WCCD awarded $20,000 AL Dept. of Early Childhood Education grant

Wallace Community College-Dothan was recently awarded a $20,000 grant by the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education to organize, plan, and manage logistics to offer the Teaching Strategies Accreditation Program for Trainers (APT). This program will prepare the Wallace Community College Child Development instructors to deliver training that promotes teachers’ reliable use of the Teaching Strategies assessment tool, GOLD. The grant will provide $10,000 each for training at the Wallace Campus in Dothan and the Sparks Campus in Eufaula.

Teaching Strategies GOLD is an assessment tool currently used in all Alabama First Class PreK classrooms, the Alabama PreK-3rd Grade Integrated Approach to Early Learning Pilot, Head Starts, and some DHR family childcare and CHD childcare classrooms. The mission of Teaching Strategies® is to advance the early childhood field through high-quality, integrated resources; responsive, ongoing support; and research-based, research-proven solutions that enable every early childhood educator to open doors to lifelong learning. Teaching Strategies® created an Accreditation Program for Trainers (APT) that prepares participants to deliver training that promotes teachers’ reliable use of Teaching Strategies® curriculum and the assessment tool. Accredited trainers assist teachers in understanding the developmental levels of children in their classrooms and empower them to use the curriculum materials and assessment data to individualize instruction, as well as communicate with families and other stakeholders.

Wallace Community College students that are enrolled in the Child Development course CHD 213 will be trained on administering and interpreting Teaching Strategies GOLD. The TS GOLD training and knowledge will make Wallace students highly marketable in the field of early childhood education. “School systems, daycares, and Head Starts throughout the State are looking to hire teachers and auxiliary teachers that bring a certain level of expertise to the table,” says Traci Murph, WCCD Child Development Discipline Chairperson and Instructor. “Our students will be leaps and bounds above other potential job candidates because of not only knowledge in developmentally appropriate teaching practices, but their knowledge of assessing children and interpreting the data provided by the TS GOLD assessment.”

“This award, along with the articulation agreement with Troy University and the newly designed Early Childhood Apprenticeship, will provide our students with an excellent pathway to becoming strong educators for our community,” said Murph.

For more information on the Teaching Strategics GOLD assessment tool or WCCD’s Child Development program, please contact Traci Murph at tmurph@wallace.edu or 334-687.3543 ext. 4212.