Early Childhood Education Advisory Meeting Minutes

Dec. 9, 2021, 11:30 a.m.

Meeting place

Robert H. Stephens Room, LLCC

Attendees

Members in attendance

Victor Broderick, Kayla Miller, Laurie Rhodes, Mary Beth Posner, Erica Romines, Sue Jackson, Tracie Sampson, Sheri Reynolds

Members absent

N/A

Guests

N/A

Agenda

  1. Introductions
  2. Review of early childhood mission
  3. Approval of minutes
  4. Program updates
  5. New business
  6. Next steps/next meeting
  7. Adjournment

Minutes

1. Introductions

Provided an opportunity for all participants to introduce themselves.

2. Review of early childhood mission

Went over mission statement that was created a few years ago as a reminder of our mission as the ECE program. 

3. Approval of minutes

4. Program updates

Graduates
  • AAS: one
  • AA: 12
  • Level 2: five
  • Level 3: one
  • 18 total who applied for graduation, cross over for one.
Classes for spring 2021

Mentioned courses that were canceled; have been adding online classes to the ECE program. If one section was canceled, there was another option for them to take online. All online sections made.

Classes for fall 2021

All online sections have made. Some courses were changed to directed studies.

AAS program

Practicum 1 and 2: We have two practicums for students, and more students are needing accommodations. Pose a question of how we should we move forward, should we continue to have two practicums? Sharing screen to show information about the practicum. Practicum is 10 hours per week for total of 150 hours in a classroom. Supervisor feedback. Second practicum is 20 hours, 300 hours for the semester total. Asked how many hours students must have for credential, I am not sure. Can these be paid hours? First practicum, no. Second practicum, yes. Have had push toward 60 credits, we are close, practicum is a barrier because they do not have time or are working, and already have that experience. Other programs just have one practicum. Looking up Gateways requirement for field experience hours. Definitely want to make sure that credentials are right, ECE Level 4 is 100 hours. Some felt this is a good idea because it is a barrier to working. Programs must be silver/gold level to make sure there is quality. Supervisor must be at least an associate degree. If they have only been at one place, how can we build a well-rounded workforce? How do we build ourselves better? I would like students to have a differing experience.

What do you think about splitting up that 20 hours, doing 10 hours with another program, and then going back to their center and applying that knowledge or skills? Concern is if taking away that practicum, some of the centers are not quality. If they stay and don't have experience elsewhere, they are not bettering their situation. Especially with the push of quality, making sure we have experiences that build those skills.

What are the opportunities within their own environment? Do they get to know the other types of programs? Feels they should be seeing these other opportunities, are we showing them all the other programs, like Pre-K for all, etc. Students having experiences in other spaces, that is what ECE 121 is all about. Offering differing experiences like observations in other classes.

Practicum courses, some split them up, in first half in infant and second half in a preschool program. Trying to figure out for our students, a lot of students are working now, and even if they wanted to get the AAS then it is a barrier with the first practicum. Makes sense, it is going to continue to be a barrier.

Some students can wave that first practicum with three years of experience, which is still a barrier because of our workforce, job hopping. Finding their spot. Is there a way to make it more of a less hinderance?

Intrigued by the splitting up of the practicum and having one day with a high-quality program and then go back to work in their center. Having a specific focus each week and then coming back with reflection to share. Seems to be an interest in offering practicum in this way. Spending time at the LLCC CDC and each week there will be a theme. Students go out and do on their own and planning activity. Observations, this would give them more specific themes for weekly work.

More and more centers are offering 10-hour workdays and having one day off during the week. Have a practicum in this manner would be very doable. Maybe supervisors from the center would like more
involvement. Maybe as a mentor, provide email support. Possibly have mentor go and observe in the classroom once per semester. 

5. New business

ECE Consortium (ECACE)

Talked mostly about the PLA project and expectations of PLA through the Consortium.

Student survey

Sent out survey to students to see where they were and what they like and don’t like. Had 45 respondents. About 50% have been here longer than two years.

AAS 40% have deemed themselves AAS. Career focused.

Asked what ECE course they have taken and do you currently work in childcare: 70% are working in the field. How many hours a week: 40 hours or more.

PLA workgroup

Funded to develop simulations PLA, this is the PLA workgroup. Working toward level 2 competency, hesitant to give credit for entire course based on simulations. Videos were done at the childcare center to help show processes of work with children.

What does it look like for our program? PLA is done through consortium and the hubs will have navigators that will help ECE incumbent workforce to find education within that system or not. PLA is used to determine if they have met level 2 competency, which is 18 credit hours in our program. Determine what they are competent in and at this school it is available. More of like a meal plan, expectation, change how courses are set up. We are not against giving PLA, but I am not sure that 18 credit hours are appropriate based on this. Soft roll out for the PLA work is January 2022. Each institution has a subject matter expert that will assess the Mursion PLA. We may be required to use PLA but how we do it will be up to us. Heartland uses and creates the competencies and split the courses up to meet competencies. Heartland has six people. This is a lot of work for one person to complete and we do not have the resources to do this.

While this is rolling out, it would be a good benefit for those that are working in the workforce, however not any person off the street could do this. Is it going to be dictated on how we use the PLA information. If it is assessment-based on the Mursion technology, it might be difficult to ensure quality. Motivation for this is to give credit.

The bill states incumbent workforce, those who are working, and it is not building the workforce, because you are already working in the field.

ISU online option

Shared the ISU information on all online bachelor's and transfer of the AAS into their program. 

6. Next steps/next meeting

7. Adjournment

Meeting adjourned at 12:55 p.m.