Early learning and child care program wins CICan award

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May 4, 2017
The program that launched the student-managed concept, dual credit courses and French programming at Lakeland College has earned national recognition
The Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) program received a 2017 Silver Award of Excellence in the Program Excellence category from Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) this week. The award is presented to programs that are innovative, portable, sustainable and effective.

“Congratulations to everyone involved in our early learning and child care program on this deserving recognition. The people involved in the program are continuously adopting new practices as they focus on the best way to meet the needs of students,” says Alice Wainwright-Stewart, president of Lakeland College. CICan awards

In the 1980s ELCC introduced the Play Program, a practicum for students in the diploma stream of the program. The Play Program, which continues today, put students in the lead and made them responsible for planning, budgeting, marketing and running the program. The student-managed learning format that originated in the ELCC program is now found in many programs at Lakeland.

Other ELCC innovations include offering its course Play as a dual credit course to high school students so they could earn college and high school credits. The success of the first online dual credit course in 2011 spurred faculty to offer ELCC online courses to adults. Demand for French programming led faculty to partner with Centre collégial de l’Alberta to create a French-language version of the program in 2013.

“The college’s leadership team encourages people throughout Lakeland to step out of their comfort zone, adopt new practices, and focus on the rewards for students more than the risks of change. When people are given the freedom to explore different ideas and pathways to best serve students, the results can be invigorating,” says Janice Aughey, dean of teaching and learning at Lakeland.

Because of the many innovations that increased student access to the program, hundreds of students take ELCC courses either online or face-to-face at the Vermilion campus each year. In addition, 322 people have graduated from the certificate and diploma program since 2012 providing industry and families with more trained child care providers.

Aughey noted that innovation in the ELCC program will continue this fall with the introduction of French immersion course options on campus. She also thanked the program’s many supporters including school divisions, practicum hosts, advisory committee members, students and alumni for their ongoing support. For more information on the program visit lakelandcollege.ca/human.

CICan’s Awards of Excellence recognize best practices from institutions across the country, as well as individual leadership and achievements.

Photo: Lakeland College President Alice Wainwright-Stewart accepted the Award of Excellence on behalf of the ELCC program during the awards presentation at the CICan conference. Pictured are Robert Szokup, VP, Affinity Market Group with TD Insurance, the awards of excellence sponsor; Denise Amyot, CICan president and CEO; Wainwright-Stewart; and Liane Roy, president and CEO of Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) and current chair of CICan’s board of directors.