The Early Childhood Learning Community (ECLC) was developed by the University of Cincinnati to offer an online early childhood associate degree to early childhood teachers and Head Start and Early Head Start staff who were unable to access a campus-based program. In 2005, the ECLC decided to build upon their success by using Head Start Innovative and Improvement grant funds (IIP). A new bilingual/Spanish distance learning degree program was created to specifically target Migrant/Head Start teachers whose first language is Spanish. Head Start program managers can learn from this case study how one university succeeded in broadening the academic opportunities for English/Spanish-speaking early childhood teachers as well as Head Start and Early Head Start staff.
The following is an expert from the Head Start Bulletin: Professional Development.
By Lisa Holstrom
The University of Cincinnati began offering an early childhood education associate degree program in its entirety online in 2000. Referred to as the Early Childhood Learning Community (ECLC), the online program targets early childhood teachers and Head Start and Early Head Start staff interested in completing an early childhood degree program but unable to access a campus-based program. ECLC also has added an online bachelor's degree and an online certificate for Infant and Toddler Specialists to meet the diverse needs of the teachers they serve.
In 2005, ECLC began using Head Start Innovative and Improvement grant funds (IIP) to build upon their success and experience with the English language online early childhood associate degree program. During the planning phase of this IIP grant, the ECLC developed a new bilingual/Spanish distance learning degree program that specifically targets Migrant/Head Start teachers whose first language is Spanish.
The new degree program has been implemented and, to date, 48 Spanish-speaking early childhood teachers from across the U.S. have taken online courses and are making progress towards their associate degree. All student support, including academic advising, program orientation, and technology orientation, is provided in Spanish.
For more information, visit http://www.eclc.uc.edu. This website is available in Spanish and English.
Lisa Holstrom was the Director of the Early Childhood Learning Community, College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services, at the University of Cincinnati. T: 513-556-3627; E: firstname.lastname@example.org