CASTLETON—Castleton University partnered with the Vermont Early Childhood Consortium to offer the Early Childhood Summer Institute, July 24-27. The institute consisted of 10 graduate and undergraduate courses classes offered by 14 diverse institutions of higher education and early childhood. The courses were designed to promote Vermont’s core values for early education and to meet the needs of teachers of all levels. A strong emphasis was placed on courses that assist teachers in obtaining or retaining licenses and endorsements.
A preeminent feature of the institute was the cooperative spirit of Vermont’s colleges and universities, parent-child centers, childcare institutions, and state agencies, many of whom are taking responsibility for offering a course. This emerging partnership is expected to launch even deeper connections among and between the higher education institutions in coming years.
The course offerings included early literacy, legal and financial issues, social and emotional development, family and community engagement, science in the early years, advanced child development, trauma-sensitive practices, curriculum development in STEM, and early childhood special education.
Participants ranged from experienced teachers of children from birth through third grade and many first time college attenders receiving scholarships or grants from several other collaborative partners such as the U.S. Department of Education TEACH program, the Vermont Department for Children and Families, the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, and individual schools and programs.