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UCOL partnership contributes to early childhood education

Friday 9 September 2011

UCOL partnership contributes to quality of early childhood education in Wairarapa

For the first time, Wairarapa people have the opportunity to get a degree qualification in early childhood education with local support.

In a partnership between UCOL Wairarapa and the Open Polytechnic, the Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education) will be available via distance learning, with an on-campus component. Campus Principal Angela Hewitt says this will give students valuable face-to-face learning from an experienced and qualified lecturer as well as access to all UCOL Wairarapa support services.

Angela Hewitt says the mixed mode delivery gives students the best of both worlds. “It’s especially valuable for people already in early childhood education who want to upskill and improve their knowledge, salary and career prospects. This means they can complete the degree while they are still working, with the benefit of on-campus support.

“We have consulted employers and other stakeholders in the sector to find out what their needs are and how we can provide a solution. The degree fits with their needs and they are all delighted at this opportunity to further raise standards in early childhood education in the Wairarapa. We agree with them that it is preferable to train our best teachers in our own community.”

She adds that employers said they were happy to give their staff time off to take part in the on- campus component which will amount to up to one day a week.

Angela says as well as those already in early childhood education, the new degree programme will also appeal to school leavers and second chance learners looking for a career change. “However there is a selection process: We will be looking for people with the right prerequisites, interests and attitude. They need to come in and talk to us at the UCOL Wairarapa campus.”

Angela says previous experience shows that the Open Polytechnic degree taught in mixed mode produces excellent results in terms of student success. “We want to give our community access to the best possible chance of succeeding, to further improve the quality of early childhood education in our region.”

The Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) is a professional teaching degree at Level 7 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework. It educates and trains students to work effectively with young children and their parents, families and whanau, as well as gain an in-depth understanding of the ethical, legal and professional responsibilities of teaching.

UCOL is taking applications now for enrolments on the Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education) degree programme which starts in February next year. Entry into the degree is subject to a selection process and it is important that students do not apply on line but make inquiries directly to the UCOL Wairarapa campus by the 2 December 2011.


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