Handbook For Credit for Prior Learning/Work Experience. Early Childhood Education Associate Degree

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1 Handbook For Credit for Prior Learning/Work Experience Early Childhood Education Associate Degree Approved April 12, 2012

2 Table of Contents Page number Explanation of the process 3-4 Am I a Good Candidate for Credit for Prior Learning/Work Experience? 5 Course Credit Options 6-7 Early Childhood Education Curriculum: Courses and Competencies 8-12 Early Childhood Education Planning Sheet 13 Examples of Educational Artifacts

3 Explanation of the Process Learners with extensive credit, credentials, training and/or experience in the area of early childhood education should refer to this handbook to determine if credit for prior learning/work experience can be earned that would apply toward Western s Early Childhood Education associate degree program. This comprehensive document will walk you through the process of preparing for credit for prior learning/work experience. In many cases this will be a portfolio which you will submit for review by the Western Early Childhood Education (WECE) team. Please read through the entire document before beginning work. Step One: To determine if you are likely to be a good candidate for receiving credit for prior learning/work experience, complete the Am I a Good Candidate for Credit for Prior Learning/Work Experience? form in this handbook (p. 5). The outcome of this assessment will help you decide whether to proceed with the remaining steps. Step Two: Western Technical College requires that you apply to the college in order to be eligible for the credit for prior learning/work experience review. If you have not already done so, please submit an application, fee and all related materials to Western Technical College. These materials can be found at Step Three: Western Technical College uses The Registry levels and stars as one part in the determination of credit for prior learning/work experience in the Early Childhood Education Associate Degree. Most individuals working in the field, especially those with extensive experience are already members of The Registry and know their level. Interested learners, who are not members, need to apply now for evaluation by The Registry. Their process may take 6-8 weeks. Include The Registry certificate and the Core Knowledge Summary page with your other materials. You may contact The Registry at: The Registry Voice: (608) Sieferth Road Fax: (608) Madison, WI Web: Step Four: Carefully review the Early Childhood Education curriculum included in this handbook (pgs. 8-12). As you review each course description and competency, begin to identify if, in your opinion, you have competence in certain courses. You may be able to test out of some courses while others require a portfolio to document your knowledge and skills. Use the chart found later in this document to see the option for each course (pgs. 6-7). Step Five Challenge Exam: Please complete the Challenge and Credit for Prior Work Experience form found at Each course that you are seeking credit for will require a separate exam. A fee of $100 per course for three or more credits is charged for each examination. You must pass the exam with a C or better to be awarded credit. No refund is given if you do not pass. You must pay your fee at the Cashier s Office before submitting your form to Tina Allen (see contact information below) in the Welcome Center. Step Six - Portfolio: When you gather materials for inclusion into the portfolio make a copy of everything. Copies can be sent to us; you should keep your originals. Artifacts, or exemplary examples of work, are critical in evaluating an individual's past work. Use the suggestions provided in Examples of Educational Artifacts to compile a comprehensive portfolio which represents your best work (pgs ). Some courses will also require a philosophy statement to be included in your portfolio. You must demonstrate understanding of the competencies at a minimum of a C level to be awarded credit. No refund is given if you do not pass. A separate portfolio is required for each course that you seek credit. 3

4 The cost for a portfolio evaluation is $100 per course for three or more credits. You must pay your fee at the Cashier s Office before submitting your materials to Tina Allen (see contact information below) in the Welcome Center. Submit your portfolio along with the Challenge and Credit for Prior Work Experience form found at Step Seven: Within two weeks, you will receive notification on the WECE team's decision regarding the granting of credit for prior learning/work experience based on the information you submitted during this process. If you are awarded credit, it will appear on your transcript as CR. Other colleges and universities may not accept this CR as a substitute for actually enrolling and completing the course. Check with the institution you intend to transfer to for their distinct policy. At least 25 percent of the program courses must be completed at Western to earn your degree from Western. If credit is not granted, a thorough explanation will be provided by the WECE team. There is an appeals process which can be found at Thank you for participating in this process. It is our hope that the steps in this handbook will guide you in the thoughtful gathering of information so you can be successful in reaching your professional development goals. For more information please contact: Tracy Craker, Instructor Early Childhood Education Program 400 Seventh Street North P O Box C-0908 La Crosse WI Tina Allen, Graduation Assistant 400 Seventh Street North P O Box C-0908 La Crosse WI

5 Am I a Good Candidate for Credit for Prior Learning/Work Experience? Answer the following questions to determine if you are a good candidate to receive credit for prior learning/work experience in the Early Childhood Education associate degree program at Western Technical College: Question Yes No I have three or more years of experience working full-time in a licensed/certified family or group child care setting. (Yes is required for credit consideration) Certain courses may require work in special areas. I have a current The Registry level of 3 or above. (Yes is required for credit consideration) I have worked with children of various ages (infants, toddlers, pre-school, school age). I have worked with children with special needs and/or diverse backgrounds. I regularly interact, both formally and informally, with early childhood education professionals in my area. I keep abreast of changes in the field of early childhood education by reading recent publications, attending seminars, conferences, and workshops. I have photos, documents, and other physical evidence of the work I have done which will help others understand that I have competence in these areas. I understand that the process of showcasing all that I know about early care and education is a process that will require considerable time and effort. If most of your responses are in the "yes" column, you are likely to be a good candidate to receive credit for prior learning/work experience. If you were unable to answer "yes" to most of the questions, please contact a Western Technical College enrollment services advisor at to further discuss your options and help you create a plan that will meet your educational goals. 5

6 In order to earn credit for prior learning/work experience for program courses, refer to the following table to identify the options available for each course. Course Foundations of ECE Infant and Toddler Development Course Credit Options Program Courses Challenge Exam Portfolio Evaluation Curriculum Planning Health, Safety, and Nutrition Practicum Art, Music, and Language Arts Child Development Children with Differing Abilities * Guiding Child Behavior Practicum Math, Science, Social Studies Family and Community Relations Practicum Administering an ECE Program Practicum 4 *As part of your portfolio you must also include a philosophy statement. * * Notes Not available at this time. Must have workplace documented lead teacher work experience with Infants and Toddlers OR will receive credit if you provide documentation of completion of course one of the Infant and Toddler Credential, with a grade of C or higher. Must have workplace documented lead teacher work experience. Must provide copies of SIDS, SBS, and Child Abuse Mandated Reporter certificates. Must provide copy of Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards training completion. Must have workplace documented lead teacher work experience. Must have workplace documented lead teacher experience including children with differing abilities OR will receive credit if you provide documentation of completion of course one of the Inclusion Credential, with a grade of C or higher. Must have workplace documented lead teacher experience. Must have workplace documented lead teacher experience. Must have workplace documented lead teacher work experience. Will receive credit if you provide documentation of completion of course three of the Infant and Toddler Credential with a grade of C or higher OR will receive credit if you provide documentation of completion of the Family Service Credential. Must have workplace documented director/administrator experience OR will receive credit if you provide documentation of completion of one course of the Administration Credential, with a grade of C or higher. Not available at this time. 6

7 You are required to pass all of these general studies courses with a C or better if you wish to earn the Early Childhood Education Associate Degree at Western. Course Credit Options - General Studies Courses Course Written Communication Speech Math with Business Applications Intro to Ethics Race, Ethnic, and Diversity Intro to Sociology Introduction to Psychology Elective Challenge Exam Portfolio Evaluation Other Not available at this time. Not available at this time. Not available at this time. Not available at this time. 7

8 As you review each course description and competency below, begin to identify if, in your opinion, you have competence in certain courses. Early Childhood Education Associate Degree Curriculum Courses and Competencies ECE: Foundations of Early Childhood Education This 3-credit course introduces you to the early childhood profession. Note: This course is not available for credit for prior learning. 2. Investigate the history of early childhood education. 3. Summarize types of early childhood education settings. 4. Identify the components of a quality early childhood education program. 5. Summarize responsibilities of early childhood education professionals. 6. Explore early childhood curriculum models. 7. Analyze the principles of the WI Model Early Learning Standards ECE: Infant & Toddler Development In this 3-credit course you will study infant and toddler development as it applies to an early childhood education setting. Note: Learners completing the first course of the Infant and Toddler Credential will receive credit for this course. 2. Analyze development of infants and toddlers (conception to three years). 3. Correlate prenatal conditions with development. 4. Summarize child development theories. 5. Analyze the role of heredity and the environment. 6. Examine culturally and developmentally appropriate environments for infants and toddlers. 7. Examine the role of brain development in early learning (conception through age three). 8. Examine caregiving routines as curriculum ECE: Curriculum Planning This 3-credit course examines the components of curriculum planning in early childhood education. 2. Examine the critical role of play. 3. Establish a developmentally appropriate environment. 4. Integrate Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) into curriculum. 5. Develop activity plans that promote child development and learning. 6. Develop curriculum plans that promote child development and learning across all content areas. 7. Analyze early childhood curriculum models. 8

9 ECE: Health, Safety, and Nutrition This 3-credit course examines the topics of health, safety, and nutrition within the context of the early childhood educational setting. Note: To receive Credit for this course, learner must document SIDS, SBS, and Child Abuse Mandated Reporter certifications. 2. Follow governmental regulations and professional standards as they apply to health, safety, and nutrition. 3. Provide a safe early childhood program. 4. Provide a healthy early childhood program. 5. Plan nutritionally sound menus. 6. Adhere to child abuse and neglect mandates. 7. Apply Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) risk reduction strategies. 8. Apply strategies to prevent the occurrence of Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS). 9. Incorporate health, safety, and nutrition concepts into the children's curriculum ECE: Practicum 1 In this 3-credit practicum course you will learn about and apply the course competencies in an actual child care setting. Note: For 20 hours, learners work in a child care center with pre-school age children (ages 3-5). Learners become familiar with daily schedules and procedures, as well as how to interact with children during play and routine times, individual and group times. To receive credit for this course, learners must also have the 15 hour Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards training. 1. Document children's behavior. 2. Explore the standards for quality early childhood education. 3. Explore strategies that support diversity and anti-bias perspectives. 4. Implement activities developed by the co-op teacher/instructor/student. 5. Demonstrate professional behaviors. 6. Practice caregiving routines as curriculum. 7. Practice positive interpersonal skills with children and adults. 8. Analyze the guiding principles and the five developmental domains related to the WI Early Learning Standards 9. Integrate the WI Early Learning Standards into the program's teaching cycle (ongoing assessment, planning and curriculum goals, and implementation) 10. Evaluate learning and assessment activities using the early learning standards for each individual child ECE: Art, Music, & Language Arts This 3-credit course will focus on beginning level curriculum development in the specific content areas of art, music, and language arts. 2. Examine the critical role of play. 3. Establish a developmentally appropriate environment for art, music, and language arts. 4. Develop activity plans that promote child development and learning. 5. Analyze caregiving routines as curriculum. 6. Create developmentally appropriate language, literature, and literacy activities. 7. Create developmentally appropriate art activities. 8. Create developmentally appropriate music and movement activities. 9

10 ECE: Child Development The 3-credit course examines child development within the context of the early childhood education setting. 1. Integrate strategies that support diversity and anti-bias perspectives 2. Analyze social, cultural, and economic influences on child development. 3. Summarize child development theories. 4. Analyze development of children age three through age eight. 5. Summarize the methods and designs of child development research. 6. Analyze the role of heredity and the environment. 7. Examine the role of brain development in early learning (ages 3-8) ECE: Children with Differing Abilities This 3-credit course focuses on the child with differing abilities in an early childhood education setting. Note: Learners with the first course in the Inclusion Credential will receive credit for this course. 2. Provide inclusive programs for young children. 3. Apply legal and ethical requirements including, but not limited to, ADA and IDEA. 4. Work collaboratively through the consultation process to embed intervention in natural based settings 5. Differentiate between typical and exceptional development. 6. Analyze the differing abilities of children with physical, cognitive, health/medical, communication and/or behavioral/emotional disorders. 7. Work collaboratively with community and professional resources. 8. Utilize an individual educational plan (IEP/IFSP) for children with developmental differences. 9. Adapt curriculum to meet the needs of children with developmental differences. 10. Cultivate partnerships with families who have children with developmental differences ECE: Guiding Children's Behavior This 3-credit course examines positive strategies to guide children's behavior in the early childhood education setting. 2. Summarize early childhood guidance principles. 3. Analyze factors that affect the behavior of children. 4. Practice positive guidance strategies. 5. Develop guidance strategies to meet individual needs. 6. Create a guidance philosophy. 10

11 ECE: Practicum 2 In this 3-credit practicum course you will learn about and apply the course competencies in an actual child care setting. Note: This practicum is 50 hours. Learners will be placed in a child care center working with either toddlers or preschoolers. 1. Identify children's growth and development. 2. Maintain the standards for quality early childhood education. 3. Practice strategies that support diversity and anti-bias perspectives. 4. Implement student teacher-developed activity plans. 5. Identify the elements of a developmentally appropriate environment. 6. Implement positive guidance strategies. 7. Demonstrate professional behaviors. 8. Utilize caregiving routines as curriculum. 9. Utilize positive interpersonal skills with children. 10. Utilize positive interpersonal skills with adults ECE: Math, Science, & Social Studies This 3-credit course will focus on beginning level curriculum development in the specific content areas of math, science and social studies. 2. Examine the critical role of play.. 3. Establish a developmentally appropriate environment for math, science, and social studies. 4. Develop activity plans that promote child development and learning. 5. Create developmentally appropriate science activities. 6. Create developmentally appropriate math activities. 7. Create developmentally appropriate social studies activities ECE: Family and Community Relationships In this 3-credit course you will examine the role of relationships with family and community in early childhood education. Note: Learners with the Family Service Credential or the third course in the Infant and Toddler credential will receive credit for this course. 1. Implement strategies that support diversity and anti-bias perspectives when working with families and community. 2. Analyze contemporary family patterns, trends, and relationships. 3. Utilize effective communication strategies. 4. Establish ongoing relationships with families. 5. Advocate for children and families. 6. Work collaboratively with community resources. 11

12 ECE: Practicum 3 In this 3-credit practicum course you will learn about and apply the course competencies in an actual child care setting. Note: This practicum is 204 hours. For this practicum, learners will be placed in a school setting or Head Start to work as a classroom assistant. 1. Assess children's growth and development. 2. Implement the standards for quality early childhood education. 3. Integrate strategies that support diversity and anti-bias perspectives. 4. Build developmentally appropriate curriculum. 5. Provide a developmentally appropriate environment. 6. Facilitate positive guidance strategies. 7. Evaluate one's own professional behaviors and practices. 8. Lead caregiving routines as curriculum. 9. Utilize positive interpersonal skills with children. 10. Utilize positive interpersonal skills with adults ECE: Administering an Early Childhood Education Program This 3-credit course focuses on the administration of an early childhood education program. Note: Learners who have completed a course in the Administration Credential will receive credit for this course. 2. Analyze the components of an ECE facility. 3. Design an ECE program. 4. Analyze the aspects of personnel supervision. 5. Outline financial components of an ECE program. 6. Apply laws and regulations related to an ECE facility. 7. Advocate for the early childhood profession ECE: Practicum 4 In this 3-credit practicum course you will learn about and apply the course competencies in an actual child care setting. Note: This practicum is 198 hours. For this practicum, learners take greater responsibility as a teacher planning and carrying out a two-week activity plan. This course is not available as credit for prior learning. 1. Analyze children s growth and development based on assessment. 2. Integrate strategies that support diversity and anti-based perspectives. 3. Promote professional behaviors and practices. 4. Implement meaningful curriculum. 5. Create respectful, reciprocal relationships. 6. Evaluate early childhood education programs for quality. 7. Develop a career plan for your transition from student to professional. 12

13 Early Childhood Education Program Planning Sheet Use this Program Plan as a guide to help you organize your courses. It is not to be submitted; it is to help you stay on task with your activities. Check off any courses you have already taken. Use the blank spaces to make notes about your plans for requesting credit for prior learning/work experience. SEMESTER COURSE #/TITLE CR Plan for Satisfying this course requirement: I Child Development 3 I Health Safety & Nutrition 3 I Foundations of ECE 3 I Practicum I 3 I Written Communication 3 I Elective 1 Completion details II Curriculum Planning 3 II Art Music & Lang Arts 3 II Children W Diff Abilities 3 II Practicum 2 3 II Race Ethnic, & Diversity Studies 3 II Speech 3 III Guiding Child Behavior 3 III Math Science & Social Studies 3 III Infant & Toddler Development 3 III Practicum 3 3 III Introduction to Psychology 3 III Intro to Ethics: Theory & Application 3 IV Admin an ECE Program 3 IV Family & Community Relations 3 IV Practicum 4 3 IV Math with Business Applications 3 IV Intro to Sociology 3 IV Elective 2 Must Earn a C or better in all courses Approved beginning Fall

14 Examples of Educational Artifacts for Your Portfolio Artifacts are concrete objects that represent you and the work that you do. They demonstrate to us that you have achieved competence in certain areas. Below is a list of the types of artifacts that need to be showcased as you apply for credit for prior learning/work experience at Western. Thoughtful selection and display of your artifacts will help to maximize the credit we can give. Too many and/or haphazard inclusion of artifacts will dilute their effectiveness. Too few artifacts will fail to give us a good picture of what you can do. You may have more artifacts of your work available to you than you realize! Each course you are seeking credit for should have its own unique portfolio documenting your knowledge and skills for each competency. Each portfolio should begin with a cover letter (three typed pages or less) including your name, contact information, course number and title, background information regarding your education and experience, and an essay describing why you believe you have achieved competence in the course. Your portfolio should also include a copy of your Registry certificate and the Core Knowledge Summary page. Some courses also require a philosophy statement. See the course credit options chart for these courses. The philosophy should be a professionally typed one-to-two page document which summarizes your philosophy regarding the course topic. IMPORTANT! For each artifact included, state the competency represented. For example in the Family and Community Relationships course, if you include a letter you wrote to parents about plans for an upcoming event in your classroom, identify Competency 3: Utilize effective communication strategies. In addition, include the rationale why you chose to include each artifact. This is just a beginning list. You may have other items which provided better evidence of specific competencies. You do not need to provide all of these if they do not specifically demonstrate the course competencies. For example, you would not submit an activity plan to demonstrate that you understand program administration. Artifact Photos Newsletters Letters to Parents Letters from Parents Video Suggestions for showcasing this type of artifact Include photos of classrooms where you have taught. Photos should represent primarily your work, classrooms where you have arranged the space, art projects you have planned, small and large group activities led by you, etc. Label each picture so we are aware of the element you are sharing. Example: A process art activity I designed for 3-year-olds using natural materials. Include center newsletters that have showcased activities of your classroom, or include articles you have written. Generally, include excerpts, not the whole newsletter. Only include the entire newsletter if you were responsible for the design and content. Information letters are often sent home to parents. These are appropriate to include if they are written by you, and if they showcase areas such as curriculum, field trips, health, safety and nutrition issues. Letters from parents can reveal a rich and caring relationship between the family and caregiver. If possible, include one or two examples of an unsolicited note or letter you have received from a parent or guardian. Describe to us what motivated the note. DVDs offer a good way for us to see you in action with children, parents and/or colleagues. Footage should be no longer than 15 minutes in length. Include a written explanation of what we are to look for in the video, for example, This video shows me leading group time with a group of twelve three-year-olds. 14

15 Certificates/Awards Include any relevant certificates of training or awards Performance Include a copy of a recent (within past three years) performance evaluation. Evaluations Membership Tell us what professional organizations you are currently a member of. Include Certificates copies of membership certificates or cards. Monthly calendars Include a monthly calendar you have created and used. Daily schedules Include a daily schedule. Block Plans Include lesson plans. Detailed Activity Include detailed activity plans that would include specifics of activities presented Plans throughout an entire week included specific objectives, procedure, and reflection Song and Finger play lists Transitions Learning materials Licensing Compliance Report Program, Parent, or Employee Handbooks Other on how the activity went. Include the collection of finger plays and songs you use when working with children. List your favorite songs and finger plays, as well as a list of resources you enjoy using (CDs, books, etc.) Include tricks you use to ease transition times. Demonstrate how you incorporate caregiving routines into the curriculum. Take photos of toys or games you have created. Identify the purpose of the material. Relate the material to a specific child s development. Documentation from state licensing specialist. If you have developed these materials, please include them if you are applying for the administration course. Any item that you feel documents your mastery of the course competencies. 15

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