Early Childhood Education

The ECE program is accredited by NAEYC

Our Vision

Our vision is to be the early childhood education leader in Southwestern Connecticut known to prepare teachers who are reflective, knowledgeable and responsive to the needs of all children in their care. These qualities all contribute to supporting a high quality inclusive teacher preparation program.

Our Mission

To prepare effective teachers who are knowledgeable in Developmentally Appropriate Practices (DAP),Connecticut State Standards and the cycle of intentional teaching, as well as the most current trends in the field of early childhood education. We strive to create qualified, reflective early childhood education practitioners ready to work in diverse inclusive settings to support the children, families and communities they serve. This is accomplished through the implementation of a relationship based; high quality hands-on curriculum that meets the academic and social emotional needs of the individual student. Our goal is to meet the academic, training and workforce needs of the early childhood community in the 10-town region.

The Vision and Mission changed slightly over the past seven years in that we recognize as a program the need to be aware of our student’s social emotional needs and individualizing to meet those needs. In addition as a program, we have recognized the importance of developing our students to be ready to work in diverse settings and to have the tools necessary to meet those challenges.

Conceptual Framework

The conceptual framework was originally developed through an extensive and collaborative process, which has continued for this accreditation process. The Norwalk Community College Early Childhood Advisory Board, the full time and adjunct faculty, the staff of the Child development Laboratory School, and the broader early childhood community through the Norwalk Early Childhood Council were all instrumental in contributing to the evaluation of our conceptual framework. Our core values and conceptual framework remains the same and is visible throughout our program on all the course syllabi, in our ECE Classroom and on the Website as well visible on the exterior bulletin board. Our faculty all speak about it in class and connect it to the work that our students do.

Core Values

The Norwalk Community College Early Childhood Program espouses the following core values:

Quality Instruction: evidenced by meeting NAEYC Higher Education standards.

Relationship Based Practices: evidenced by responsiveness to student needs, including access, diversity and intense advising.

Integrity: as evidenced by the high standard of professionalism expected of our students and faculty.

Community Engagement: evidenced by our responsiveness to the workforce as well as involvement in the early childhood organizations working on behalf of children and families within the community. Norwalk Community College provides a strong core curriculum that is integrated with a strong early childhood curriculum. It strives to produce individuals with knowledge, skill and disposition to be early childhood professionals who are effective at facilitating, promoting, and enhancing the learning and development of young children. The early childhood curricula is aligned with the Connecticut Early Learning Development Standards (CT. E.L.D.S.) for all children Birth to Age 5 as well as the professional standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Knowledge, skills, and dispositions associated with successful professional education practice are the bedrock around which our early education program is designed.

Accreditation

The Early Childhood Education Career A.S degree  and the Early Childhood Teacher Credential Studies A.A.(CSCU Transfer) degree at Norwalk Community College is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The current accreditation term runs from 7/2019 through 7/2026.

Our Faculty

Jennifer Wood-Heslin
-Professor
-ECE Program Coordinator

Rosalie Witt
-Full Time Faculty

Nicole La Bar
-Director of the Child Development Lab School

Student Outcomes