Early childhood educators in northeast Indiana will now be able to add additional degrees to their resume thanks to a new program through Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW).
Educators who have an associate’s degree will have 2 options to chose from under the new teaching degree program, including birth to age 5 or preschool to grade 3.
Both programs provide a strong knowledge base in child development and learning as well as how those knowledge bases impact instructional and interactional strategies in classrooms, Terri Swim, associate professor of early childhood education, noted.
The teaching degree program is the first-of-its kind in the region that allows early educators who have an associate’s degree to move into a bachelor or master degree program.
This new program is a degree completion program that articulates with associate degrees, such as those offered at Ivy Tech Community College, Barry Kanpol, dean of the College of Education and Public Policy, stated.
The teaching degree program will also help Fort Wayne area early childhood teachers qualify for Head Start jobs, since the school program recently mandated that 50% of its lead teachers have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent by September 2013.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for kindergarten and elementary school teachers are expected to increase by 17% through 2020.