Secondary students in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows now have one more option when it comes to picking their classes.
The Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows School District, in partnership with Ridge Meadows College, is offering an early childhood education (ECE) dual credit program for Grade 12 students.
“Students who love working with young children should consider the program,” said Will Carne, manager of Ridge Meadows College. “From birth to the age of 5 is a key developmental time for children. Early childhood educators can have a positive effect on a child’s life.”
The program is made up of two courses, one with a focus on health and safety, and the other on creative art.
Some of the things students will learn, Carne explained, is how to manage circle time and how to guide behaviour.
Students who complete the program will be eligible to receive their early childhood education assistant certificate, meaning they can start working in the field right away.
“This not only has the benefit of jump-starting career opportunities, but it also provides one more option locally for students to receive experience and training without having to travel to a post-secondary institution,” said Brad Dingler, trades and apprenticeships coordinator with SD42.
“Given the current economic climate and future demand for a skilled workforce, school districts, students, and communities only benefit by embracing more educational options.”
Dual credit programs such as this allow students to take post-secondary courses while still in high school. At the same time, the courses count as Grade 12 elective credit.
For this particular program, students who complete the program will earn 8 high school credits and 5 post-secondary credits.
Students then have the opportunity for further study to get their full ECE certificate or continue on to specializations in infant/toddler care or care for children with unique needs.
“The early childhood education field is in high demand right now, so there are a lot of job prospects,” Carne said.
Early childhood educators often work at child care centres, daycares and preschools.
This dual-credit program was made possible by a grant awarded by the Ministry of Education and Child Care that covers tuition for students.
To learn more about the program and admission requirements, visit the college’s website by clicking here.
To apply for the dual-credit program, click here. The deadline for applications is December 15, 2023.