TUBA CITY, Ariz. - Coconino Community College (CCC) recently received a grant to prepare Tuba City High School students for early childhood education jobs. First Things First, a statewide early-childhood program funded through a tobacco tax, awarded the college a first year grant of $38,512. The grant can be renewed for two additional years.
The money will be used to prepare Tuba City High School students to complete the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential by the summer following high school graduation. The project will provide scholarships, textbooks, career counseling, academic advising and college placement test preparation.
"Our goal is to ensure students are college-ready when they graduate high school," said program director Kathy Nesbit, who oversees Perkins/High School Transitions for the college.
CCC and Tuba City High School have partnered for dual enrollment classes since 2004. Tuba City High School already offers introductory classes in early childhood education and the grant allows educators to expand that offering.
The Navajo Nation Regional Partnership of First Things First asked college officials to explore the possibility of offering professional development opportunities on the Navajo Nation to early childhood development professionals.
"Part of what we we've promised Navajo Nation students who intend to stay on the Navajo Nation is a way to transfer to college to continue their education," Nesbit said.
CCC's Kevin Mullins will be program coordinator and Paul Holbrook will oversee the curriculum and credentialing. Maria Goatcher, who teaches early childhood education at Tuba City High School, will continue to work with CCC to provide opportunity for her students.