WARREN, Pa – Initiatives from the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning have made a shift toward affordable, stackable, portable credentialing for early childhood professionals.
Northern Pennsylvania Regional College (NPRC) has been working to support these initiatives and is now eligible for three funding sources to support eligible local students in achieving credentials in Early Childhood Education (ECE). Sources include funding from the Early Care Education Professional Development Organization at the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education through the Northwest Institute of Research, Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) Region 1; Teacher Education And Compensation Helps (T.E.A.C.H) Early Childhood® PENNSYLVANIA Scholarship Program; and Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program.
Each Early Childhood Education tuition assistance program provides varying levels of financial support in select courses and programming at NPRC. ELRC funding supports community-based Child Development Associate (CDA) training through NPRC’s Workforce Development Division. T.E.A.C.H scholarships provide funding support for eligible early childhood students seeking an Associate of Applied Science Degree. These scholarships pay up to 95% of tuition, fees, and books expenses for eligible courses. Rising STARS Tuition Assistance Program supports students seeking a CDA credential or a School-aged Professional Credential (SAPC) for academic credit with select ECE courses being eligible for this funding.
With the backing from these tuition support programs, incumbent working students who meet eligibility criteria are now able to pursue CDA training and an Associate of Applied Science degree at little to no cost.
Early Childhood Education instructor, Leigh Anne Kraemer-Naser shares, “The job market in our region has a high need for credentialed teachers and groups supervisors in child care facilities. With eligibility for T.E.A.C.H., we are serving our students, their employers, and our region with pathways for affordable, portable, and stackable professional credentialing in the Early Childhood Education field. I’m thrilled that NPRC can now provide this opportunity.”
An NPRC student who completed the CDA program this summer through the ELRC community-based program is now the first student to be confirmed eligible for the T.E.A.C.H. scholarship. She will be starting courses this fall in pursuit of an Associate Degree. This agreement increases our students’ ability to earn stackable, portable credentialing.