AS in Early Childhood Education Wins National Accreditation

We’re thrilled to announce that San José City College’s Early Childhood Education Program has received its Accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Let’s take this moment to celebrate the importance of this exciting new status. And explore everything our Early Childhood Education Programs (ECE) have to offer. In particular, the ECE Associate in Science for Transfer, which is a great option for students who want to transfer to a 4-year university.

Here’s what you need to know about SJCC’s incredible opportunities for educators who hope to teach our youngest learners.

What is Early Childhood Education (ECE)?

Preschoolteacher.org defines early childhood education as “any type of educational program that serves children in their preschool years, before they are old enough to enter kindergarten.” This distinction from later education is important. 

According to UNESCO (who extends ECE to eight years old), it’s a time of remarkable growth, when brain development is at its peak. A stage when “children are highly influenced by the environment and the people that surround them.” 

UNESCO also argues that it’s “more than preparation for primary school.” Because it focuses on “the holistic development of a child’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical needs in order to build a solid and broad foundation for lifelong learning and wellbeing.”

What is the NAEYC Accreditation?

According to the NAEYC, the “mission of the accreditation system is to set a standard of excellence for early childhood degree programs and to recognize programs that have demonstrated they meet this standard, thereby benefiting the early childhood profession, young children, families, and communities.”

There are extensive benefits to gaining this accreditation, which include fostering an ongoing commitment to innovative learning, more partnerships within the community, and even an increase in funding opportunities. The NAEYC accreditation requires a long and rigorous application process. So it’s no surprise that only the best early childhood education programs receive it.

“The ECE program is exceptional! The teachers really care about their students and our success.”

Current SJCC student, Danielle Castillo
A brief summary of the research that supports just how crucial early childhood education is. This video is featured on SJCC’s ECE website.

NAEYC Accreditation at San José City College

The Early Childhood Education Department at San José City College is made up of a passionate group of highly qualified early childhood education professionals who spared no effort to achieve this goal.

“We already had high standards for our program in place but with this accreditation process we created a better program by constantly reflecting on and evaluating our practices,” said Madhavi Sudarsana, ECE faculty member and Program Coordinator who has been an early childhood professional for more than twenty years. 

“Teamwork allowed us to get this accreditation,” Sudarsana said. “All our Department members, Dr. Monette Reyes, Elizabeth Sharpe, Dr. Barbara Malaspina, Sharon Antonelli, Ranjana Bhatnagar, and Julie Kennedy have contributed […] College administrators, counselors, data researchers and several faculty members from other departments also supported us during this process.”

SJCC’s incredible ECE Department worked diligently for four years to reach their objective. And San José City College is now the fifth college in California to receive the NAEYC Accreditation of Higher Education Programs. No doubt, it brings a new level of prestige to the program.

Early Childhood Education at San José City College

Now, you’re probably eager to find out just what makes SJCC’s ECE Program so excellent!

“The goal of the Early Childhood Education Program is to provide relevant, high-quality instruction, services, professional development and pathways leading to careers that provide a strong educational foundation to young children and support services to families.[…] we prepare students to work with children in diverse environments, by reflecting on their own practices as the educator and by introducing them to various facets of a career in Early Childhood Education,” said Sudarsana.

So how do we achieve all of these goals? Let’s dive into the details.

“After two years of studying at SJCC, I can say that I am well equipped to face the world of teaching and make sure I make a difference in the children I teach.”

SJCC Graduate, Jeceline Baltao
Representatives from Kidango, a preschool provider, visiting the SJCC Early Childhood Education Career Fair, Fall 2019.
Representatives from Kidango, a preschool provider, visiting the SJCC Early Childhood Education Career Fair, Fall 2019.

Extensive & Affordable Programs

One of the most unique aspects of SJCC’s ECE Programs is… all the options it offers! Check out our list of degrees and certificates.

  • Associate in Science in Early Childhood Education
  • Associate in Science for Transfer in Early Childhood Education
  • Associate Teacher Certificate of Achievement
  • Teacher Certificate of Achievement
  • Inclusion Specialist Certificate of Achievement
  • Master Teacher Certificate of Achievement

Quite the list. But what does this mean? You can start your journey to transfer to a 4-year university at SJCC. You can choose from a variety of certificates so you can start teaching sooner. Or you can do both at the same time!

Our AS-T Degree in Early Childhood Education is an especially wise choice. Because when you complete your general and major requirements with a 2.0 or higher, you’re guaranteed a spot at a select number of California State Universities (CSUs).

Danielle Castillo is a current ECE student who plans to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree. But at 19 years old, Castillo already qualifies for the Master Teacher Permit for preschool. “The program finds a way to make it accessible to everyone,” Castillo said.

Established Pathways to Careers in Early Education

Extensive certificate options coupled with strong ties to the community mean our motivated graduates will be more likely to land their dream job.

“By offering these certificates we have created a guided pathway for our students to get into the field and then move forward,” Sudarsana said. 

When possible, the Early Childhood Education Department even organizes ECE focused Career Fairs and service events. Coupled with our world-class, innovative curriculum, this sort of community engagement drastically enhances professional opportunities.

“After two years of studying at SJCC, I can say that I am well equipped to face the world of teaching and make sure I make a difference in the children I teach,” Baltao said. The day after graduation she started working at a preschool.

Inspiring Students to Change the World

Government support for early childhood education is often cited as one of the best investments a country can make “to nurture caring, capable and responsible future citizens.”  

The Early Childhood Education Programs always keep this in mind when preparing the next generation of early ed teachers and professionals. Looking for a reason to teach? This is it.

“I always wanted to be a teacher, I just never knew where to start,” Castillo said. Every student we spoke to highlighted how their perspectives shifted when they started taking ECE courses at SJCC. They learned the importance of play-based curriculum and the significance of their role as an educator. Early childhood teachers shape communities in a very real way.

“The program finds a way to make it accessible to everyone.”

Danielle Castillo
A Coat Donation Drive organized by SJCC's Early Childhood Education Department in 2018.
A Coat Donation Drive organized by SJCC’s Early Childhood Education Department in 2018.

Creating Community

Inclusion is central to SJCC’s core values. So students from all backgrounds feel emboldened to thrive on our campus.

Jeceline Baltao, an international student from the Philippines, was almost ready to call it quits until she found her community at SJCC. “Right from the orientation, I felt the welcoming feeling I have longed for since I came to this country. The international office was amazing and very helpful,” Baltao said. “Most of my classmates knew each other from another class they took, but they welcomed me with such warm greetings and made me feel like I belonged right away.”  

“The community at SJCC is thoughtful, accepting, and small. SJCC really listens to the students about finances, class schedules and more! SJCC is a diverse and progressive school and I felt very welcomed as a Hispanic LGBTQ+ woman,” Castillo said. “It was an amazing program.”

Study Early Childhood Education at SJCC Today!

When you choose any of SJCC’s Early Childhood Education Programs you can be sure about your choice. Because you’re choosing to learn from some of the most passionate and qualified professionals in the field today, surrounded by a supportive community, so that you can make a difference in the lives of young children tomorrow.

So if you’re interested in one of the best early childhood education programs in the bay area, check out our program details today!

Or explore some of our other two year degrees for transfer like Sociology, Spanish, or Asian American Studies.