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“Students in our area now can choose a quality, affordable bachelor’s degree in early childhood education,” said Dr. Joe May, DCCCD’s chancellor.
Contact: Ann Hatch
For immediate release — June 13, 2017
(DALLAS) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed SB 2118 into law on Mon., June 12, which now allows the Dallas County Community College District to offer a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education — its first four-year degree.
State Sen. Royce West and Rep. Helen Giddings filed bills to address the shortage of early childhood teachers in the North Texas area. Ultimately, language from their bills was added to SB 2118 by Sen. Kel Seliger. This legislation will provide a solution to the shortage of more than 4,000 early childhood education teachers in Dallas County.
“Students in our area now can choose a quality, affordable bachelor’s degree in early childhood education,” said Dr. Joe May, DCCCD’s chancellor. “It also supports the governor’s goal to provide quality pre-kindergarten for our youngest Texans, and it comes at no additional fiscal cost for the state.”
May added, “We are excited to offer this choice and also to solve a shortage that has limited the number of youngsters who were allowed access to pre-K programs in Dallas County because there weren’t enough teachers.”
Commit! Dallas supported legislation throughout the session for early childhood education. Todd Williams, the organization’s CEO, said, “The passage of SB 2118 is a critical next step in ensuring that our community has multiple affordable and accessible pathways to receiving critical training in early childhood education. Without a sufficient number of well-prepared educators, we just can’t provide the critical foundation that our youngest learners deserve. We’re thrilled to support all higher ed institutions that want to make early childhood teacher training a priority, given its profound impact on our kids’ future success."
The bill also allows several other community colleges in the state to offer a baccalaureate degree in applied science, applied technology or nursing.
DCCCD now will work with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to establish an education pathway for early childhood education in the district. DCCCD colleges already have child development programs in place and can offer the new bachelor’s degree once the specific curriculum and requirements are established and have been approved by the THECB.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools also will be involved in the accreditation process for the new degree, including faculty credentials, expanded library offerings and other criteria.
The entire process will take approximately three to four years.
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