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ERIC Number: ED543254
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Feb
Pages: 56
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 47
Learning Together: A Study of Six B.A. Completion Cohort Programs in Early Care and Education--Year 4
Kipnis, F.; Whitebook, M.; Almaraz, M.; Sakai, L.; Austin, L. J. E.
Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, University of California at Berkeley
The Learning Together longitudinal study focuses on four counties' efforts to expand bachelor's degree opportunities in early care and education (ECE) for adults currently working in the field. The "student cohort" model--in which small groups of ECE students with similar interests and characteristics pursue a bachelor's degree together, and receive targeted support services--emerged in Alameda, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, and San Francisco Counties, with programs at Antioch University, California State University-East Bay (CSU-East Bay), Mills College, San Francisco State University (SFSU), San Jose State University (SJSU), and the University of La Verne (ULV). With county, First 5, and private foundation support, these six cohort efforts were developed with similar goals: (1) To increase and retain a pool of B.A. degree-level professionals in the ECE field with culturally, linguistically, and professionally diverse backgrounds; (2) To invest in institutional change at colleges and universities in order to expand their capacity to provide appropriate and accessible B.A. programs for ECE practitioners; and (3) To assure that degree recipients are able to demonstrate and articulate professional competencies that are appropriate to the degree obtained. In 2007, the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment began implementing a five-year longitudinal study of each student cohort, as well as periodic examinations of institutional change at selected colleges and universities. In its first two years, the Learning Together study explored students' perspectives on the supports and services that facilitated their higher education access and success, and the impact of the educational experience on their professional practice. Program leaders and faculty also shared their perspectives on these issues. In the third year, the Learning Together study focused on graduation rates, and graduates' perspectives on two aspects of their B.A. cohort program: the practicum experience, and the extent to which their courses had assisted them in working with linguistically diverse children. In addition, graduates shared their perspectives about their workplaces as environments that supported their ability to apply the knowledge and skills gained from their studies, and changes in their employment and compensation post-graduation. This report discusses the results of a fourth round of interviews, in which the study team asked graduates to assess how various structural features of their B.A. cohort programs had contributed to their educational success, the value of their general education courses, and the extent to which their programs had addressed leadership development and working with adults. Once again, graduates were asked about the impact of the B.A. degree on their professional and personal lives, and their perceptions of how their workplace environments affected teaching practices with children. To augment our understanding of their professional competence, graduates were presented with three vignettes describing a typical occurrence in a preschool classroom, and were asked to describe what they would do in each situation to promote children's learning. Appended are: (1) Study Design; and (2) Supplementary Tables. (Contains 24 tables, 10 figures and 1 footnote.) [Additional funding for this paper was provided by the First 5 Alameda County-Every Child Counts, First 5 San Francisco, and WestEd-E3 Institute. For Year 3 report, see ED543258.]
Center for the Study of Child Care Employment. Institute of Industrial Relations, University of California at Berkeley, 2521 Channing Way #5555, Berkeley, CA 94720. Tel: 510-643-7091; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education; Early Childhood Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: University of California, Berkeley. Center for the Study of Child Care Employment
Identifiers - Location: California