COVINGTON -- Soon, area residents can get certified in early childhood care and education at DeKalb Technical College.
The college recently announced that it is expanding its course offerings in its Early Childhood Care and Education program that will provide students with certificates in order for them to work as a child care provider in Georgia.
Beginning in March, DTC will offer classes for Child Development Associate I and Child Development Specialist programs.
"The state has recently mandated that any provider in early childhood education has to have one of these certificates," said Dr. Tanya Gorman, vice president of academic affairs at DTC.
She said the college previously offered the programs and courses but since the certificates were not required by the state, enrollment declined in those areas, although the college's early childhood care and education program continues to be one of its more popular programs.
"This is an addition" to the current early childhood program at DTC, Gorman said. "The intent is to improve the quality of care" at early childhood facilities.
Students in the Child Development Associate I program, which is designed for training of those already working in early care and education, will take 19 course hours over two quarters that include Early Childhood Care and Education; Human Growth and Development; and Health, Safety and Nutrition, in addition to Professionalism with CDA certificate preparation and a CDA certificate assessment. Students must have a minimum of 480 hours of work in the field with young children before entering this program.
Those in the Child Development Specialist program will take 21 credit hours over two quarters in Early Childhood Care and Education; Human Growth and Development; and Health, Safety and Nutrition, as well as curriculum development and an early child care and education practicum.
Some courses might require other prerequisite courses, Gorman said.
Beginning in February, students can register for the new program areas.
Although the registration period doesn't start until February, Gorman said interested students need to start now with contacting the college about entering the program because it takes some time to go through the application, advisement and financial aid process before starting the program.
DTC has eight centers of education in Newton, Rockdale, DeKalb and Morgan counties. Currently, the college has more than 4,000 students enrolled in diploma or degree programs and more than 9,000 in adult education classes covering more than 100 different occupations.
More information about the program is available by calling DTC at 404-297-9522 or visiting its Web site, www.dekalbtech.edu.