The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) Office of Early Childhood and the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) announced today the availability of up to $400,000 in scholarships for students in Colorado’s community colleges who want to teach young children.
Through a combined effort from CDHS and CDE, Colorado’s Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant is contributing $200,000. Colorado’s Community College foundations are matching those funds with an additional $200,000. The scholarships will be awarded to students who intend to work in early childhood education and are studying at one of the state’s 16 community colleges.
"This partnership is a strong example of innovative programs being supported through the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant efforts," said Stacey Kennedy, director, Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant, CDHS Office of Early Childhood. "We are especially happy to partner with our sister agency, the Department of Education, and the state’s community college system to help educate the state’s next generation of child care providers."
"Colorado’s community colleges are key leaders in early childhood teacher preparation," said Nancie Linville, program director, Early Childhood Professional Development Systems, CDE. "With 97 percent of community college students remaining here in Colorado after graduation, this investment immediately impacts our youngest children."
"We are tremendously grateful for the departments’ vision in supporting the Campaign for Colorado Community Colleges," said Dr. Nancy McCallin, president, Colorado Community College System. "The need has never been greater. Our students require scholarships to enroll and continue in their studies, and these funds will assure that those wanting to pursue early childhood education as a career will have that opportunity."
More than 3,000 students attending Colorado community colleges are studying early childhood education. The scholarship program will specifically support students earning certificates and associate’s degrees in early childhood education, with a particular focus on students who will work in high-need regions of the state.