Chatt Tech Graduate Aims Higher with Early Childhood Degree

Chattahoochee Technical College and Kennesaw State University will sign the agreement allowing classes taken at Chatt Tech to count toward a 4-year Early Childhood Education degree, providing students a way to get their foundation in the field.

Teaching young children is something that graduate Hayley Erck wants to do. However, Erck has not stopped her own education, as she is one of the first graduates of the new Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education-Birth through Five Degree Program at Kennesaw State University.

Chattahoochee Technical College and Kennesaw State University have completed the process of articulating credit and will be signing the agreement soon allowing CTC graduates to transfer to the Bagwell College of Education’s newest program. The agreement allows classes taken at Chattahoochee Technical College to count toward a 4-year degree, providing students a way to get their foundation in the field.

“This agreement with Kennesaw State University takes some of the fear and guesswork out of the equation for our graduates,” said Chattahoochee Technical College Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Trina Boteler. “It provides a seamless transition for our graduates to continue their studies and find success in the early childhood classroom.”

Erck is currently working on her graduate degree in education at Kennesaw State University where she is a graduate assistant. She hopes to teach either Pre-K or Kindergarten soon, with plans to eventually become a trainer or instructor of future teachers.

According to a 2009 USG report on new teacher preparation, fewer than 2 percent of teachers in Georgia are professionally certified to teach children from birth to 5 years. In 2004, Georgia replaced and expanded the Office of School Readiness with a comprehensive department called Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, which oversees all childcare and education programs for children birth to five years.

Chattahoochee Technical College offers certificate, diploma and associate degree level options in Early Childhood Care and Education. Courses are available at the college’s Marietta, North Metro, Paulding and Woodstock campuses. Graduates find jobs in child care centers, Georgia Pre-K programs, Head Start programs, after-school programs and preschools.

Both the 2-year at CTC and the 4-year program at KSU complement each other, according to Erck. She experienced time ample time in the classroom and out in the field with Chattahoochee Technical College and Kennesaw State University, as well as a focus on child development and teaching English Language Learners. Her foundational work at Chattahoochee Technical College was a perfect fit for continuing her education.

"I feel as though CTC prepared me for classes at KSU, as a lot of my classes transfer over and I received a good foundation,” said Erck. “The information that I learned went right along with the classes that I took at KSU. The instructors and professors at both schools have been very knowledgeable and easily accessible to talk about course work or other issues. I really have enjoyed being a student at both schools, and I would recommend other students to follow in my path.”

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