Child Development/Early Childhood Program’s Benita Flores-Muñoz appointed to NAEYC Commission
Article by Melinda Eddleman
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) sets the bar for early child development programs taught at colleges and universities across the nation. Del Mar College (DMC) received word from the Washington, D.C.-based association that Benita Flores-Muñoz, associate professor of child development with the College’s Child Development/Early Childhood Program, has been appointed to the NAEYC’s Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs.
The commission awards accreditation to early childhood degree programs at the associate, baccalaureate and master’s degree levels, and programs must demonstrate excellence and meet NAEYC’s Professional Preparation Standards. Currently, there are 197 institutions in 40 states with NAEYC-accredited programs, including Del Mar College.
I’m honored and humbled to receive this appointment as a commissioner for NAEYC, and I will do my best to represent Del Mar College, our Child Development/Early Childhood Program and the field of early childhood education in my new role with the association.
Flores-Muñoz has served as a peer reviewer on NAEYC accreditation site visits across the United States for the past five years. She noted, “My previous role involved assessing other college early childhood programs and serving as ‘eyes and ears’ for the commission as part of the accreditation process.”
As a commissioner, Flores-Muñoz will now meet with other early childhood professionals to make the final accreditation decisions for higher education programs seeking accreditation. Her three-year term in this role begins Jan. 1, 2021.
Del Mar College’s Child Development/Early Childhood Program offers an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree and a Certificate option in child development. Nationally-accredited by the NAEYC, the College’s AAS degree meets student learning outcomes that align with national standards and “best practices” in the field of early care and education.
DMC is one of 12 community colleges in Texas with NAEYC accreditation.
NAEYC’s notification letter that was sent to Flores-Muñoz and signed by Nancy Barbour, commission nominating committee chair, and Mary Harrill, senior director of Higher Education Accreditation and Program Support, stated the following:
The quality of any accreditation system is dependent upon the quality of the accreditation decisions made by the Commission. Your work in higher education, in an accredited program, and as a peer reviewer demonstrates your understanding of quality issues related to early childhood education, teacher preparation, and accreditation. You bring valuable expertise and perspectives to the Commission.
The work of the Commission is critical to the effectiveness of the accreditation system. We are confident that the strengths you bring will support our efforts to ensure that this system is credible and meaningful to the programs that use it and to the stakeholders that rely upon it.
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.