TCC’s Child Development program, based at TCC Northeast, recently received Higher Education Accreditation for the first time, an honor held by approximately 20 percent of associate-level early childhood programs nationally.
The A.A.S in Child Development at Tarrant County College is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The current accreditation term runs from July 2022 through December 2024.
“NAEYC Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs is a hallmark of quality assurance for the early childhood preparation profession,” said Mary Harrill, senior director of higher education at NAEYC. “We congratulate all of the programs that have recently achieved accreditation. Their dedication, through the accreditation process, to program improvement, to the students they serve and to the early learning settings in which their graduates will work is to be commended.”
According to the NAEYC website, the accreditation system’s mission is to recognize programs that have demonstrated meeting this standard, thereby benefiting the early childhood profession, young children, families and communities.
Lisa Self, TCC’s program coordinator of Child Development, championed this effort. “Accreditation improves every aspect of our program,” she said. “We are accountable to NAEYC standards (the highest in early childhood), which means the education our students are getting is of the highest quality.”
NAEYC is the sole accreditor of early childhood degree programs and has accredited associate degree programs since 2006. Bachelor’s and master’s degree programs began accreditation in 2016. All three degree programs are subject to the same national professional standards. Consistency in standards leads to reassurance at all degree levels.
Programs seeking accreditation are evaluated based on six standards:
Standard A: Program Identity, Candidates, Organization and Resources
Standard B: Faculty Characteristics and Quality, Professional Responsibilities and Professional Development
Standard C: Program Design and Evaluation
Standard D: Developing Candidate Proficiency in the Professional Standards and Competencies
Standard E: Ensuring Candidate Proficiency in the Professional Standards and Competencies
Standard F: Field Experience Quality
Following the original accreditation, programs are expected to submit annual reports for five years, complete a renewal self-study report in year six to prepare for a site visit and expect an accreditation decision within the seven-year period after the first accreditation.
“Receiving NAEYC accreditation communicates to our prized current and future TCC students, our many valued educational and workforce partners and our treasured community members, that we truly offer an exceptional learning environment through our AAS Child Development Program,” said TCC Northeast President Kenya Ayers-Palmore.
She continued, “I am thankful to the faculty and staff within the department for their tireless work in building such an excellent program and associated career pathway. The department chairs, faculty and staff successfully navigated myriad expectations and requirements of program accreditation on their first attempt with tremendous professionalism. This is truly a moment for celebration as the program’s reputation for excellence has been validated by this rare distinction! This is a proud moment for Tarrant County College.”
Learn more about TCC’s Child Development program: