Grants support improvements in credit transfer between 2-and 4-year colleges

Grants support improvements in credit transfer between 2-and 4-year colleges

Across Wisconsin, projects are underway that will streamline how early childhood education credits transfer between 2- and 4-year colleges and universities. The transfer agreements – also known as “articulation” agreements will be strengthened between the schools in the University of Wisconsin System, the Wisconsin Technical College System and private colleges and universities.

Image: John Walker via Early childhood education students will complete courses more easily, bringing new skills to Wisconsin’s youngest children

Image: John Walker via
Early childhood education students will complete courses more easily, bringing new skills to Wisconsin’s youngest children

“The more we work together to solve problems, the faster they will get solved and the better the outcomes.  Articulation is a means to get the conversation going,” says Eloise Anderson, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. The Department is the primary funder of the grants.

Other fiscal partners include the University of Wisconsin’s Waisman Center, the Wisconsin Technical College System, and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.  In total, 10 projects were granted funding to resolve key barriers to credit transfer.

In a collaboration between Lakeland College and MATC-Milwaukee for example, the number of credits that transfer to Lakeland will be maximized and graduate interns at Lakeland will work directly with MATC transfer students to help them prepare for teacher certification exams that include Praxis I, Praxis II and Foundations of Reading.

“It’s exciting to see the collaboration between staff at the 2-year and 4-year schools and the new solutions that are emerging, “says Autumn Gehri, Director of Wisconsin’s T.E.A.C.H. program. “Moreover, each project will incorporate strategies that can be replicated elsewhere in the state,” she adds.

“Ongoing education is essential for the child care workforce to meet the needs of young children at a time when their brain development is at its most critical and fragile stage,” says Ruth Schmidt, Executive Director, Wisconsin Early Childhood Association.  “The projects bring diverse educational institutions together to lower the barriers for students pursuing early childhood courses and degrees,” she says.

For over a decade, the T.E.A.C.H. program has supported the child care workforce and raised teaching quality through subsidizing the costs of tuition, books and time away from work for child care providers who want to improve their skills through college coursework, credentials and degrees. For more information see

Higher Education Entry through Credit for Prior Learning

Research has found that the credit-based education of child care providers is an important factor linked with high-quality early education programs. Unfortunately, with high turnover, low compensation, and increasing higher education costs, it is difficult for the early education workforce to gain these credits.

In a recent paper by Wisconsin Early Childhood Association and Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, entitled Milestones: Advancements to Pathways for Early Childhood Higher Education, the option of credit for prior learning is discussed as one way to:

  • Recognize all the non-credit training and experience that early childhood providers already have!
  • Begin on a pathway of achieving more credits, or degrees, at a Wisconsin college
  • Have a clear starting point when considering credit-based education

Read the full paper here and keep checking our blog to learn about the progress that WI technical colleges are making in terms of what credit for prior learning options they will offer to providers!

A New Bill Provides Assistance for Early Ed Degree Repayment

Many child care providers struggle with low wages and few are able to afford the high cost of earning a degree. A new bill, AB 847, was recently introduced that would provide higher education loan repayment assistance for child care providers who received a degree in ECE on or after May 1, 2009. The bill was introduced by Representative Black and has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Children and Families. If passed, the bill would allow child care providers who have worked in the field for at least one year to be reimbursed for 10% of their outstanding student loan principal amount or $1000 (whichever is less). Providers who remain in the field would be eligible to receive additional reimbursements every year- up to five years. Read the full text of the bill here.

This bill, along with the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Wisconsin scholarship program, would help child care professionals tremendously with the overwhelming cost of earning a degree. Making higher education more affordable is important because providers who have completed ECE specific higher education are linked with better outcomes for young children in care. To support this bill, contact your legislator (find out who represents you here) or Representative Tamara Grigsby, the chair of the Assembly Committee on Children and Families.

Public Hearing: Bill Relating to Evening Classes at Technical Colleges (AB 51)

The Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities has scheduled a public hearing to discuss AB 51, a bill that would require Wisconsin technical colleges to hold more evening classes. The hearing will take place on Wednesday July 8th at 10am in Capitol room 417 North (GAR Hall). The bill is the last of three to be discussed during the hearing. Can’t make the meeting but don’t want to miss out? Visit Wisconsin Eye to view the hearing live over the internet.

Assembly Bill 51 was introduced in February by Representatives Schneider, Vruwick, and Barca- along with Senator Wirch. This bill would require that each Wisconsin technical college offer at least one-third of all their class periods after 5 pm. Also, every class that is offered by a college must be scheduled and taught after 5 pm at least once every three years. If passed, these regulations would go into effect at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year. Want more information? See the bill here.

WECA understands that this bill may be helpful for child care providers, and our T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® WISCONSIN recipients, who continue working with children as they are obtaining college credits. Evening courses provide the flexibility these students need.