really wasn’t available to them. So, what we have done is, we formalize that so they’re not just taking classes here and there, and we have given traditional students an option that was really only available in extended learning.”

The minor was approved unanimously by the council and brings with it a new course in practicum early childhood administration and a capstone course built for the minor. 

This is not to be confused with early childhood education however, this minor is designed for students who aim to run a daycare or child care facility rather than earn a teaching certificate and work in public schools. 

“What they’re finding is a basic childcare provider, so you take your child to daycare, those people used to be, you could be a high school graduate, and run a program,” Sherwood said. “And they’re getting, the state and federally, they’re getting more and more, you know they want people to be educated and they want them to be able to show that they have mastery of child development and things like that. So, as the years have gone by, these credentials have become more important and they look for those. So we are just trying to meet that market need as well.”

The new minor was born out of a need to streamline the certificates and courses into one package and to also meet a demand for the minor. 

“We have a lot of interest. So, admissions, 9th Street advising, we had a lot of people asking for early childhood that want to work in childcare programs like daycares and childcare centers,” Sherwood said. “We have that track and we have always offered classes related to that and we can do that, but a minor is on a transcript. And the minor then can allow for a smooth transition right into these credentials that you had to piecemeal together before. So, we thought if we formalized it, it’s on their transcripts, they go right into the credentials.”

 The new minor is going to be ready to go for the Summer 2020 semester. 

The council also approved small changes to the aging studies program revised courses and language in nutrition course NTR 2100 to fit the needs of the new nursing school.

HPR 3000: Health Concepts for Teachers will no longer be offered as a course and instead will be moved into HPR 3200: School Health for K-12 Teachers. HPR 3000 was a two-credit course, but became duplicative of 3200.

All motions were approved unanimously.

JJ Bullock can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]