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Pathway Focus of the Month: Early Childhood Education

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Potential Career: Early Intervention Speech Language Pathologist/Therapist

Speech pathologists—often called speech-language pathologists or speech therapists—treat language and speaking disorders. When they work in an early intervention or elementary school setting, they have many tasks, including:

  • Provide individual and small group services to infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school-age children, and adolescents
  • Teach full-time in a special education classroom setting with students who have speech-language disorders
  • Work with children with a wide range of disabilities, from mild and moderate to severe and/or multiple disorders
  • Teach listening, speaking, reading, writing and learning strategies in a regular classroom
  • Collaborate with other professionals and parents to facilitate a students' academic and social skills in an educational environment
  • Provide speech-language services to a number of schools on an itinerant basis
  • Conduct screenings and diagnostic evaluations
  • Write reports and participate in annual review conferences
  • Develop Individualized Education Plans (IEP) and Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs)
  • Provide training to teachers and family members to enhance children's communication skills
(Extracted from the ASHA website, Employment Settings, "Schools," retrieved October 1, 2009.)

Please be aware that you will need a Master's Degree to access these jobs in Massachusetts. However, you can still work in the same setting as a Speech Aide, which only requires a Bachelor's Degree; Speech Aide positions pay less and are not as plentiful.

Job Outlook: Medical advances are improving the survival rate of premature infants, who then need assessment and sometimes treatment. Employment in educational services will increase with the growth in elementary and secondary school enrollments, including enrollment of special education students. Federal law guarantees special education and related services to all eligible children with disabilities. Greater awareness of the importance of early identification and diagnosis of speech and language disorders in young children will also increase employment. The combination of growth in the occupation and an expected increase in retirements over the coming years should create excellent job opportunities for speech-language pathologists. Opportunities should be particularly favorable for those with the ability to speak a second language, such as Spanish. Job prospects also are expected to be especially favorable for those who are willing to relocate, particularly to areas experiencing difficulty in attracting and hiring speech-language pathologists. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, speech pathologists working in the K-12 education system make on average $29 an hour or $60,000 each year (May 2008). Expect lower pay in early intervention programs (roughly $40,000) but there are more employment opportunities in this setting.

For More Information: The best career information I could find was from the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Some great program and practical resources can be found on the American Associate Degree Early Childhood Educators (ACCESS) website. The MassCIS website has good information but does not differentiate those in early childhood education versus those who work in health care settings or elderly care. (You have to sign in to access the information; it is free.) A really helpful association website is the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); here you can find great information for both ECE students and teachers.

About BCC's Programming: BCC's Early Childhood Education programming offers several opportunities to potential students: Early Childhood Education Associate in Science Degree, Early Childhood Education transfer degree, and the Elementary Education transfer program. The Early Childhood Education program integrates course work with direct experience and respects the diversity reflected in children and families.

Hint for Success: Students are expected to meet all requirements an employer would expect: no criminal record (a clean C.O.R.I), a physical exam, Tuberculosis testing, and immunizations for measles, mumps, rubella and Hepatitis B. Health insurance is also a requirement. Students need their own transportation to access off-campus practicum experiences. Remember, young children are very active, so students have to be able to move quickly and have sufficient visual and hearing acuity to accurately monitor children in their charge.


Headlines

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Headlines

Time to Act: An Agenda for Advancing Adolescent Literacy for College and Career Success. This report pinpoints adolescent literacy as a cornerstone of the current education reform movement, upon which efforts such as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act must be built. The report's recommendations intersect with the $4.35 billion Race to the Top competitive grant guidelines with their emphasis on standards and assessments, data systems, great teachers and leaders, and re-engineering struggling schools.

AT&T and United Way Worldwide Launched Family Engagement Program to Improve High School Success. AT&T and United Way Worldwide (UWW) launched “Family Engagement for High School Success”, a new initiative designed to help families of disadvantaged children get more involved in their child's education. The new effort responds to recent research funded by AT&T and conducted by Civic Enterprises and Peter Hart Research with America's Promise Alliance, "On the Front Lines of Schools," where the voices of our nation's education practitioners reflected their outlook on the high school dropout crisis. One of the key findings of this research was that the majority of teachers (63%) and principals (51%) felt increasing their schools' parental outreach programs would do a lot to reduce the number of high school dropouts.

Forum Brief: Rethinking Professional Development: Comprehensive Approaches to Ensuring Effective Teaching. This brief documents a forum that showcased two comprehensive models that have been implemented in school districts that use continuous professional development that have proven effects on student achievement and the quality of instruction in the classroom. The Long Beach Unified School District is exemplary in its use of internal resources to improve teacher effectiveness through year-round professional development linked to school improvement strategies. The Urban Teacher Residency program of the Academy for Urban School Leadership in Chicago ensures continuous improvement of teaching through intensive pre-service training, classroom residency, induction coaching, use of student-level data to inform instruction, and mentoring for teachers in urban schools that have been targeted for school turnaround. Speakers at this forum included the Executive Director of the National Staff Development Council, the Superintendent of the Long Beach Unified School District, and the Director of the Teacher Residency Program, Academy for Urban School Leadership.

Forum Brief: Compendium on Programs Supporting College- and Career-Readiness for All Youth Advisory Group Meeting. The American Youth Policy Forum developed a compendium that highlights a variety of school-based and out-of-school models supporting college- and career-readiness, particularly for youth from disadvantaged communities and those who are traditionally underserved by the education system. The Advisory Group is comprised of researchers, practitioners, and policymakers with expertise in secondary school reform, college access efforts, and strategies for closing the achievement gap. This group helped inform the scope of analysis for the compendium and criteria that will be used to select programs, identify research to be included, and provide a context for the framing of policy recommendations.


Professional Development Opportunities

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Professional Opportunities

MASCA Fall Conference, October, 6, 2009, Holiday Inn, Boxboro. Come to the Fall 2009 MASCA Conference and hear from the ASCA President in the Keynote speech, “Moving All School Counselors Ahead Using Model = Student Achievement.” The afternoon workshops will include a presentation from MEFA on their new inter-net Early College Planning tools. Go to MASCA’s website for more information or to register for the Conference.

Money Smart Train the Trainer, October 6, 8:30 – 3:30, Wareham. For those of you not attending the MASCA Conference, the FDIC is pleased to announce a FREE, one-day training program for businesses, organizations and community service providers interested in teaching financial education using the Money Smart curriculum. This flyer provides details regarding agenda, training location, and registration.

Early College Information Session, Friday, October 9, 2009, 8:45-2:30, Mount Wachusett Community College, 444 Green St., Gardner, MA (Followed by optional breakout sessions from 2:35-3:30). The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Department of Higher Education are co-hosting a daylong information session on early college high school programs on Friday, October 9, 2009 at Mt. Wachusett Community College. We encourage leaders from public school districts and institutions of higher education to join us to learn more about the various models and benefits of early college programs. Session goals include: providing interested school districts and colleges the latest information on the national scope of early college programs; highlighting the Gateway to College model in particular, as one early college program type that is already successful in Massachusetts and that is aimed at students most likely to drop out of high school; and sharing concrete promising practices for creating and implementing an early college program. We strongly encourage participation of teams of staff that include representatives from school district(s) and an area college. Each person should register separately and indicate that they are attending as part of a team. There is no cost for this information session, and a light breakfast and lunch are included. Questions? Please email Jenny Curtin. Visit the DESE website to register.

Bristol Math Accuplacer Strategic Alignment Seminar, Saturday, November 14, 2009, 8am – 4pm, BCC Fall River. Approximately 80% of community college applicants place into remedial math courses because they lack the math skills necessary to access a college curriculum. New studies show that they more remediation a student requires, the less likely they are to complete a post-secondary program. The Bristol CVTE Consortium is creating a seminar to develop alignment tools and strategies that will help close the math performance gaps between high school assessments (MCAS) and college placement assessments (Accuplacer). This event will be limited to representatives from BCC and from CVTE Consortium high schools, which may include: math faculty, testing coordinators, administrators, guidance/advisors, tutoring lab personnel, Title III personnel (BCC only), CVTE personnel. Registration will be limited; participants will be compensated. Registration information will be available soon.

Career Planning for College and Career Readiness Conference, Friday, December 11, 2009, Worcester Senior Center, Worcester, MA. Sign-in begins at 7:30am; conference begins at 9am. The Massachusetts DESE and the National Center for School Counseling Outcome Research at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst are pleased to announce a conference in support of career planning for college and career readiness. Participants will learn strategies for merging Chicago's "12 Touch Approach" (that engages students, parents and educators in interactions to promote intimacy and support for creating a college-going culture) with the delivery of critical assessment information for college and career readiness. Educators from high schools and public two-year colleges with local plans under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act are invited to attend. A simple, light breakfast and lunch will be provided. Go to the DESE website to register.


Student Opportunities

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Student Opportunities

National Careers in Construction Week, October 12th – 19th
The National Center for Construction Education and Research has designated this week to raise awareness of careers in the largest industry in the world! In the next six years, construction companies expect to hire one million new workers.


Resources of the Month

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Resources of the Month

GRANT: Target Corporation Accepting Applications for Target Field Trip Grants. The Target Corporation will award 5,000 field trip grants of up to $800 each for the coming K-12 school year. Eligible applicants must be 18 years old and employed by an accredited K-12 public, private, or charter school in the United States that maintains 501(c)(3) or 509(a)(1) tax-exempt status. Educators, teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, or classified staff of these institutions must be willing to plan and execute a field trip that will provide a demonstrable learning experience for students. Their website provides additional information and an application. Deadline: Nov. 3.

GRANT: The National Education Association (NEA) Foundation and Staples Foundation for Learning Invites Applications for “Green” Grants for Environmental Education. The NEA Foundation and Staples Foundation for Learning are accepting applications from public school educators. The grant is designed to provide support for educators to develop and implement ideas, techniques and approaches that integrate environmental education into the classroom to increase engagement and improve academic achievement. Go to the NEA Foundation website for additional information and an application. Deadline: October 15.

GRANT: The National Education Association (NEA) Foundation is Accepting Applications for Student Achievement Grants. The NEA Foundation is accepting applications from individuals or groups of educational professionals for its Student Achievement Grants. These grants are designed to improve the academic achievement of students in U.S. public schools and public higher education institutions in any subject area(s). Grant requests must total $5,000. Go to the NEA Foundation website for more information and to obtain an application. Deadline: October 15.

PUBLICATION:: A Developmental Perspective for High School Practitioners on College and Workplace Readiness. This research brief developed by Laura Lippman and Camille Whitney, draws on research across the three fields of college readiness, workplace readiness, and youth development, to identify strategies high schools can employ to foster both cognitive and non-cognitive competencies in their students, and highlights practices that are particularly effective for students facing specific challenges.

PUBLICATION: A Developmental Perspective on Workplace Readiness: Preparing High School Students for Success. This research brief developed by Laura Lippmann and Julie Keith, highlights specific competencies that research has identified as necessary for a person to become a valued and skilled employee in the areas of social, cognitive, and psychological development. It also identifies strategies that high schools can use to help young adults develop these competencies.


Articulation Update

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Articulation Update

We are now gathering a list of high school teaching faculty in CVTE programming who are also active BCC adjunct faculty. If there is anyone at your school who fits this profile, especially if that person teaches a course you want articulated with BCC, please email Chris or Charlotte with the faculty person's name and the BCC articulated course title.