UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

UW-River Falls Offering Degree for Child Care Professionals

May 21, 2013--Responding to the needs of child care workers, administrators and Head Start program employees across the St. Croix Valley, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls has modified its popular early childhood degree completion program to provide the bachelor's degree without the initial teaching certification. 

Since 2008, UWRF has enrolled students with an associate degree in early childhood education to complete their bachelor's degree and Wisconsin teaching certification for birth through age eight. Now, students who have no need for a teaching license can complete their bachelor's degree as well. 

"The new option is especially useful for those who are seeking employment in Head Start programs or as directors or staff at child care centers and preschools where a teaching license is not required," said Amber Tubre, outreach program manager for the Early Childhood Degree Completion program.  

Like the original program, students transfer their college credits earned through an associate degree and complete the remaining credits through UWRF courses, several of which are offered online, at times convenient for working adults or a combination of both formats. 

"Prospective students receive individualized, personal assistance to maximize the number of credits transferred from courses, design a plan to meet their needs, and navigate and use campus resources without coming to campus," Tubre said. Formal or informal agreements to ease the transfer process are in place with several area colleges with early childhood education programs including Inver Hills Community College, Dakota County Technical College, Hennepin Technical College, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Minnesota State-Southeast Technical College, Saint Paul College, Pine Technical College, and the Wisconsin Technical College System. 

Tuition for the courses is the same rate for all students regardless of where they live. Students may also be eligible for federal or state financial aid provided in the form of loans, grants or scholarships. In addition, a textbook rental program reduces some of the incidental costs of going to school.  

"Our university has an excellent reputation of educating teachers and we are excited to offer this quality of training to other individuals who work with children," said Gay Ward, faculty director and professor in the College of Education and Professional Development. "The integrated format of this program supports constructivism and developmentally appropriate practice.  Students learn by actively exploring the connections between subject areas and then learn to use this method in working with children, often in ways that connect them to nature." 

Classes will begin in the fall 2013 for students who are admitted by July 1, Tubre said. To find out more about the admissions process, including an assessment of credits to transfer, contact Angela Whitaker at 715-425-3557 or email angela.whitaker@uwrf.edu. 

UW-River Falls provides lifelong learners with academic, professional development and enrichment programs that are practical, flexible, convenient and affordable. A complete list of courses, course descriptions and online registration information is available at http://www.uwrf.edu/ContinuingEducation or can be obtained by calling at 715-425-3256, 1-800-228-5607 or by email to outreach@uwrf.edu.

-30-