JCC now offering early childhood degree

The New York State Department of Education and State University of New York have approved the offering of an associate’s degree in early childhood at Jamestown Com-munity College’s James-town and Cattaraugus County campuses.

The 60-credit hour degree program is designed to meet the professional preparation and training needs of early care and education staff who work directly with young children.

“The program is intended to develop the skills needed to be a successful early childhood professional,” noted JCC education professor Mary Kay Szwejbka.

Students planning to work with young children in a variety of early care and education settings, in titles such as assistant teacher or teacher aide, will benefit from earning a field-related degree.

Key program components include child-development theories and designing developmentally appropriate learning environments for young children. The importance of fostering dynamic partnerships between early childhood programs, the families they serve, and the larger community is also emphasized.

Students enrolled in the degree program will have multiple field placement opportunities to apply what is learned in the classroom to actual program practice, Dr. Szwejbka stressed.

JCC’s certificate program in early childhood development ladders into the new early childhood degree. In addition, individuals who have already completed the Child Development Assoc-iate credential as part of their professional development will be awarded 10 credits toward either certificate or degree completion.

“This new degree was developed in response to the needs of early care and education employers in our service area,” said Dr. Szwejbka. “There is a continual need for qualified early care and education personnel and this degree provides access to appropriate and current education and training requirements in the field.”

For additional information, contact the JCC admissions office at 1-800.388-8557 or visit www.sunyjcc.edu.