FREEPORT, ILLINOIS — In a joint effort to curb a shortage of early childhood educators in Illinois, Highland Community College (HCC) and National Louis University (NLU) in Chicago have finalized an agreement to connect their Early Childhood Education programs.
Through the articulation agreement, students completing their associate’s degree in early childhood at HCC will have the opportunity able to seamlessly transition to the early childhood Bachelor of Arts programs of their choice at NLU.
The agreement, which was finalized in August 2020, will create a pipeline for aspiring early childhood educators and specialists to take advantage of NLU’s versatile courses, which include 100 percent online classes.
“I am delighted with this opportunity for our Highland district and community,” said Melissa Johnson, Coordinator, Early Childhood Education. “It offers opportunities for our students that are working in the field to continue their education toward a bachelor’s degree.”
Students will benefit from student-teacher field experiences, a core part of the National College of Education curriculum that will prepare them to positively impact their community upon graduation.
Johnson added. “We have also developed a ‘growth-your-own’ pathway for students beginning as juniors and seniors in high school. Through the CareerTEC program, we have an early childhood program held at Highland for juniors and seniors.”