Belmont College

Belmont College Announces Approval of Early Childhood Education Program

St. Clairsville, OH (March 3, 2014) Belmont College announced today that their Early Childhood Education program has been approved by the Ohio Board of Regents as an associate level program leading to the Pre-Kindergarten Five-Year Associate License. The program has met the Chancellor’s requirements for program approval and the State Board of Education’s standards.

“It is a pleasure to introduce the Early Childhood Education program to our students and the community,” said Dr. Rebecca Kurtz, Vice President of Learning and Student Success. “The program places emphasis on developing relationships with the families of young children as well as working collaboratively with other professionals. Graduates will be equipped with the knowledge and skills that they need to be effective early childhood educators.”

Graduates of the updated program are now eligible to take the Ohio Assessment Exam for Educators in order to become licensed as an educator at the initial level for early childhood.

According to Elaine McLeskey, Professor of Early Childhood Education, “In updating this program a team of faculty and professionals with backgrounds in diverse learning, kindergarten, autism, nursing, literacy, and administration collaborated to provide the latest information regarding curriculum needs and learning environments.” She also went on to say “The Ohio and West Virginia head start programs have been very supportive in this process and we are very grateful for their involvement.”

The Early Childhood Education program focuses on the education of young children, birth through age 8. Students in the program will graduate prepared to effectively work with children, families and the community in a variety of early learning settings such as: preschools, center-based and home-based child care programs, infant and toddler learning environments, and public/private school settings. Additionally the program heavily emphasizes cultural literacy and assessment of young children.

McLeskey also noted that the Early Childhood Education program at Belmont College is the only community college in the State of Ohio that offers a Montessori course.

The program will be offering an added Foundations of Literacy course this summer The purpose of this course is to provide the early childhood educator with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote early literacy for the preschool – third grade classroom. Students will develop competency in the components of emergent literacy; phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, alphabetic principles, vocabulary, fluency, phonics, beginning writing, and technology. McLeskey adds that this class will help the student assist the beginning reader and introduce the parent to the joys of reading for 21st Century Learning.

For more information about the Early Childhood Education program contact an Enrollment Services Associate at 740.695.8516 or visit The Early Childhood Education program page.

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