Nash Community College Early Childhood Education students and faculty recently attended the North Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NCaeyc) annual “Lead Where You are Located” conference. “The minute I heard Sue Bredekamp would be speaking, I pictured us with students, on the front row, and that is exactly where we were,” NCC Early Childhood Professor Katherine Wilder shared. From the beginning, instructors stress to students that practices in early education are grounded in research-based knowledge and standards and these standards provide the basis for reflection and decision making in their daily work. Dr. Bredekamp’s Developmentally Appropriate Practice is the foundation resource for the Early Childhood Education program and the text is introduced right away. Students utilize parts of the book in every course in the NCC program. By the time they graduate, they know the text well and can rely on it to keep them grounded in their practices.
At Nash Community College, high priority is placed on connecting students to professional resources and instructors adhere to the same standards. “Students believe in their instructors as they enter the Nash Community College Early Childhood Education program and we want to start them on a professional path that supports them in becoming reflective practitioners in the field. The opportunity for students and faculty to listen to Dr. Bredekamp was an exciting step along that path,” Wilder said.
The NCC Early Childhood Education Club raised funds to pay membership fees for club officers. Students also volunteered their time at the conference, opening up many new experiences. The conference was the first membership experience for many students exposing them to a professional organization and conference attendance. NCC Early Childhood Education student and club president Rebecca Murphy said, “NCaeyc supports everything I love about early childhood education. Joining this professional organization has empowered me with knowledge and resources that support my entrance into the field. As an Early Childhood Education student, I know a variety of experiences are important for all learners – preschoolers and college students alike. Cultivating professional development is essential to being an effective advocate for children and their families. The most excited part about the conference was being around experts in the field and gleaning knowledge from them. I was very excited to extend my knowledge and learn about the variety of career possibilities available to me.” Rebecca Murphy won the drawing for the Hatch Computer, a computer proven to provide learning experiences for young children and monitor their progress at various levels. She donated it to the NCC Child Development Center for NCC Early Childhood Education students to learn about its use in the classroom and benefit along with the children they teach.
For more information about Nash Community College’s Early Childhood Education program, call Katherine Wilder at (252) 451-8280.