BGSU changes early ed approach PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Tuesday, 11 December 2012 11:22
Bowling Green State University has developed a new approach to early childhood education that will likely set the standard for Ohio.
Trustees Friday approved an Inclusive Early Childhood program that will provide BGSU graduates with two teaching licenses - pre-kindergarten to third grade early childhood and pre-kindergarten to third grade intervention specialist plus an Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities certificate. The combination of these licenses and certificate will allow graduates to teach young children with and without disabilities in integrated settings.
Existing programs would provide graduates with one license or the other but not both.
Brad Colwell, dean of the College of Education and Human Development, said the program will be the first in the state, and will prepare graduates to teach all students as well as meet market demands for dual-licensed early childhood/early childhood intervention specialists. BGSU expects to begin accepting students in the program in the fall 2013 semester.
Dr. Mary Murray, associate dean for student academic affairs, said the program took three years "and started from scratch."
"This is the type of innovative program I've come to expect from BGSU," said William Primrose, trustee chairperson. "It will both meet the needs of our graduates by giving them an advantage in the marketplace, and also provide teachers who are trained to teach all children in Ohio."
Colwell said there were 35 committees, 70 faculty members and 45 community members, ranging from superintendents, teachers and parents of students with and without disabilities, involved. The effort was financed by a $200,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Education.
Murray said other universities are already asking for the plan. BGSU is the only university in Ohio with the program and one of the few in the region.
Colwell said faculty members shared news of the program with attendees at a preview day for high school juniors and seniors a week before trustees gave their approval. "Their reaction was exceptionally positive," Colwell said. "They told us no other university they had visited had talked about such a program."
The program will be phased in over the next several years. Students starting in the fall will be in the new program, while those already enrolled will continue through the existing program.
Colwell said there are more than 4,000 students enrolled in the College of Education and Human Development.
Trustees also set their next meeting for Feb. 22 at BGSU Firelands in Huron.

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