Specialty credentials include the Registry Diversity Credential, Registry Inclusion Credential, Credential, Registry Nature-Based Early Childhood Education Credential and Registry Supporting Dual Language Learners Credential. Each of these credentials provide practical knowledge and job specific skills to work with diverse learners and in unique environments.
The Diversity Credential is designed for anyone working in or touching the field of early care and education to take a deeper dive into what it means to work with children and families in a diverse society.
Those who complete the Diversity Credential will learn and explore more about themselves, colleagues, children, families, parents, and caregivers in the broad context of topics related to diversity and culture. Develop an understanding of difference in family structures and dynamics, while allowing space to practice “Constructive Uncertainty” and or recognize their own bias against some (i.e., children with same sex parents). Identify and gather resources available to them and make an honest effort to work collaboratively with others in and outside their respective fields with others in support of children. Apply the Social Justice Standards and Wisconsin Early Model Standards when planning learning experiences and fostering a socially just learning environment for children.
Diversity Credential Course Information
The Diversity Credential consists of a four-course series for a total of 12-credits:
Course One: Building a Foundation for Understanding Diversity
In this course, students will explore the historical context of racism and discrimination, reflect deeply on their own identity, culture, intersectionality and biases, and begin to consider steps they can take toward growth.
Course Two: Building on the Assets of Families and Cultures
Throughout this course, students will learn about how to build on the assets of diverse families. They will learn how to engage families while respecting their different backgrounds, welcome families and solicit their involvement so teachers and families can work collaboratively in the best interest of their child.
Course Three: Culturally Appropriate Interactions and Guidance
In this course, students will learn about culturally appropriate interactions and guidance for young children. Students will explore their own biases and reflect on their intentional and unintentional beliefs that lead to their responses when working with children from backgrounds different from their own. Students will also begin to recognize the disparity of equity that may impart a cumulative emotional and historical trauma across generations while learning how to interact and guide children that may be affected by such inequity.
Course Four: Authentic Curriculum that Connects with Children
Throughout this course, students will learn about the importance of creating curriculum that connects with children from diverse backgrounds. Students will also explore their role as leaders in the classroom and their program in creating a culturally competent environment for children and families. Students will create a capstone project to demonstrate and display what they have learned throughout the four courses of this credential course series.
Hands symbolize our humanness and connection to one another.
Teal symbolizes morality, renewal, welcoming, broad-minded, sympathetic, individuality, unbiased, clarity, accepting, supportive and well intentioned.
Number of Diversity Credential recipients since 2021.
The Inclusion Credential is designed for anyone caring for children with special needs and builds a knowledge base that allows providers to offer high quality care to all children. Completion of the Credential meets Department of Children and Families educational requirements for an Early Childhood Teacher.
Practitioners will benefit from the comprehensive coursework provided in the credential to gain the skills and confidence to support children and their families in an inclusive environment. The first three courses within the Inclusion Credential qualify for additional optional points within the YoungStar point details under category D1.2-4: Health and Wellness (3 credits of inclusion and/or social-emotional training) for Group, Family and School-Age providers.
Inclusion Credential Course Information
The Inclusion Credential consists of a four-course series for a total of 12-credits:
Course One: Children with Differing Abilities*
Before a provider can be responsive to the needs of children based on cultural or developmental differences, the person must examine his or her own histories, experiences, attitudes, and beliefs. American society changes rapidly. Viewpoints, opportunities, and even the language used follows trends that shape how individuals respond to others. To be aware of others, providers must begin with an awareness of self.
Course Two: Behavior and Emotional Challenges
This course helps promote children’s success by building relationships and creating supportive environments. Students will learn how to build rapport with children and their families and how to demonstrate positive social-emotional teaching strategies including individualized intensive interventions. Detailed discipline and guidance strategies will be described and techniques for developing behavior support plans as they relate to specific diagnosis and challenging behaviors will be explored. The class will focus on the need for positive and consistent team approaches to including children with challenging behaviors in typical community settings.
Course Three: Special Health Care Needs
Frequently encountered specialized health care needs of individuals with disabilities will be explored in this course. Students will explore a team approach in looking at health promotion in children and adults with special health care needs. The care of individuals with altered body systems function including sensory, gastrointestinal, bowel and bladder elimination, respiratory, skin/immune, and endocrine related states will be explored. Recognizing the family as expert on their own child/family member including understanding emergency management for various health conditions, community resources and support systems will also be covered.
Course Four: Capstone - Families and Team Centered Practice
A practitioner’s theory and philosophy toward the inclusion process is critical for success. This capstone course is designed to enhance the student’s understanding of family systems theory and family-centered practice. The impact of disability on family systems will be analyzed. Historical and current roles/views of families and parents in society with regards to disability will be discussed. Students will also have the opportunity to participate with a child and a family in daily routines and community settings. These examples will inform the student as they develop their theory and philosophy of inclusion.
Prerequisites: Courses 1 through 3 of the Inclusion Credential course sequence.
* This course is within the Wisconsin Technical College System Statewide Curriculum for the Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education.
Bridges represent building an inclusive learning environment for each child. Connections create the optimal support system for each child to develop to his or her fullest potential.
Blue symbolizes peace, unity, harmony, tranquility, calmness, trust, coolness, confidence, loyalty, dependability, wisdom, strength, steadfastness, light and friendliness.
Number of Inclusion Credential recipients since 2009.
The Nature-Based Early Childhood Education Credential is designed for any individual working in the field of early care and education looking to gain a better understanding of nature-based education and how a nature-based curriculum can support children’s learning and development in all settings, both urban and rural.
Nature-Based Early Childhood Education Credential Course Information
The Nature-Based Early Childhood Education Credential consists of a four-course series for a total of 12-credits:
Course 1: Introduction to Nature-Based Early Childhood Education
Nature-based early childhood education has its roots in early childhood education and environmental education. Understanding the foundation and history of both will help support intentional integration of these two varied disciplines. This course will introduce students to the field of nature-based early childhood education including its history, theories, benefits for children, the variety of programs possible while applying an equity lens, the teacher’s role, high quality practices, and resources available.
Course 2: Exploration of Nature-Based Early Childhood Curriculum and Assessment
This course is designed to help students develop a deeper understanding of what a Nature-Based Early Childhood (NBEC) curriculum entails as well as how to unite early childhood learning standards with developmentally appropriate, culturally responsive nature content. Students will explore how a Nature-based curriculum supports the developmental domains of early childhood. They will also evaluate different approaches to assessment in a NBEC classroom while examining the relationship between assessment and curriculum.
Course 3: Navigating the Benefits, Risks, and Challenges
This course looks at the benefits of nature-based early childhood programming and how nature-based environments support children’s learning and development. The course explores benefit and risk assessment, regulations, the role of teachers and management and the importance of defining a shared vision among program stakeholders and guiding principles.
Course 4: Designing for and Implementing Nature-Based Early Childhood Learning
This capstone course will allow students to engage in application of prior learning while planning, developing, and implementing an individualized action project. The action project will incorporate proposal writing and project management, creative problem solving, analysis and reflection of impact and scope of the project.
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Color: Forest Green
Forest green symbolizes freshness, growth and balance and represents the color of trees and other plants in the forest.
Number of Nature-Based Credential recipients since 2021.
The Supporting Dual Language Learners Credential is designed for early childhood educators looking to gain the skills and confidence to support children and families in a dual language environment. The Credential focuses on how to better understand the unique traits and needs of young children who are dual language learners.
The demographics within early childhood education in America are shifting. The number of young children learning a home language other than English as their first and primary language is growing at a much faster rate than young children learning English as a native speaker (WI Early Dual Language Learner Initiative). Dual language learners are generally referred to as children birth through age 5 who “acquire two or more languages simultaneously and learn a second language while continuing to develop their first language” (OHS 2009). Early childhood professionals will benefit from the comprehensive coursework provided in this credential to gain the skills and confidence to support children and families in a dual language learning environment.
Supporting Dual Language Learners Course Information
The Supporting Dual Language Learners Credential consists of a four-course series for a total of 12-credits:
Course One: Introduction to Dual Language in Early Childhood
As the first course in the Supporting Dual Language Learners Credential, this course provides a historical overview of dual language programs in the United States and offers evidence to support the importance of home language maintenance in a dual language setting. It provides a foundation for understanding dual language learners, as well as strategies to effectively meet the needs of dual language learners in an early childhood setting, including classroom environments, teaching recommendations, and methods of assessment.
Course Two: Components of a Quality Dual Language Program
As the second course in the Supporting Dual Language Learners Credential, students will learn about the components of a quality dual language program, including assessment and accountability, curriculum, instruction, classroom environments, staff quality, program structure, family and community involvement, and support and resources. Students will investigate and evaluate each component and how it affects dual language learning.
Course Three: Supporting Language Acquisition in Early Childhood Dual Language Learners
As the third course in the Supporting Dual Language Learners Credential, students will develop understanding about the characteristics of an effective teacher of children who are dual language learners. Students will learn and apply strategies to effectively support all dual language learners in an early childhood setting from infancy to preschool.
Course Four: Assessment of Dual Language Learners in Early Childhood
Throughout this final Capstone course, students will take a deeper look at the components of a quality dual language program, including assessment and accountability, curriculum, instruction, classroom environments, staff quality, program structure, family and community involvement, and support and resources. Students will investigate and evaluate each component and how it affects dual language learning through an assessment lens.
Prerequisites: Courses 1 through 3 of the Supporting Dual Language Learners Credential course series.
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Coral symbolizes acceptance, individuality, welcoming, empowerment, kindness, and upbeat spirit.
Number of Registry Supporting Dual Language Learners Credential recipients since 2019.