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National University Introduces New Early Childhood Development Program

June 16, 2004

La Jolla, Calif. – National University is offering a new Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Development through its School of Education.  The curriculum was designed to prepare preschool teachers to fulfill new state and federal requirements for degree programs in early childhood education.

The No Child Left Behind Act, the National Head Start Act and the Universal Pre-School Act now require teachers at federally funded preschools to possess a bachelor’s degree by 2006.  California law requires that teachers in state-funded child care and development programs possess a Child Development Permit. Such legislation reflects research on the benefits of a movement that has advocated a national need for well-prepared early childhood teachers. 

National University’s new program is based on criteria established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the California Child Development Permit Matrix, and California Pre-Kindergarten Learning Development Guidelines. The design of the program has a foundation in the areas of  learning, cognition, language and social development. Professional courses  are intended to develop knowledge and competence in child development, curriculum, family and community, assessment, special needs, health and professionalism.

The new early childhood development degree program was developed by Sandra Spence Tracy, Ed.D, Dean of National University’s School of Education, in partnership with John Carta-Falsa, Ph.D., professor of Psychology and Education in the School of Education. Dr. Carta-Falsa will serve as lead faculty for the program. Both Drs. Tracy and Carta-Falsa have worked with the Head Start programs.

Dr. Tracy was a Head Start Director and a trainer and technical assistant with Head Start programs in Kentucky. Dr. Carta-Falsa was a consultant with Head Start programs in Los Angeles.

Dr. Tracy and Dr. Carta-Falsa have enjoyed leadership roles in developing grants for Mothers and Math, Fathers and Literacy, in partnership with Delta Sigma Theta Head Start / State Preschool and Bridging the Gap – Now – Fulfilling the Educational Needs of the Next Hispanic/Latino Generation, in partnership with the Santa Clara County office of Education – Head Start.

Graduates and credential completers from National University’s School of Education are recognized as some of the best educators in California, according to independent assessments from the National Blue Ribbon School competition, the California Distinguished School Program, various Teacher of the Year competitions and National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification. 

For more information regarding the Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Development program, please contact National University at 800-NAT-UNIV or email advisor@nu.edu.

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