A Head Start University?

The National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning has a mission beginning in 2011 that is to last for 5 years.  With early education in mind, serving children from 3-5 years old, the newly established center will focus on sharing and discovering information about teaching and learning "best practices."

A main focus of the center is to provide support to current teachers in Head Start.  They envision a mentor program to assist teachers in the field that has quality control more stringent than that of the current system.

The announcement from Health and Human Services describes the Center as an entity that will ensure:

1) staff access to a professional development system
2) provide individualized support and development
3) establishment of a "Head Start University" that will provide comprehensive, research-based college course that can be offered for credit on-line or in person"

Not only will the grant help with developing curriculum that is made specifically with Head Start in mind but it also helps the individual navigate their way through the classes that currently exist in the world of higher education.    Susan Sandall stated that the Center will have an advisor that helps teachers figure out the classes the teacher's actually need or should take and make the approach to their education a bit more streamlined.

This grant is meant to improve the Head Start programs and systems by improving the access the teachers have to an education that is focused on teaching in a Head Start program.  The experts creating the Center, the curriculum for the "Head Start University" and establishing a mentor program that has quality controls in place have early learning  backgrounds in early care and education, early childhood education, and early intervention.

Could there be college courses about teaching Head Start?  Will you be able to call this Center and get an individual to help you plan your college career based on a desire to be a Head Start teacher?

Some interesting goals and thoughts by this Center and grant.  Looking forward to seeing what can be accomplished with it!

What do you think?  Please comment below!

Sources

Health and Human Services. (2010, November 10). Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center: Health and Human Services. Retrieved November 10, 2010, from U.S Department of Health and Human Services: Administration for Children and Families: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/Head%20Start%20Program/roadmap/HHS_Announces_National_Centers.pdf

Kelley, P. (2010, November 10). My News + Community: uwnews.org. Retrieved November 10, 2010, from uwnews.org: http://uwnews.org/article.asp?articleID=61279

Nyhan, P. (2010, November 10). University of Washington Lands a Big One: $40 Million Grant to Improve Head Start: Birth to Thrive Online. Retrieved November 10, 2010, from Birth to Thrive Online: http://birthtothrive.thrivebyfivewa.org/post/2010/11/10/University-of-Washington-Lands-the-Big-One-2440-Million-Grant-to-Improve-Head-Start.aspx

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Samantha Marshall, M.A.

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