July 31, 2012



Outstanding Performance in All Areas

Good for Five Years

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - Housatonic Community College’s Early Childhood Laboratory School has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the nation’s leading organization of early childhood professionals.

The school, which was hailed by President Clinton as “what every child in America needs,” received scores of at least 100 percent for its performance in all areas in which schools are judged. The accreditation is valid until Sept. 1, 2017.

“We’re proud to have earned the mark of quality from NAEYC, and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards,” said Lab School Director Heidi Szobota. “NAEYC accreditation lets families in our community know that the children in our program are getting the best care and early learning experiences possible.”

To earn NAEYC accreditation, the lab school went through an extensive self-study process, measuring the program and its services against the ten NAEYC standards and more than 400 related accreditation criteria. The program received NAEYC accreditation after an on-site visit by NAEYC assessors to ensure that the program meets each of the ten program standards. NAEYC-accredited programs are also subject to unannounced visits during their accreditation.

The 10 performance areas in which the school was judged include promoting positive relations among all children and adults, implementing a curriculum that fosters all areas of child development, using effective teaching approaches, providing ongoing assessments of children’s learning and development, promoting nutrition and health, employing a qualified teaching staff, maintaining collaborative relationships with each child’s family, using community educational resources to promote program goals, providing a safe and healthy physical environment, and implementing strong personnel, fiscal and program-management policies.

“This accomplishment could not have been achieved without the dedication and commitment of the ECLS teachers and staff,” Szobota said. “We should give kudos to Karen Papacoda, Monserrate Feliciano, Yotisse Williams, Andrea Cox, Mariann Ziembroski and part –time Educational Assistants Marlene Guzman, Kristina Kubel, Stephanie Gaspar and Mehreen Seyal.

“It was their work that made this happen,” she said.

In the 25 years since NAEYC accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. More than 7,000 programs are currently accredited by NAEYC – approximately 8 percent of all preschools and other early childhood programs.

The NAEYC standards today reflect the latest research and best practices in early childhood education and development. NAEYC is committed to utilizing the newest studies and analysis on positive child outcomes to ensure young children continue receiving the highest-quality care and education possible.

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. To learn more, visit the college’s website at:

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..

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Anson C. Smith, Public Relations Coordinator
Housatonic Community College
900 Lafayette Blvd.
Bridgeport, CT 06604
Tel: 203-332-5229, Fax: 203-332-5247