Want to receive an associate degree in Early Childhood Education in a nationally accredited program? Don’t want to leave Maui? Then here’s some good news: the ECE associate degree program at University of Hawaii Maui College was recently accredited by The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). This year, 10 institutions across the country were granted accreditation for an associate degree; the total number of accredited programs nationwide is now 180. The program accreditation is the first for the state of Hawaii.
“We are proud to be the first in Hawaii to achieve NAEYC accreditation for the associate degree,” said Elaine Yamashita, Professor and Early Childhood Program Coordinator at UH Maui College. “The process of improvement that we continue to engage in and validate by accreditation assures our students, college, and community in our tri-island county that we value and support student learning and engagement, and keep current on best practices for young children and their families.”
The Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation system raises the quality of teacher education by establishing professional preparation standards. When the quality of a teacher’s education is raised, the the quality of early learning programs serving young children in turn is elevated, according to UHMC.
To qualify for accreditation, programs must demonstrate that they respond to the unique needs of their stakeholders; provide the intentional learning experiences, knowledge and skills for their students to be effective early childhood educators; and continuously assess and reflect on their students’ performance.
“The accreditation is a testament to the effort and dedication of our Early Childhood Education faculty and staff,” said UHMC Chancellor Lui K. Hokoana. “We also deeply appreciate the contribution of community members who serve on the program’s advisory committee. Together we are launching bright futures for our students, and the young children they will teach.”
Photo courtesy of UHMC