Central College has been approved by the State of Iowa to offer the early childhood/special education unified endorsement in its education department. Central becomes one of nine teacher preparation institutions in Iowa to offer this endorsement.
Central sought approval for this endorsement to fill a need for additional workforce in early childhood education. Additionally, there is an increased demand for teachers with this credentialing at a state and national level, and current and prospective students expressed a desire for Central to offer the endorsement.
“We are super excited about it,” says Jen Diers, associate professor and chair of the education department. “It will be wonderful to prepare students to work with young children and, in particular, to also be qualified to support young children with special needs.”
Central, Pella Community Schools and Des Moines Area Community College are developing a memorandum of agreement to help create varying pathways to early childhood employment. Students would be able to begin their college course work in high school and follow diverse paths to various early childhood employment credentials.
Central will offer early childhood endorsement courses beginning this fall semester and could recommend students in the Class of 2024 for licensure with this endorsement. New courses have been approved and Central has hired a tenure-line professor to start in August to offer this endorsement.