Child Development/Early Childhood Program Raises the Bar with NAEYC Accreditation
Article by: Melinda Eddleman
The process took a lot of hard work––a self-study, a three-day site visit by a peer review team and then the decision––with faculty, staff, students and community partners involved the entire time. Their efforts paid off.
Recently, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs awarded accreditation to Del Mar College’s (DMC) Child Development/Early Childhood Program for its Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree. The program is with the Human Sciences and Education Department.
The accreditation makes the College’s program the 12th in Texas to receive the NAEYC’s nod of approval by meeting their criteria.
Our commitment to raising the bar for our students enrolled in this program will have long-term benefits on children, families and the early childhood community. We’ve demonstrated evidence of excellence in meeting the NAEYC Professional Preparation Standards.
Flores-Munoz, who served as coordinator of the program's NAEYC accreditation, added, “This accreditation means that students enrolled in the program’s associate in applied science degree are held to a higher standard of rigor and effort in their studies to meet our student learning outcome standards, which are aligned with the NAEYC Core Standards.”
NAEYC is the sole accreditor of early childhood programs, and their commission provides accreditation at the associate, baccalaureate and masters degree levels across the United States. Their mission is to set a standard of excellence and recognize programs that meet these standards.
The College program’s standards include promoting child development and learning; building family and community relationships; observing, documenting and assessing to support young children and families; using developmentally effective approaches; building meaningful curriculum; becoming an early childhood professional; and engaging in early childhood field experiences in two age groups and two different settings.
The DMC Child Development/Early Childhood Program offers a certificate (Level II), certificate for administrator (Level II), the AAS degree and an AAS degree for education assistant. Currently, the College has 95 declared Child Development/Early Childhood majors.
For individuals entering this field, the average median pay is $11.17 per hour, and job opportunities appear favorable with projected growth of 7% in the next 5 years.
Of the Child Development/Early Childhood Program receiving accreditation, Shannon Ydoyaga, Ph.D., dean of the DMC Health Sciences and Professional Education Division, emailed to the campus community, “Accreditation of our programs allows us to provide high quality, gold standard learning environments for our students and community partners.”
She especially noted a special thank you to the program’s faculty––Flores-Munoz, associate professor Amy Mitz, Ph.D., and Human Sciences and Educational Department chair and professor Kristen Wilkerson––“for all of their hard work and success on seeking to continuously improve our program and accomplishing this milestone.”
Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.