Preparation & Continuous Professional Learning

Raising the Bar of Quality: Insights from the CUNY Early Childhood Working Group

https://www.fcd-us.org/raising-bar-quality-preparation-early-childhood-educators-bridging-gap-know/

The City University of New York (CUNY) Early Childhood Working Group was charged by Chancellor James B. Milliken  to generate  a set of recommendations to ensure that CUNY takes a lead in the future preparation of the early care and education workforce. Deans and faculty, representing each of CUNY’s 2-year, 4-year, and graduate institutions that confer certificates and/or degrees in early childhood education, regularly convened to look beyond “what is” to “what might be” in re-envisioning teacher preparation. The City University of New York (CUNY) Early Childhood Working Group was charged by Chancellor James B. Milliken  to generate  a set of recommendations to ensure that CUNY takes a lead in the future preparation of the early care and education workforce. Deans and faculty, representing each of CUNY’s 2-year, 4-year, and graduate institutions that confer certificates and/or degrees in early childhood education, regularly convened to look beyond “what is” to “what might be” in re-envisioning teacher preparation.

This report from the CUNY New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, “Raising the Bar of Quality in the Preparation of Early Childhood Educators: Bridging the Gap between What We Know and What We Do,” summarizes their thoughts on three components of teacher education: recruitment, teacher preparation and induction. The group made recommendations for strategies that can help elevate the quality in the preparation of early childhood educators. Appendix A of the report offers insights into how to create a culture of collaboration to support such re-envisioning work.

The CUNY recommendations, which have implications for other teacher preparation programs as well, are summarized below:

Faculty Needs 

  • Recruit and retain outstanding faculty for CUNY Early Childhood programs at two-year and four-year colleges.

Research

  • Allocate resources and infrastructure to support interdisciplinary and cross-campus collaboration in scholarship and research in early childhood at CUNY.

Academic Programs

  • Create an early childhood strand in the Urban Education Doctoral program at the CUNY Graduate Center.
  • Invite individual campuses to each develop a master’s degree program in Leadership and Policy for individuals making key decisions and/or directing/coordinating programs serving children from birth through 3.

Clinical Experiences

  • Adjust Early Childhood faculty members’ workloads to include high-quality clinical supervision.
  • Strengthen relationships with interdisciplinary partners on campus, school-based clinical experience partners, and partners in comprehensive, community-based services to ensure that students have rich and varied supervised clinical experiences across a range of settings.

Campus Child Care Centers

  • Support the development of stronger partnerships between CUNY Early Childhood teacher education programs and the 15 CUNY campus child care centers, while allocating resources to improve the sites and services provided.

Student Support

  • Establish a residency program for clinical experience/student teaching/internship for Early Childhood teacher candidates.
  • Provide scholarships and emergency funding to Early Childhood teacher candidates to ensure successful program completion.
  • Provide academic supports to students, as needed, across all content areas, as well as test preparation for the New York state licensure examinations.
  • Provide transfer, transition, and advisement support to make the transition from two-year to four-year campuses more successful.