Early Childhood Program Earns NAEYC Accreditation

Published: May 14, 2015

earlychildhoodJCC is one of 31 associate degree programs in NC with NAEYC status.

Johnston Community College's early childhood education associate of applied science  degree program has received full accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

NAEYC's Commission on Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation awards accreditation to associate degree programs that meet professional preparation standards for programs preparing early childhood educators.

The NAEYC accreditation system for early childhood education associate degree programs was launched in 2006. In North Carolina, JCC is one of 31 out of 58 early childhood education associate degree programs nationally accredited through NAEYC. Currently, 170 institutions in 32 states achieved the high honor.

To earn NAEYC early childhood associate degree accreditation, programs conduct a rigorous self-study process in collaboration with stakeholders, culminating in a report demonstrating how the program meets the NAEYC Professional Preparation Standards within its community context. The program hosts an external peer review, and findings are presented to the Commission on Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation for an accreditation decision.

Research shows that having a high-quality early childhood education workforce leads to positive outcomes for children birth through age 8.

Erin Smith, director of early childhood and allied health programs at JCC, said NAEYC's professional standards for early childhood degree programs provide a high measure of quality by which teacher education programs can be evaluated.

"This has been a goal for JCC since 2006," Smith says. "We want our early care and education professionals to have the knowledge and skills they need to be highly effective and to ensure appropriate, high-quality environments for young children with whom they work."

"This national accreditation validates our program in terms of educational quality and ensures that our graduates who are looking for jobs in the area have received the right types of instruction, assignments, and hands-on experience to make them highly-qualified early childhood educators."

North Carolina's federal Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge Grant funds helped pay for fees associated with JCC's program accreditation. JCC's NAEYC accreditation lasts until 2022.

For more information about early childhood education at JCC, please contact Smith at (919) 209-2148 or e-mail her at essmith@johnstoncc.edu.

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