Examining Early Childhood Teacher Preparation Amidst Unprecedented Times

Community colleges are an integral component of the United States’ (U.S.) educational pipeline and play a critical role in developing early educators. In the spring of 2020, an unprecedented global health pandemic—COVID-19—swept the nation, causing institutions to rapidly respond to online teaching and learning. As a first-in-a-lifetime occurrence, most institutions adapted and evolved in real time with no implementation guide. Now that that over eight months have elapsed since colleges transitioned to remote education, it is the ideal time to assess preliminary outcomes and lessons learned for future program improvement.
The NC State College of Education’s Friday Institute and the Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research are partnering together to study the differences between early childhood teacher preparation among N.C. community colleges during and after the transition to remote learning environments prompted by COVID-19.
The proposed research will perform statistical analysis on annual enrollment and course completion cohort data prior and during the 2020 calendar year. It will also identify the ways in which faculty of those courses modified their instruction and the extent their institution supported or hindered their modifications through interviews conducted via Zoom.
This project is funded by a Catalyst Grant from the Friday Institute and NC State College of Education.