Higher Education Grants
Higher Education Grants are awarded to University of Montana - Western, Flathead Valley Community College and Dawson Community College to provide Early Childhood courses in regions where this type of training is currently unavailable, or in underserved communities around the state.
Small class sizes to enhance opportunities for faculty and student interacting and student-to-student interaction
A lab with each core early childhood course to assist with application of concepts learned in the higher education classroom
Development of a community of learners through the use of a cohort model for the early childhood core coursework (a model where the instructor and students complete 24 credits of early childhood course work together).
High quality coursework meeting rigorous national standards. UM-Western is NCATE accredited. This is a voluntary accreditation for teacher education programs.
At UM-Western early childhood degrees are designed to be seamless. Students can begin by taking credits that meet the training requirement for the CDA (a national credential). These credits form the core for the Associated in Applied Science in Early Childhood Education. This degree articulates seamlessly into the new Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education.
Early childhood courses are designed to meet the needs of working practitioners. Most classes meet in the evenings or are offered on-line. Courses are offered onsite in many locations through out the State of Montana. An EC Rural model is also available. This model combines self-study and weekend intensives.
Flathead Community College
Flathead Community College continues to be highly invested in the success of the Early Childhood Education Program on both the Kalispell and Libby campuses. Coursework has been designed to meet the Revised Guidelines for Profession Development as set forth by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. In addition, the early childhood courses are introducing students to the Montana Early Learning Guidelines, emphasizing the practical implementation of learning standards in all content areas for young children. The program content continues to utilize the Montana Early Care and Education Knowledge Base in course planning and evaluation.
Dawson Community College (DCC)
Dawson Community College continues to provide higher education coursework for early childhood education in regions where this type of training is currently unavailable or in communities that are underserved. These areas include the unserved communities of Glasgow, Malta, Plentywood and Lewistown. They will continue to serve Miles City, Roundup, Baker and Sidney. Dawson Community College Early Childhood Education coursework can lead to an: Associate of Applied Science Degree-AAS (60 credits), Certification (32 credits) or assess to CDA Credential coursework. The Early Childhood Education Program at DCC prepares early childhood professionals in accordance with the Guidelines for Preparation of Early Childhood Professionals for Associate Degree-Granting Institutes and NAEYC Competency Standards. Each student completes the Montana Early Care and Education Knowledge Base Booklet. This is a self-evaluation of skills and competencies learned throughout the Early Childhood Education program this is to be used as an outcomes assessment tool.