EARLY-CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAMS AND SERVICES IN PUBLIC TWO-YEAR COLLEGES.
Committee ChairHarcleroad, Fred F.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe confluence of several social phenomena in public two-year colleges provided the basis for this study. These phenomena included (1) rapid expansion of community and junior colleges; (2) increased participation of women in higher education and the labor force; and (3) growing interest in early-childhood education on the part of parents, educators, and government officials. A review of the literature revealed that there had been no previous, large-scale study to assess the extent to which public two-year colleges nationwide have (1) created postsecondary curricular offerings in early-childhood education and (2) established early-childhood and child day-care education services for students and others in the community. A questionnaire mailed to a ten-percent sample of public two-year colleges in the fifty states and to all American Indian tribally controlled colleges yielded a response rate of 76 percent. Major findings included the following: (1) Seventy percent of sample colleges offer early-childhood education courses, 38 percent offer certificates, 50 percent offer associate degrees, and 38 percent offer early-childhood/child day-care education services. (2) Among the American Indian colleges responding, all of which are relatively new and are still developing, 62 percent offer early-childhood education courses, 31 percent offer certificates, 31 percent offer associate degrees, and 31 percent offer early-childhood/child day-care education services. (3) In 94 percent of the sample and in all Indian colleges with early-childhood education certificate programs, credits earned for those certificates can be applied to associate degrees. In 88 percent of sample colleges and in all Indian colleges with early-childhood education degree programs, credits earned for those degrees can be transferred to baccalaureate programs in neighboring colleges. Other topics addressed in the findings, conclusions, and recommendations include (1) plans for future offerings, (2) factors influencing the development and design of offerings, (3) recruitment and matriculation, (4) employment services and career development opportunities, (5) staffing, and (6) financing of early-childhood education programs and services in public two-year colleges. Results of the study can be useful in policy formulation and in the development, implementation, and evaluation of programs and services in both higher education and early-childhood education.
Degree ProgramHigher Education