Tuba City High School awarded students in their Early Childhood Education (ECE) career and technical education program Child Development Associates (CDA) degrees. Tuba City is the third school in the nation to award CDA National Credentials to high school students. The program was developed in partnership with Coconino Community College and funded as part of a discretionary grant that was awarded to the State of Arizona by OCTAE.
“This major accomplishment involved the establishment of collaborative partnerships to develop an educational pathway for students in Early Childhood Education”, says instructor and program coordinator Mrs. Aurora Goatcher. “CDA program team members include the local agencies, faculty and administrators responsible for secondary and postsecondary CTE, Coconino Community College, U.S. Department of Education Rigorous Program of Study grant program, Arizona Department of Education: Career and Technical Education Division, Northeast Joint Technological Education District (JTED) and Arizona First Things First”.
Ms. Goatcher has been instrumental in developing the ECE program at Tuba City High School and has leveraged postsecondary partnerships to ensure the rigor and quality of the program of study and college and career readiness standards. The program core standards incorporate rigorous knowledge and skills in English and mathematics that employers expect of high school graduates.
The CDA degree earned by the students is aligned to industry-recognized technical standards that are valued and essential in the workplace. CDA training incorporates key aspects of CTE programs including team-building, communications, and work-based, project based, and problem-based learning approaches. The Child Development Associate program measures student attainment and employs a national industry-approved technical skills assessment as well as academic content knowledge. The program incorporates performance-based assessments and classroom observations conducted by a certified CDA specialist where students must demonstrate the application of their knowledge and skills. The CDA credential meets the qualifications for ECE professionals to work in child care centers as directors or teachers.
Partners in the CDA program include:
Dr. Paul Holbrook, Coconino Community College Chair Business and Education Department
Dr. Monica Baker, Coconino Community College Career and Technical Education Dean
Kevin Mullins, FTF Grant Coordinator Coconino Community College
Kathy Nesbit, FTF Grant Manager Coconino Community College
Nola Cardani, CDA Program Specialist Coconino Community College
Mr. Woody Begay, TCHS Career and Technical Education Director
Melisa Begay, Navajo Nation Regional Partnership Council FTF, Regional Director