LAFAYETTE, Ind. –- Ivy Tech Community College is adding new accreditation status to its long standing Early Childhood Education Program. On August 15, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accredited the college’s associate degree program.
Program Chair and Assistant Professor for Early Childhood Education Amanda Barche Lindberg, and her team of faculty and adjunct staff, began the accreditation process during the summer of 2006 when they initiated a self-study. In great detail the Self-Study Report examined students and faculty, the program design and mission, and community advisory boards. The self-study took nearly a year to complete and was followed by a site visit in March 2008.
“It is a very dynamic process. Even when you initially receive accreditation you are approved for a specified period of time, it’s not a ‘done deal’, but that is what we want. We encourage reevaluation because we want our program to continue to change and to be responsive to the needs of employers and the community,” explained Amanda Barche Lindberg.
NAEYC was the first organization to set standards for early childhood higher education programs. The accreditation system establishes professional preparation standards to raise the quality of teacher education, and in turn raise the quality of early childhood education programs serving young children. Accreditation is granted on the basis of five standards: promoting child development and learning; building family and community relationships; observing, documenting, and assessing children’s development; early childhood methods and content; and professional standards of ethics. Coursework and student experiences in practicum study also weigh into the accreditation process.
“We have a core of faculty and adjunct staff that have made this possible. It really is a team, and they have been critical to this process,” said Barche Lindberg.
Ivy Tech- Lafayette’s Early Childhood Education Program is now one of only 51 associate degree programs in the country accredited by NAEYC.
Ivy Tech Community College delivers professional, technical, transfer and lifelong education that prepares Indiana residents to learn, live and work in a diverse and globally competitive environment. Ivy Tech offers affordable, open access education and training programs that enhance the development of Indiana’s citizens and communities and strengthens its economy. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. More information is available at www.laf.ivytech.edu.