Program Description: The Child Development Specialist (CDS) program is made up of nine courses covering the tenets of child development, positive guidance strategies and curriculum planning methods that meet the standards of developmentally appropriate practice. In addition, students learn strategies that foster parent-teacher partnerships and learn instructional strategies to support accommodations for children with learning differences in an inclusive setting. Emphasis is placed on language development and emergent literacy across the curriculum and reflective practice in a professional setting. Courses are comprised of classes that include discussion of concepts and theories and hands-on practical application of that information and on-the-job training at a licensed child care center. Classes combined with on-the-job training meet the career pathway principles of an apprenticeship. One of the nine courses prepares the student for the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential exam application process sponsored by the Council for Professional Recognition. Also, a graduate of the CDS program is eligible to apply for the United States Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship Credential.
Educational Objectives: To provide participants with:
Participants are prepared for two national credentials that are geographically transferable. This course work may be eligible for:
This program consists of nine (9) courses.
Delivery Methodology: Lecture, Discussion, Applied experiences, Simulations, Educational DVDs, Collaborative learning projects, Practical hands-on supervised internship field experience
Pre-requisites: High School Diploma or GED
Program Length: 944 hours over 32 weeks (FT), 48 weeks (PT) and 64 weeks (Evening) including class hours and internships weekly
Program Scope: Participants are prepared for two national credentials that are geographically transferable. This course work may be eligible for 15 – 22 credits through Hudson County Community College, Passaic County Community College, Thomas Edison State University and Felician University’s Department of Education’s ‘Step Up Program’. This program consists of nine (9) courses.
Graduation Requirements: 90% attendance and cumulative grade point average of 2.0 for all courses.
Credential Awarded: Child Development Associate Certificate may be awarded by the Council for Professional Recognition and the Apprenticeship for Child Development Specialist Credential may be awarded by the Bureau of Apprenticeship Program, U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Focus: Teacher Assistant
Teacher assistants also are called teacher aides, instructional aides, paraprofessionals, education assistants, and paraeducators.
Teacher assistants work with or under the guidance of a licensed teacher. Generally, teachers introduce new material to students while teacher assistants help reinforce the lessons by working with individual students or small groups of students. For example, after the teacher presents a lesson, a teacher assistant may help a small group of students as they try to master the material.
Teachers may seek feedback from assistants to monitor students’ progress. Some teachers and teacher assistants meet regularly to discuss lesson plans and student development. Teacher assistants sometimes help teachers by grading tests and checking homework.
Some teacher assistants work only with special education students. Some of these students attend regular classes, and teacher assistants help them understand the material and adapt the information to their learning style. Teacher assistants may work with students who have more severe disabilities in separate classrooms. They help these students with basic needs, such as eating or personal hygiene. With young adults, they may help students with disabilities learn skills necessary for them to find a job or live independently after graduation.
Some teacher assistants work in specific locations in the school. For example, some work in computer laboratories, teaching students how to use computers and helping them use software. Others work as recess or lunchroom attendants, supervising students during these times of the day.
Although most teacher assistants work in elementary, middle, and high schools, others work in preschools and childcare centers. Often, one or two assistants work with a lead teacher to provide the individual attention that young children need. They help with educational activities. They also supervise the children at play and help with feeding and other basic care.
Retention Rate (July 2015 to July 2016): 83.5%
On-time Graduation Rate (July 2015 to July 2016): 83%
Job Placement Rate (July 2015 – July 2016): 81%
Transfer-out-Rate (July 2015 – July 2016): n/a
Median loan dept by category for students completing the program from July 2015 to June 2016
Title IV loan debt $4,053
Private Education Loans $0
Institutional Financing Plans $0
CIP (Classification of Instructional Programs) Crosswalk to SOC (Standard Occupational classification) Code: http://online.onecenter.org/crosswalk
CIP Code #13.1501: Teacher Assistant/Aide
SOC Code #25-9041: Teacher Assistant
“I learned how to teach other teachers that it is best to use warm voices so the children can trust you and feel safe and secure.”
“I learned how to be a team player and how to discuss a child’s education with their parents.”
“I learned that children should be given time to express their work. I also learned that you should always ask open-ended questions.”
“I learned how to let children explore their environment and the importance of partnerships with their families.”
“I learned to teach children by developing their five domains and guiding them to be confident.”
“I learned how to enjoy and appreciate children’s books on a different level and to read them with enthusiasm and excitement.”
“I learned to have more patience when working with children that need on-on-one care. I also learned how to achieve my goal to grow in this field.”
“I learned ways to teach children with special needs.”
“I learned how to build literacy and vocabulary in children and to allow them to express themselves in open conversation.”
“I learned that each child is unique and we need to encourage their curiosity.”
“I learned that a child’s environment and the people around them can affect their development.”
“I learned ab out how to work with, speak to, and have conversations with children. I learned how to develop children’s skills and guide their behavior.”
“I learned to inspire families and children by building trust and always being professional.”
“I learned how to implement important learning experiences and practices according to children’s developmental needs.”
“I learned different aspects of literacy development that taught me how to explore and introduce children to books and writings.”
“I learned to promote children’s literacy through play and I learned to model positive behaviors.”
“I learned to positively guide children and how to reinforce positive behavior.”
“I learned how to encourage children and help them develop new skills.”
“I learned that every child is unique and learns in a different way.”
“I learned that most experiences that we provide children help to scaffold their knowledge.”
“I learned to use new strategies in handling children’s behaviors.”
“I learned that children learn through play.”
“I learned that in order to become the best teacher I can be, I must strive to better myself and expand my knowledge.”
“I learned that reading is important to a child’s experience and I have grown knowing how to encourage children to read more.”
“I have grown confident in preparing and carrying out developmentally appropriate tasks for preschoolers.”
“I learned how to support families by sharing different resources.”
“I learned as a teacher how to control my emotions. Most of all I learned patience.”
“I learned how to use positive guidance with children and to build strong relationships with them.”
“I learned how important play is to the lives of children and to meet them where they are and teach them so they can grow.”
“I learned that play is an important part of children’s development.”
“I learned how to assess children’s needs in all areas of development and how to use this information to support a child’s learning.”
“I learned how to be an effective part of a child’s learning.”