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Wyoming’s youngest citizens (infants, toddlers and preschoolers) have never held greater potential. That’s why the UW Trustees Education Initiative has made early childhood education and building relationships among early childhood educators throughout the state a priority.
Through the Trustees Education Initiative, the Wyoming Early Childhood Outreach Network (WYECON) will reach school systems, Head Start centers, home-based child care providers, and early childhood development centers, strengthening ties and facilitating collaboration. The network will deliver professional development opportunities and elevate early childhood education as a whole.
The College of Education offers three early childhood certificate/endorsements (Birth-5, Birth-8, and Early Childhood Special Education), all of which require internships and/or residencies. A university task force will soon make recommendations on whether the College of Education should launch the state’s first early childhood education (ECE) bachelor’s degree program.
Early childhood educator candidates can expect clinical training, expert faculty guidance, and all the advantages built into the Trustees Education Initiative. Learning experiences enable them to demonstrate and apply competencies. Course content is rigorous and relevant.
The fieldwork and professional development activities of WYECON will be integrated, connecting the university with early childhood professionals and sites in a context of partnership and reciprocal benefit. Distance delivery of courses and professional development increases accessibility.
WYECON’s fieldwork placement system will place candidates in settings such as Head Start centers, childhood development centers, licensed home-based early childhood learning environments, and mobile early childhood classrooms. Candidates may choose sites close to home, thereby reducing housing barriers and supporting their community systems.
With dedicated practitioners and communities linked to new talent development and the resources of the university, Wyoming is making a healthy investment in its workforce and youngest populations.