HARRISBURG – Eleven Pennsylvania colleges and universities have signed program-to-program articulation agreements, allowing students interested in becoming certified teachers of young children to effortlessly transfer their academic credits from a community college to a university.
Students no longer have to re-take classes and repeat coursework in order to meet program requirements for a bachelor’s degree. Under an articulation agreement, four-year universities agree to accept 60 credit hours from a two-year associate’s degree program. This equates to fifty percent of the total required credits toward a bachelor’s degree at a state institution for higher learning.
“High-quality early learning programs create an important foundation for a lifetime of learning, and professional staff that have access to high quality post-secondary education and training is vital to that effort,” said acting Education Secretary Thomas L. Gluck. “These articulation agreements will help to create a smoother process to support early childhood professionals as they earn the degrees and certifications necessary for careers in early childhood education.”
“The Early Childhood Program-to-Program Articulation Initiative breaks down one of the major barriers that early childhood students face when striving to enhance their educational credentials, which many choose to do in order to remain competitive and advance in their profession,” said Harriet Dichter, Secretary of Public Welfare.
Students can transfer a minimum of 24, with a maximum of 30, early childhood education credits from a two-year to a four-year higher learning institution. Any remaining credit transfers would focus on core competencies, such as mathematics and language, so that students may achieve junior status upon entering a four-year program.
The education level requirements for Pennsylvania teachers in early education are increasing for lead teachers, in both the Keystone STARS and PA Pre-K Counts programs, as part of building a quality early education continuum. Keystone STAR 4 programs are now required to have at least 50 percent of lead teachers with bachelor’s degrees in Early Childhood Education or Child Development. By 2011, all lead teachers in PA Pre-K Counts classrooms must have a Bachelor’s degree and certification in Early Childhood Education. Currently, only school district classrooms require lead teachers to have a Bachelor’s degree with teaching certification.
The Early Childhood Program-to-Program Articulation Initiative is a project of the Office of Child Development and Early Learning in collaboration with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Participating schools received a $25,000 one-year grant to implement a plan.
More information on the articulation agreement can be found at www.pakeys.org.
Editor’s Note: Below is a list of universities that have signed articulation agreements with partner schools:
• Bloomsburg University of PA: Lehigh Carbon Community College, Luzerne County Community College, Northampton Community College
• Carlow University: Penn Highlands Community College, East Stroudsburg University of PA, Northampton County Community College
• Lock Haven University of PA: Northampton Community College, Pennsylvania College of Technology
• Shippensburg University of PA: Harrisburg Area Community College, Northampton Community College