Early Childhood Education Receives NAEYC Accreditation

The Early Childhood Education (ECE) Department at Stanly Community College (SCC) has received accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Founded in 1926, the National Association for the Education of Young Children is the largest and most influential advocate for high-quality early care and education in the United States. “We are extremely excited and proud to have the NAEYC seal of approval,” noted Christie Honeycutt, Associate Dean of the School of Health Sciences and Public Service. “NAEYC accreditation is the highest recognition an early childhood program can achieve. SCC’s early childhood team has worked very hard to meet these standards.”

Cyndie Osborne, Early Childhood Education Coordinator, explained that the accreditation process is rather lengthy. “We spent several years in a self-study. Working through our core classes and making sure all assignments were intentional and tied directly to the course descriptions, student learning outcomes and NAEYC standards. We worked with our advisory board and community partners to develop a vision for our students. Based on that vision, we were required to develop key assessments in core courses that would prove that our students could meet all of the NAEYC standards. We then had to collect data showing student performance over multiple semesters and how we worked to improve throughout the process.”

According to NAEYC, accreditation shows a commitment to quality and benefits students, faculty, higher education, administrators, and policymakers: “Accreditation recognizes excellence in early childhood professional preparation at a critical time when public demand for early childhood professionals with specialized degrees and credentials is increasing.”

Ms. Osborne explained, “After several years of work, we submitted our self-study. Six months following that submission we hosted a peer review team for three days. They visited local child care providers, toured the campus and met with various groups on campus, including current students, graduates, faculty, administrators, and community partners. They observed classes in person and online. These visits are very intense and require you to prove that you are doing all that you say you are doing. After the peer review visit we waited six months for NAEYC’s decision.”

NAEYC accreditation recognizes excellence in early childhood professional preparation and provides rich experiences for students to learn and apply their understanding of the national professional standards. It provides students with a solid foundation and makes them more marketable to employers.

For more information about the Early Childhood Education programs at Stanly Community College, please contact Christie Honeycutt at (704) 991-0295 or choneycutt7476@stanly.edu, or Cyndie Osborne, at (704) 991-0384 or cosborne7426@stanly.edu. For more information regarding the accreditation process, please visit http://www.naeyc.org.