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UA-PTC receives $261,250 grant for high school Early Childhood Development program

UA-PTC receives $261,250 grant for high school Early Childhood Development program

June 03, 2024

University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College Early Childhood Development program received a $261,250 grant from the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarship Program to start a pilot program that offers for-credit college curricula to high school juniors and seniors.

The High School Early Childhood Development Pilot Program at UA - Pulaski Technical College offers an early college experience for rising juniors and seniors in Early Childhood Development. This program is for students who are interested in becoming teachers for children birth through age 5. The field of early childhood is expanding as the need for quality child care increases and UA-PTC is answering the need for a professionally trained workforce to care for young children. The college is equipped with an infant/toddler and a preschool model classroom, offering students hands-on experiences during their classes.

The program is currently enrolling students for the fall semester. The first 25 students who register are eligible to participate in the pilot program. Students should coordinate their registration with their school counselor. Registration continues through the first week of classes, which begin Aug. 19.

Students in the program will complete the Certificate of Proficiency (CP). Curriculum includes the courses Child Growth and Development; Foundations of Early Childhood; Environments for Young Children; and CDA Portfolio and Field Experience. The CP in Early Childhood Development meets the professional training requirements of the national Child Development Associate (CDA) credential issued by the CDA Council in Washington, D.C.

Students in the program will complete 400 hours of field work (480 required for CDA).

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Junior or senior in high school
  • Minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA
  • Minimum ACT reading score of 19 or equivalent ACCUPLACER score

"The early childhood field needs knowledgeable and caring teachers that create learning environments that positively impact young children,” said Associate Teaching Professor- Education Traci Johnston, who manages the program. “We are very pleased to provide opportunities for juniors and seniors in high school to learn more about the field of early childhood development. They will start their educational journey learning how to care for and educate young children while earning college credit."

The T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps) Early Childhood® Scholarship Program is a national, evidence-based strategy that creates access to higher education for teachers, directors and family child-care providers (early educators) working with young children. The T.E.A.C.H scholarship covers 100% of tuition and fees and 90% of books (with the school district covering 10%).

The student will receive an annual incentive of $350 for completion of course work and a stipend up to $1,440 each semester for completing required work experience hours. Additional benefits include $500 towards the purchase of a new laptop and, for those who choose to complete the CDA assessment, their $425 assessment fee will also be covered.

For more information, visit or contact Traci Johnston at [email protected] or (501) 812-2817.

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