By NPC Staff Writer Michael Nilsson
WHITERIVER — Thirteen Alchesay High School seniors were awarded Childhood Development Associate (CDA) national credentials and 17 seniors completed their Certificates of Proficiency (CP) in Early Childhood Education for participating in the dual enrollment program with Northland Pioneer College (NPC).
Through the dual enrollment program, students are required to complete four different areas of study to receive their national credentials. The National Council for Professional Recognition, based in Washington, D.C., awards the credentials after students demonstrate abilities to educate and constructively work with children in a group setting.
“It’s a rigorous program,” says Laurel Endfield, coordinator and director of the Childhood Development program at Alchesay High School. “It is very impressive that these high school students are committing to an intensive program like the CDA while still in high school. It shows a lot of professionalism and determination from the students.”
Through the partnership with NPC, Endfield has seen many students receive their CDA and CP upon graduating from high school and many find work soon after. One example given by Endfield is that two Alchesay graduates this year were able to find childhood development related work within one week of high school graduation. This year many of the students who received their CDA’s and CP’s will be continuing their education and strive to obtain an associate degree.
Among other notable achievements, Endfield is proud to say that for the first time in Arizona, two males have graduated from high school with their CDA. The increasing number of graduates has also been remarkable as the program that began with five students is now on track to have over 23 graduates receiving their CDA’s next year. When Alchesay High School first adopted the program with NPC two years ago, it was one of the first high schools in Arizona that allowed students to obtain their high school diploma and also receive their Childhood Development Associate certification at the same time.
As participation increases, Endfield sees nothing but positive outcomes in the future. “This program is raising the quality and professionalism of the whole community. It’s even helping the whole field of childhood development. These students are employable not just in our communities but nationwide. We can see significant benefits for the children they teach.”
For more information on NPC’s Early Childhood dual enrollment program with Alchesay High School or other local high schools in Navajo and Apache counties, please contact Ms. Claude Endfield, ECD program coordinator at NPC, at (800) 266-7845, ext. 7335.
Northland Pioneer College serves the residents of Navajo and Apache counties through four regional campuses and five centers with a variety of educational options for academic, career and technical and personal enrichment. NPC supports each student’s educational goals through affordable tuition, small class sizes and caring, professional instructors. For more information about NPC programs and services call (800) 266-7845.
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