WILMINGTON — Six Laurel Oaks Career Campus students earned the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential, the most widely recognized credential in early childhood education (ECE).
The six, all students in the Early Childhood Education program, are Amber Allen of Lynchburg, Jamilah Arram (Greenfield McClain), Jaebreon Burns (Wilmington), Nicole Grose (Greenfield McClain), Saundra Shannon (Greenfield McClain), and Keiarya-Brooke Whitehead (Hillsboro).
The CDA credential is a key stepping stone on the path of career advancement in ECE. Earning the CDA requires nearly 500 hours of work experience in a pre-school, the completion of a detailed portfolio of educational work, observation by a CDA Specialist, and passage of a rigorous exam.
“Earning the CDA is a significant accomplishment for anyone in the field, and for these students to do it while in high school is a great achievement,” said Laurel Oaks ECE instructor Mary Ann Horne.
The CDA is based on a core set of competency standards, which guide early care professionals as they work toward becoming qualified teachers of young children, according to the Council for Professional Recognition, which issues the certification. The CDA is a nationally-transferable credential, recognized by the profession as a vital part of professional development.
Earning the credential has many advantages, including exposure to the larger community of early childhood educators. Over 370,000 educators have received their CDA to date.