FREDERICTON, Feb. 12, 2014 /CNW/ - Early childhood educators in Atlantic Canada may soon be logging on to earn a degree from the University of New Brunswick (UNB). The online Early Childhood Education degree program builds on existing diplomas and certificates offered by community colleges in the four Atlantic provinces. Students completing community college training will have the option to continue, in an on-line delivery model, to receive a Bachelor degree.
Ann Sherman, Dean of Education at the University of New Brunswick, said the university was convinced by the positive response the idea of a degree in early education received.
"Respondents agreed that children in Atlantic Canada deserve well qualified early learning educators who have the opportunity to blend teaching experience with new learning. An online program, that continues the work of partnering colleges, will increase the quality of professional growth opportunities," Dr. Sherman said.
The feasibility study conducted by UNB's Faculty of Education and co-sponsored by the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation and the Jimmy Pratt Foundation examined changing early childhood policies and programs in the Atlantic provinces and surveyed practitioners, officials in post-secondary institutions and policy makers.
Foundation chair, Margaret McCain noted that ECE training has lagged behind the research in early human development. "New evidence confirms just how critical the early years are to life-long learning, health and behavior. ECEs, who ultimately determine the quality of the environments where young children learn and grow, need to be the best resourced of all our educators. "
Kathy Pratt Legrow, chair of the Jimmy Pratt Foundation says it is equally exciting to see philanthropic foundations partner with universities to open up possibilities for higher education to early childhood educators. "This will ensure that early childhood educators stay in their home communities while continuing their training with peers and instructors from all four of the Atlantic provinces."
UNB has long been recognized as having a strong early child education program, which can now expand across the region, becoming accessible to a more diverse group of students.
The feasibility study titled, Four-Year Online Bachelor of Early Childhood Education Degree for the Atlantic Region is available at:
SOURCE: The Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation
For further information:
Dr. David Philpott, Jimmy Pratt Foundation. 709-739-7443 or 709-690-4097.
Jane Bertrand, Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation: 416-356-1949.