Washington, DC - The District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), Division of Early Childhood Education (ECE) launched a comprehensive higher education scholarship system to increase the opportunities for early childhood professionals to acquire higher education credentials.
“OSSE knows the importance of having highly qualified individuals helping all our children reach their full potential,” said State Superintendent Kerri Briggs. “The District sets a high standard for programs and professionals but also provides supports to meet these standards.”
This scholarship system is in response to recent changes in local and federal regulations that have placed emphasis on the need for early childhood professionals with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or child development. Research shows that early childhood educators with higher levels of formal education and ongoing support are more likely to create quality learning experiences for young children and their families.
“We know that the District’s workforce needs scholarships to pursue higher education. We must simultaneously remove the barriers, including a lack of meaningful incentives and inaccessibility,” added Felicia DeHaney, Interim Assistant Superintendent of Early Childhood Education.
This comprehensive scholarship system will use the nationally recognized Teacher Education and Compensation Helps (T.E.A.C.H) Early Childhood® model, a research-based scholarship model that is in place in 21 states.
The management of the new system was awarded to National Black Child Development Institute through a Request for Application (RFA) process. Scholarships will be available this fall.