Aug. 3, 2011

HCC Early Childhood Ed Programs Earns Unconditional National Accreditation

BRIDGEPORT – Two Housatonic Community College Early Childhood Education degree programs have earned unconditional national accreditation.

The programs, Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Education: Special Education Option were awarded the  seven-year accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. NAEYC is the professional organization that sets national standards for child care programs and programs that prepare early childhood education teachers of children from birth through age 8.

“We’re delighted to learn that not only have we received accreditation, but that we received it unconditionally,” said Dr. Laurie Noe of Bethel. “It’s testimony to the quality of the program we have developed and the commitment and expertise of our faculty.”

The Early Childhood Education Program maintains HCC’s Early Childhood Laboratory School (also NAEYC accredited) which provides a high-quality, pre-school program for the children of students, faculty, staff and the community while serving as laboratory setting for HCC’s Early Childhood Education Program. During a 1998 visit to the school, President Clinton described it as "what every child in America needs.”

In making the announcement, NAYEC gave the programs glowing reviews, stating that the accreditation process indicated the programs provide students with “many meaningful opportunities to develop knowledge and skills” and that the “student learning opportunities (they offer) exceed expectations.”

The report went on to identify three “areas of excellence” with the programs.  These included broad faculty involvement with the local, state and national early childhood education communities, integration of core values throughout the program, and goal-oriented teaching.

The report went on to say that an observation of the peer review team that visited the college deserves to be repeated:  “It was a special privilege to hear participants in all interviews speak knowledgeably about core values, program mission, NAEYC standards and the positive impact this is having on the community,” the peer team said.

Since NAEYC began accrediting associate-degree programs in 2006, more than 100 associate degree programs in 24 states earned accreditation. More than 100 additional programs in 14 states are undergoing the accreditation process.

Housatonic Community College provides an affordable and accessible education through two-year degrees, transfer preparation, and certificate programs, as well as a wide variety of continuing education and personal/professional enrichment seminars and workshops.  In addition, HCC offers employee and occupational training for businesses, municipalities, government agencies, and professional associations to help develop the educated and skilled workforce required to meet regional business and industry needs.  HCC is nationally recognized as an “Achieving the Dream” institution.

HCC is located at 900 Lafayette Blvd. in downtown Bridgeport, less than 150 yards off I-95 (Exit 27) and Rte. 8 (Exit 1), a block from the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard. Free parking is available in the Housatonic garage.