“This accomplishment was like giving birth to a new beginning of my life and to set an example to my kids that through hard work and perseverance you can accomplish anything you put your mind to if you have faith”.
– Ray (CUNY SPS Child Development Associate Certificate Graduate June 2018)
On June 1, 2018 41 students walked the stage at Lincoln Center to receive their Child Development Associate Certificate from CUNY School of Professional Studies. The individuals came from all parts of NYC’s five boroughs with different reasons for embarking on an educational path that lead to the certificate. They all shared a common desire, to be a great teacher and enjoy their work with children and families.
A group of students were continuing their professional development to further their career in early education. Some of the students returned to school after being away from formal classroom experience for many years. Other students decided they needed a change in their career and wanted more meaning to their work. A small cohort of students joined the program with a unique background and reason for partaking in the course. The group were all parents of NYC ACS Head Start programs. They participated in their programs as volunteers, committee members and delegate representatives. They were provided an opportunity to gain their CDA to continue to give back to the community that has provided so much to them and their families. They can now work as teacher assistants and lead teachers in the classrooms they once volunteered in. All of our students shared several semesters of intense course work and field experience, and bonded over sharing their stories as “student interns”.
I am truly proud of the students and instructors. Each day they came to class and their internships having to be open to new information, being open to learn something new and even face being challenged to shift old beliefs and thoughts about child development. The courses meet the requirements of New York State undergraduate early childhood courses and the National Council of Professional Recognition Child Development Associate (CDA) competency model. Each graduating student can go on and take the national credentialing exam.
The graduation was a culmination of all of their hard work. Several of the teaching faculty from the CDA program joined the stage with the students and shared in the excitement of such a great accomplishment. It was great to see students blowing kisses and waiving to them as they crossed the stage. A genuine shared moment of joy and pride.
The Institute salutes the hard work of 42 CDA graduates, some of them pictured here with their instructor and the Institute's Higher Education Coordinator, Claudine Campanelli. Claudine oversees the CDA program and the CPAC program in conjunction with the CUNY School of Professional Studies.