A symposium was held at Longwood University announcing new seamless pathways from the AAS in Early Childhood Development at Virginia Community College System (VCCS) institutions including NOVA to four-year degrees including licensure at some Virginia universities. This symposium was a culmination of several years of work toward attaining articulation agreements across the state for the AAS in Early Childhood.
As a result of the articulation work, the entire VCCS Early Childhood peer group changed its common AAS degree beginning in Fall 2018 to make it more transfer-friendly and reduce overall credits. These new agreements make it possible for students to attain PK-3 teacher licensure with a four-year degree, without losing any of the 62 credits in their AAS. This is particularly important because many students that earn the AAS in Early Childhood Development are currently working in the field, and must continue an AAS pathway in order to meet their job requirements. These pathways create opportunities for advancement; while still preserving the integrity of the AAS, and its primary purpose of workforce preparation.
The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation and state leaders participated in the symposium, including First lady Pamela Northam, members of the Governor’s office, and Chief School Readiness Officer Jenna Conway. There were five regional tables, each anchored by a university and local community college representatives, and community stakeholders. Schools in attendance included George Mason University, James Madison University, Longwood University, Old Dominion University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Northern Virginia Community College, Lord Fairfax Community College, Patrick Henry Community College, Tidewater Community College, John Tyler Community College and J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.
The Governor and First Lady have repeatedly indicated that early childhood is a key priority and issued a press release regarding the symposium and announcing the new agreements.
The Early Childhood Program at NOVA is proud to have participated in several other related state and national projects in the last several years. In addition, the Early Childhood program attained accreditation through the National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in March 2018, becoming the first community college in Virginia to have done so. They also received an award for Outstanding Service Young Children from the Northern Virginia Association for Education of Young Children in October 2018.