$50,000 in grants awarded for continuing education

September 2, 2016
Ullsvik Hall

PLATTEVILLE, Wisconsin — The Office of Continuing Education at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville recently received a $25,000 Innovative Teaching and Learning Grant and a $25,000 Articulation Improvement Grant from the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Wisconsin Scholarship Program coordinated through the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. UW-Platteville was among ten institutions to be awarded grants.

The Innovative Teaching and Learning Grant Project

According to Kerie Wedige, director of Continuing Education at UW-Platteville, her organization will use the DCF grant to develop a new Child Care Preschool Credential in Spanish, using the same curriculum as the Child Care Preschool Credential in English, with the help of qualified partners.

“This grant funding will allow us to expand our offerings and further support the online learning community for English as a Second Language child care providers We have fielded many requests over the past few years to bring this program to students in other languages and at this time, we have the personnel and partners in place to create the program and recruit students,” Wedige said. “The Spanish-speaking population of our state continues to rise and that means more children need quality care from providers who speak Spanish.”

Credential trainings such as the ones provided by UW-Platteville are critical for providers to earn higher YoungStar quality ratings for their centers. YoungStar is a state service that rates child care providers, and their ratings impacts funding to the centers and the financial assistance available to families using the centers. To receive assistance, a family must use a provider with at least a three-star rating. This can be a challenge where highly ranked child care providers are not accessible, especially in low-income neighborhoods. The OCE’s collaboration with Wisconsin Department of Children and Families represents an opportunity to improve the ratings of child care providers and increase access to quality child care for all Wisconsin families.

The Articulation Improvement Grant Project

As a result of the grant funding, UW-Platteville’s Office of Continuing Education and Southwest Wisconsin Technical College will work toward building the articulation agreements and supports necessary for online child care credential students to transfer their credits from UW-Platteville and go forward to earn an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education from Southwest Technical College. 

The online Child Care Credential Programs at UW-Platteville support non-traditional students by combining the applied, content-specific, skills-based training of best practices in early childhood education with writing and computer skills training.  They also give non-traditional students the confidence needed to continue on with their professional development and work toward a degree.
According to Chenoa Ruecking, Program Manager at UW-Platteville, this new collaboration between UW-Platteville and Southwest Tech will work to make the pathway between child care credential and Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education an easier transition process. 

“Once students have earned a credential or multiple credentials, they start to look for an online associate degree program that will meet their needs. However, when looking to transfer, these non-traditional students are often met with the hurdles of on-site placement exams, complex credit transfer policies, on-site practicums, and other obstacles which are difficult for working child care providers to overcome. This project seeks to ease that transition process,” Ruecking said.

Both projects are slated to be complete by July 2017. To learn more about the programs, contact Chenoa Ruecking by phone at 608.342.1315, toll-free at 888.281.9472, or by email at continuing@uwplatt.edu.

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