Interim plan for early childhood studies OK’d

By Suzanne Tomse

While plans to develop a joint program in early childhood studies by the department of human and family resources and the department of curriculum and instruction continue, an interim program has been approved by the Council on Instruction.

The joint program is under consideration by the two departments in response to changes in state certification requirements which will be effective July 1988. These will require a separate early childhood certification for those teaching youngsters 1 through 8 years of age.

Goodman said the interim program was developed to accommodate students during the transitional period before the changes take effect. He said the program will enable currently-enrolled students to finish the program and to obtain state certification. He said when the certification changes go into effect there will be “no grandfathering” for students already in the program.

However, Henniger expressed some concerns the College of Education had about the interim program and asked the council to postpone its decision.

“We feel there is a chance this proposal could be a stand-alone for human and family resources. It does prepare students fairly well for early childhood studies,” he said. He also said only a small number of students would be affected by the certification changes.

In addition, Henniger said the proposal for the interim program did not reflect the state requirements for stronger and more comprehensive general education requirements.

Catalogue editor Kay Van Mol said there would not be sufficient time before fall 1988 to implement a joint program because it would have to go through the Illinois Board of Higher Education and the Board of Regents.

Goodman said the interim program did meet the state general education requirements. “We are still pleading for a joint program, and the interim program. Students would not get certification if we did not do something.”

Goodman said human and family resources would withdraw its interim program if a joint program is implemented.

If implemented, the joint program would offer an interdisciplinary major and students would earn a bachelor of science degree in early childhood studies.