NEW: Alabama’s first apprenticeship for early childhood educators

Alabama Office Of Apprenticeship
These leaders have established Alabama’s first apprenticeship for early childhood educators. Photo via Clifton for Alabama Office of Apprenticeship

Alabama is a state of many firsts—now, you can add childhood education apprenticeship to the list. Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education (ADECE) officials established an apprenticeship for early childhood educators with leaders of Troy University, Wallace Community College and the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship. Here are the details.

This is what the apprenticeship is all about

Children, Ymca Central Al
This program will help future educators effectively shape the minds of our youth. Photo via YMCA Central Alabama

Barbara Cooper, secretary of the ADECE, joined leaders from Troy University, Wallace Community College and the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship to seal the deal on the Early Childhood Educators (EDE) Apprenticeship on Wednesday, October 27.

“This apprenticeship is a step in the right direction towards building the early education workforce pathway. Research tells us 90% of a child’s brain development happens through the first five years. Our state’s youngest learners need well-prepared educators in high quality early learning environments to maximize this precious time.”

Dr. Barbara Cooper, Secretary, Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education

This apprenticeship fully aligns with the goals of Governor Kay Ivey’s Strong Start, Strong Finish initiative and the Success Plus plan. After the initial documents were signed, two students signed their paperwork—making them the first two apprentices.

The ECE Apprenticeship is designed to:

  • Increase the quality of care in the early childhood setting
  • Create opportunities to upskill incumbent workers
  • Articulate coursework seamlessly between the community college and university

“What we are launching here is the blueprint for a whole new path.”

Alabama Office Of Apprenticeshp
Photo via Clifton for Alabama Office of Apprenticeship

Chancellor Jack Hawkins Hr. of Troy University spoke about his involvement with the program at the Coleman Center for Early Learning on the Troy Dothan Campus, where the signing was held.

“The Coleman Center serves as a model center for preparing future teachers while researching and disseminating best practices in early childhood education. Of course, it does so in a caring and loving environment for the children enrolled. We are pleased Troy University and our partners are forging the future of early childhood education in our state and nation.”

Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor, Troy University

Officials say that it provides an opportunity to increase the number of highly qualified early childhood educators in the workforce through on-the-job learning and complete related technical instruction. Credentials an apprentice can receive include:

  • Child Development Associate certification
  • Associate’s degree
  • Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education

President Dr. Linda Young of Wallace Community College-Dothan says the college is pleased to be a part of this program.

“Like our friends at Troy University, Wallace strives to be an innovator in education and training, and this is one such example of our commitment to trendsetting. We look forward to watching our students complete their apprenticeships, earn their degrees and become part of the next generation of outstanding educators.”

Dr. Linda Young, President, Wallace Community College-Dothan

The accolades are not the only benefit of this program

Apprentices can participate for FREE then will earn progressive wages while they are learning. Participants must apply for FAFSA and scholarships as well as work with Business Service Representative at the Dothan Career Center to seek additional funding for the employers.

If there is a remaining balance, it will be covered by ADECE and The Coleman Center. You can learn more about the program here.

Are you thinking about applying for the EDE Apprenticeship? Tag us on socials @TheBamaBuzz and let us know.

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Tira Davis
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