The associate in applied science in early childhood education program at Mesa Community College has been granted first-time accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children in Washington, D.C.
MCC is one of four schools in the country granted first-time accreditation during the association’s summer 2022 session and brings the number of institutions with accredited programs to 180 in 39 states and U.S. territories — or an estimated 20% of early childhood education associate degree programs, according to a release.
According to the NAEYC, Mesa Community College “demonstrates commitment on the part of the program and the institution to high quality and continuous improvement, benefiting students, the profession and young children.”
“NAEYC accreditation of early childhood higher education programs is a hallmark of quality assurance for the early childhood preparation profession,” NAEYC Senior Director of Higher Education Mary Harrill said in the release. “We congratulate all of the programs that have recently achieved accreditation. Their dedication, through the accreditation process, to program improvement, to the students they serve, and to the early learning settings in which their graduates will work is to be commended.”
Annapurna Ganesh, faculty early childhood education & chair education studies department, said “the program team has been working toward accreditation for two years, in collaboration with colleagues from sister colleges (Chandler-Gilbert Community College, GCC, Glendale Community College and Rio Salado College) on the accreditation self-study process.”
The self-study process involves a focused reflection to determine needed improvements to comply with NAEYC standards. Arizona Association for the Education of Young Children supported with funding and consultation services.
The program has been granted accreditation through December 2024 with the requirement of annual reports demonstrating continuous improvement. MCC’s early childhood education program has been tasked with continued evaluation and improvement of their NAEYC key assessments embedded in core courses. The key assessments are cumulative assignments that allow students to demonstrate a deeper understanding of core course concepts and competencies as well as NAEYC standards.
“Accreditation not only recognizes the quality of our AAS program, it verifies the program’s commitment to uphold the highest standards for early childhood and continuously evaluate the program’s effectiveness. MCC students can feel confident that they are earning a degree that represents a rigorous and robust program of study” Jamie Lopez, early childhood education faculty & program director, said in the release.
Additional information about education studies at MCC is available at mesacc.edu/programs/early-childhood-education.