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Kristen Cyr
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CCRI’s early childhood degree program receives accreditation

Aug. 24, 2015

The Community College of Rhode Island's Early Childhood Education/Child Development associate degree program is the first in the state to receive accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children's Commission on Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation.

The commission noted that CCRI's program "enjoys a reputation of excellence throughout the state of Rhode Island. Students benefit from high levels of quality in teaching, advising and support. Students also benefit from a strong, committed faculty who invest time in professional development, reflection and program development and from administration who supports faculty in the development and implementation of program outcomes."

CCRI is one of just 180 institutions in the country with programs that have achieved accreditation since the Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation system launched in 2006.

"This accreditation will assure that our students who go through this high-quality program will fully benefit from courses that will prepare them for jobs in their fields or to transfer to four-year institutions," said CCRI President Ray Di Pasquale.

The accreditation system establishes professional preparation standards, raising the quality of teacher education and, in turn, the quality of programs serving young children. Professional preparation programs must demonstrate that they respond to the unique needs of their stakeholders; provide intentional learning experiences for their students to obtain the knowledge and skills needed to be effective early childhood educators; and continuously assess and reflect on their students' performance.

Pursuing accreditation was an integral part of Rhode Island's strategic plan as outlined in the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant award, said CCRI Assistant Professor E. Courtney Read, who served as the college's accreditation coordinator.

Read said the spirit of collaboration was evident during the two-year endeavor, which included an intensive self-study. "The process of accreditation has resulted in a strengthened, relevant and reimagined CCRI program," she said.

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Last Updated: 8/25/16