6/13/13 - IHEC Project Moves Forward

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The Ray Marshall Center, in collaboration with the Child and Family Research Institute at the UT Social Work department, has completed analysis of the Institutes of Higher Education (IHE) Capacity Survey funded by the Texas Early Learning Council. The purpose of the survey is to assess the level of preparedness of new professionals in the early childhood care and education (ECCE) field. The project surveyed providers of ECCE working in different settings, as well as administrators of higher education programs offering certificates and degrees in the field of ECCE. The research team led by Heath Prince includes Monica Faulkner and Daniel Schroeder who have extensive experience in conducting research in the field of ECCE.

A total of 304 newly degreed and certified professionals working in the ECCE field responded to the first survey.   The survey captured information on respondent demographics, opinions on how well the respondents feel their education program prepared them, challenges experienced in pursuing their education, and available continuing education opportunities.

The second survey collected data from 63 programs that offer certificates and degrees in the area of ECCE.  Survey items include faculty characteristics such as numbers of faculty (full- and part-time), degrees held by faculty members, numbers of faculty members with early child education or child development degrees, and faculty members who have direct experience working with children.  Items regarding program characteristics include child age ranges covered by program content, courses in specialized content areas, student enrollment, number of graduates per year, and estimates of student work outcomes.  These responses, combined with the results of the ECCE professional survey, will serve to contribute to our understanding of the capacity of Texas to effectively prepare early childhood professionals.

Project reports will be posted on the RMC website upon approval by the Texas Early Learning Council.

Ray Marshall Center

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