Vanguard Awarded Ranking in the Top 10 Schools for Online Early Childhood Ed Degrees

best-online-early-educationThe  SuperScholar Smart Choice ranking was designed as a tool to help prospective early childhood educators make a smart choice about where to invest their time and money in earning their degree. Programs were selected and ranked based on publicly available information on their academic quality, student satisfaction, reputation in the field, and cost.

The Value of an Online Early Childhood Education Degree

A degree in Early Childhood Education is the perfect for people who love working with children and helping them flourish. Early childhood educators have the unique opportunity to impact the lives of children at the most important stage of their growth and development. The impact of good early childhood education on the long term well being of society has become better understood and more well known in the last decade, giving rise to greater demand for trained early childhood educators. An online degree in early childhood education has the potential to open up numerous possibilities for future employment and promotion. An associate’s degree in early childhood education from a regionally accredited college or university is considered a minimal requirement for most entry-level positions in the field, with the need for a bachelor’s degree becoming more prevalent. Those seeking leadership and administrative positions are usually required to have at least a master’s degree.

Vanguardoffers an accredited online Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education. This 124-unit program is designed for maximum flexibility and convenience, allowing students to choose any time of the day or night for classes. Vanguard’s online Early Childhood Education program uses an accelerated 8-week class schedule to help students complete their BA quickly.

Accreditation: Vanguard University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

For more information click here.

Welcome From The Dean, Andrew Stenhouse, Ed.D.

Andy (3)Welcome to Vanguard University’s School for Graduate and Professional Studies

My vision is for our School for Graduate and Professional Studies to clearly be Orange County’s top choice for a professional education with a Christian foundation – a place where you are empowered to discern your calling; discover your giftedness; and develop your competencies.

You will graduate from Vanguard confidently equipped for your profession. You will be extremely competent. Yet, you will graduate with so much more.  With so much conversation these days on only measuring competencies, many institutions are losing sight of what I believe are some of the most significant benefits of education – calling and giftedness. At Vanguard, you will develop more than your competencies. Your life will be transformed.

If you are like most adult students, you are looking for something more. Although you may be uncertain as to what specifically ‘more’ is, you know it’s time to make a change. It’s time to do more; time to be more. As with so many of our students, your time at Vanguard will be a time of discovering your dream – your true calling. And, along with discerning your calling, you will also discover your true giftedness, at a time and amid circumstance that warrant the discovery most.

In the School for Graduate and Professional Studies, you will be given a quality education in a caring community. The quality of your degree is evidenced by the academic reputation Vanguard University has with local employers. Your professors are leading experts in their fields and bring real-world experience into the classroom, often along with nationally renowned guest speakers. The material discussed in class is relevant and immediately applicable to your career. What you learn in class one night can be applied at work the very next morning.

The caring community of Vanguard University’s School for Graduate and Professional Studies is often what alums value most. Your professors are not only excellent teachers, they are compassionate mentors, living out their own calling, to passionately change lives through higher education. You will be encouraged and supported by a courteous, professional, and student-centered staff, that understands the unique demands of adult learners — many of whom have balanced work, college, and family themselves – who serve with empathy and support. Finally, you will be supported by your classmates. Relationships that begin the first weeks of class often flourish for years. This close-knit community not only provides a great support structure while in school, it provides an even greater professional network that lasts throughout your career.

If you are exploring how a degree from Vanguard University’s School for Graduate and Professional Studies can change your life, I invite you to call me directly. I am always eager to help people pursue their dreams.

Hope. All is well.

Andy

Andrew Stenhouse, Ed.D.
Dean, School for Graduate and Professional Studies
T 714.668.6110 | F 714.668.6194

Read more

 

 

College Fosters Early Childhood Education,by Iman Siddiqi, The Orange County Register

mqxewb-b781150018z.120130802160207000gjv1f6vp5.2Those of us who went through preschool remember little more than nursery rhymes, chocolate pudding and the swing set. But as national standards increase, preschoolers today are acquiring basic skills in writing, mathematics and social interaction.

Statistics show that students enrolled in preschool enter kindergarten with stronger academic and social skills than their peers and students having been through preschool perform better in elementary school.

“I know my daughter will improve a lot by going to preschool, but I want her to go to a preschool where she will actually learn, and not just be babysat,” said Mai Tran of Irvine, who has a 3-year-old daughter who will attend preschool this fall.

As parents search for quality preschools, preschools in turn are looking to hire more qualified educators. Schools like Vanguard University in Costa Mesa are trying to help educators meet that need.

Funded by the California Department of Education, the Child Development Training Consortium has created the Child Development Permit Matrix, outlining the requirements for six levels of educators in state preschools: teacher’s assistant, associate teacher, teacher, master teacher, site supervisor and program director. Educators at each level are authorized to care for and assist in the instruction of children and can supervise educators at lower levels.

Teachers in California’s public preschools need to have either an associate’s degree in early childhood education (ECE), or at least 24 completed units of ECE courses, 16 units of general education courses and experience.

Private preschools have three permit options: teacher’s assistant, teacher and director. Assistant teachers require six ECE units, teachers require 12 units, and directors require 12 units and an additional administration course.

Although a degree is not required for educators to be licensed, as preschool standards are shifting to a greater academic focus, and parents’ demands on preschool continue to increase, more schools, including private and faith-based, are demanding degrees of their educators. As a result, many early educators need to return to school to obtain more units or a degree in ECE.

“I’m seeking a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education so I can continue to be a lead teacher at Head Start because in the next few years every lead teacher at Head Start will be required to have a bachelor’s degree,” said Mary Schreiner, 39, of Huntington Beach, a Vanguard University student.

Schreiner and almost 200 other students from all over California and beyond selected Vanguard to complete coursework to meet licensing and ongoing professional development requirements for educators.

Vanguard, in Costa Mesa, is a private Christian university of liberal arts and professional studies that offers 21 undergraduate majors and three graduate degrees.

One of the graduate degrees is the Child Development Program that offers online associate’s and bachelor’s degrees and other online ECE courses. The online bachelor’s degree program was recently ranked No. 16 in the United States by TheBestSchools.org, which ranks college and degree programs in different categories and says it is an independent organization with no ties to any other educational institution.

“Most of our students are adult learners returning to school or seeking a new career path,” said Shari Farris, faculty chair of Early Childhood Education at Vanguard. “Most are parents and work full time. They have very busy lives. The accelerated fully online format works well for them.”

In comparison to in-class courses at other universities, each of Vanguard’s online courses is based on an accelerated eight-week format rather than a traditional 16-week semester format, allowing students to complete the ECE coursework requirements within two years.

“The faculty that teaches in the program consists of highly-educated practitioners with years of teaching and leadership experience,” said Farris. “Despite the online format, our faculty works to intentionally build relationships with students through discussions, meaningful and relevant coursework, faith integration and mentoring.”

The online bachelor’s degree costs approximately $19,500 or $375 per unit, with books costing about $100 per class.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for an early educator in 2012 was $25,000 a year. Early educators with a bachelor’s degree and a focus in a specific area, such as special education, earned $51,000 on average in 2012.

“I chose the field of ECE because in a career like this, money doesn’t matter,” said Kristina Olsen, 25, of Oakland and a candidate for a bachelor’s degree at Vanguard University. “The rewards are emotional rather than financial. The ultimate reward of working with children is in seeing how each child grows and becomes their own person.”

Expectant Heart…Pressing On by Ale Exquivel, Student Early Childhood Education Bachelor’s Degree

ECE_coverMy name is Alejandra Esquivel, and I am beginning my third semester at Vanguard. I am beyond blessed in furthering my education at Vanguard as I continue to get equipped in the field of Early Childhood Education. In the Fall of 2009 the Lord opened the door to return to school full time, and there a beautiful journey began. As I went through human development classes, a passion for Early Childhood Education began to flourish. I completed ECE units at a local community college, and now (three years later) I find myself in the Vanguard ECE online bachelor’s program.

As the year approached to transfer from a community college to university, I continuously sought the Lord for his direction. While doors kept closing in other schools, one spring summer afternoon I thought of Vanguard. At that point I knew that Vanguard had excellent adult programs in Nursing and Religion but nothing in the field the Lord gave me a passion for.

To my surprise, when I punched in Vanguard’s website address, I saw a huge banner announcement that read “ECE Bachelor’s online program coming in the Spring (2012) -pending WASC approval” I almost fell off my chair! As I scrolled through the course descriptions: “Spiritual Formation of the Young Child, Early Foundations for Moral Character Development, Ministering to Parents and Families, Effective Christian-Based Learning Environments, and Kingdom Education for Young Children” my heart was overjoyed as I felt like I was uncovering a precious and early Christmas present! In my previous ECE courses, as we discussed the areas of development of young children – I was always dissatisfied with my instructor’s answer when I asked “What about the child’s spiritual life? What about the child’s spiritual needs?” She would always reply, “Alejandra, we must stick with what the textbook says.”

You ask, why Vanguard? Because that’s clearly where God has led me. I have come to know the importance of having a clear biblical view when it comes to the family unit and the development of young children. It is my heart’s desire to understand and be in full knowledge of the field and in turn, equip parents and children as we seek to please our Creator and look forward to his coming kingdom.

I currently work as a secretary at an intermediate school. As I work on my degree, God has given me the opportunity to work with teenagers, and as I’ve completed ECE classes, I’ve already began to understand some of the needs of these children (particularly those with discipline and poor behavior problems.) The Lord has given me patience and love for them.

With an expectant heart, I wait on the Lord “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in [me] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 (NIV) and then in Jeremiah 3:15 he says, “then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.” (NIV)

I now push forward to what lies ahead…HIS promises.

Brittany Youngquist takes lead at CLCC Preschool, ECE Alum

fd146814-8138Brittany Youngquist, known to many Canyon Lakers as Brittany Downey, says growing up in a community like Canyon Lake has offered many opportunities. One of her favorites, she says, is the opportunity to serve God through her involvement at Canyon Lake Community Church where she recently became director of the preschool.
The daughter of Jim and Kathy Downy, Brittany says Canyon Lake Community Church has had an impactful presence in the valley and in her family’s history since 1977. Kathy sang in the choir in the late ’70s and ’80s. Pastor Pete Van Dyke performed Jim and Kathy’s wedding ceremony in 1981. Brittany was active in Sunday School and the Awana program as a child.
As an adult, Kathy says she spent time volunteering as a Sunday School teacher, MOPS childcare volunteer and high school youth group leader. But little did she know God would one day call her to full-time ministry in her home church.
Brittany graduated as a valedictorian from Temescal Canyon High School in 2005. A lovely and popular young woman, she was selected by her classmates as homecoming princess and winter formal queen her senior year. Following high school graduation, Brittany attended the University of Redlands, where she was the recipient of the presidential scholarship and collegiate academic award. She was also a member of the University Dean’s List and the National Dean’s List each year.
She graduated from the University of Redlands in 2009 with a bachelor of arts degree in Sociology and Anthropology with an emphasis in Youth Studies. She also received a bachelor of arts degree in Religious Studies with an emphasis in Western Religion. Upon graduation, Brittany was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa National Academic Honor Society as well as Theta Alpha Kappa National Honor Society for Religious Studies and Theology.
Following graduation, Brittany married her high school sweetheart, Ricky Youngquist. Brittany says when she discovered Canyon Lake Community Church was preparing to open a preschool, God laid it on her heart to continue her education in the field of Early Childhood Education. She immediately enrolled in courses, earning an Early Childhood Education Certificate from Ashworth University.
Upon completion, Brittany applied and was offered a full-time teaching position at the CLCC Preschool. Brittany taught the 2- and 3-year-old class for some time before accepting the position as assistant preschool director. In that position, Brittany says she gained experience and insight into the world of preschool administration. She completed additional administrative units through Vanguard University, which she believes was God’s preparation for things to come.
In August 2013, Brittany says God opened yet another door as she accepted the position as CLCC’s preschool director. She says she is honored to be utilized by God as she serves the families in the valley through the preschool ministry.
Canyon Lake Community Church Preschool is in its fourth year. “God continues to bless this ministry as the school opened at full capacity and maintains a growing wait-list,” says Brittany. “Canyon Lake Community Church Preschool is a wonderful outreach, as children are nurtured in all areas of development while experiencing God’s love for them.”
And so Brittany comes full circle on the same campus where she first learned about that love

Article posted in The Friday Flyer, September 20, 2013

Vanguard University’s ECE Education Counselor: Guest Speaker For Help Me Grow Cafe

Help Me Grow Orange County
North/Central Region Connection Cafe
In Partnership with Delhi Community Center  
When:
Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM

 
Where:
Delhi Community Center
505 E. Central Ave.
Santa Ana, CA 92707

 

 

 

 

Orange 

Dear Kenia,
Let’s Collaborate as a Community!


Join us for breakfast and learn more about programs and services in your community.  Become a part of the network that supports children and families in Orange County.   
Guest Speaker: 
Kenia Cueto, M.Ed, Education Counselor
Vanguard UniversityTopic:

Cultural Conversation: Understanding Social and Cultural Aspects of the Diverse Latin Population We Serve
Please RSVP by September 13th

ENROLL NOW AT VANGUARD UNIVERSITY

 

ECE Logo

APPLY NOW

LAST DAY TO ENROLL IS OCTOBER 4

Module 2 – October 14 to December 8, 2013 – 8 Week Courses.

ECED 101         Child Growth & Development
ECED 103         Child, Family, & Community
ECED 106         Introduction to Curriculum for the Young Child
ECED 108         Principles & Practices of Teaching Young Children
ECED 109         Infant/Toddler
ECED 132         Early Education Practicum
ECED 135         Health, Safety, & Nutrition for the Young Child
ECED 139         Adult Supervision & Mentoring
ECED 150         Spiritual Formation of Young Children
ECED 338         Advanced Administration of Early Childhood Education Programs

For further assistance call 714.668.6130 or email ecedadmissions@vanguard.edu.

Vanguard University is a full Yellow Ribbon school.

 

Dr. Andrew Stenhouse, Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies

 

AndyDr. Andrew Stenhouse has returned to Vanguard to serve as the new Dean for Graduate and Professional Studies.  Recognized as an expert in leadership development, Dr. Stenhouse brings a unique approach from education and industry, as well as the insight of an alumnus and former faculty member.  Dr. Stenhouse was kind enough to share with us the changes in adult learning at Vanguard, his thoughts on leadership, and what makes Vanguard such a unique place.

Q: You received three degrees from Vanguard, taught as a tenured faculty member here, and now returned as the Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies.  What is it about Vanguard sets it apart from other institutions?

There is a Soul to Vanguard like no other institution I have encountered. What we do here is unique in that there is a deeply spiritual foundation that underlies absolutely everything that happens here. I know other universities talk about their unique Christian perspectives, but things really are different here. There is a spiritual commitment that binds the faculty together that is inspiring. We can sometimes disagree on the “how,” but we are all absolutely committed to the “what” (student learning) and the “why” (our calling to change lives). When you have faculty who are absolutely dedicated to the what and why, the how will inevitably be resolved – and with better outcomes due to the collaborative process. We all want the same outcome – students living a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered leadership and service.

Q: You are known as an expert in leadership development.  What advice do you give to students and alumni who want to better develop themselves as a leader?

Whenever anyone tells me they want to be a leader, I ask them why? Where they want to lead people and why they want to lead them there is foundational. Until a person has discovered that passionate call to truly make a difference – to rectify an injustice or to bring restoration to the broken – leadership is not about creating positive change; but is merely an ego trip. Leadership is always about other people. The best leaders I know really are not all that interested in being in charge. They’re interested in making a difference. People always follow someone like that.

Q: Our graduate programs and our School for Professional Studies have now merged into Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) at Vanguard.  Can you tell us the benefits of all adult learning being in one school?

All of our graduate and professional studies programs equip adult students for professional excellence. Our students are not the traditional students who live on or around campus and take classes throughout the day. Our students attend classes in the late afternoons, evenings, on weekends, or online. They generally have family obligations while furthering their own careers and are highly motivated to succeed academically as well as professionally. With this new organizational structure we can better leverage our efforts to attract, equip, and graduate students into fulfilling careers whether its business, education, nursing, counseling, or ministry.

Q: What would surprise our alumni who haven’t back to campus in over a decade?

If they walk around campus at nights or on Saturday mornings, they will see hundreds of adult learners ranging from their mid-20’s to mid-60’s. Some of the greatest diversity within the university is among our graduate and professional studies students.

Q: What is the greatest piece of advice you have ever received?

From my Dad: “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

Q: Can you tell us a little about your family.

My wife Karen and I were married ten years ago in Needham Chapel – a place that has always been special to me. Since she had a daughter (Lindsay) and I had two (Taryn and Kayla) I proposed to her with a simple gold band with five diamonds. I told her that if we were to marry, it would be a package deal. There would be five us involved in the new enterprise. She agreed and life since has been an amazing blessing. Sure blended families like ours have unique challenges, but we also have unique blessings as well. I have written numerous articles for Focus on the Family about our stories and the November issue of OC Family will carry one of my favorite stories. I hope you get a chance to read it.

Q: What is the single greatest attribute you admire about your wife?

She absolutely loves the Lord. Her faith is constant.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time, when you are not on campus?

You will find me at the pool or the beach. Water is good for my soul.

Private and Faith-Based Preschools Benefit from Public Funds

Faith Based Preschools

Faith Based Preschools

“High-quality pre-K can happen in church basements, community centers or within the Y.M.C.A., as long as the standards are there,” said Lisa Guernsey, the director of early education at the New America Foundation, a nonprofit policy institute.

Good news for private and faith based preschools. Universal preschool, proposed by President Obama and his administration, will benefit and not hurt faith based preschools. However, in order to qualify for the federal and state funds – preschool teachers will have to meet the governments education standards for preschool teachers.  For the full artilce read the New York Times. 

Preschool programs across the states would meet common and consistent standards for quality across all programs, including:
o Well-trained teachers, who are paid comparably to K-12 staff;
o Small class sizes and low adult to child ratios;
o A rigorous curriculum;
o Comprehensive health and related services; and
o Effective evaluation and review of programs.
More

            “According to theNational Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University, about one-third of students enrolled in state-financed preschool programs attend classes conducted outside the public schools. In some states, the proportion is much higher: in New Jersey, close to 60 percent of students in publicly financed preschool are enrolled in private, nonprofit or Head Start centers, and in Florida, about 84 percent of 4-year-olds in state-financed prekindergarten attend classes run by private, faith-based or family centers.
            Now, as President Obama pushes a proposal to provide public preschool for all 4-year-olds from families with low or moderate incomes, his administration acknowledges that many children will attend classes outside the public schools.”

Research asserts that low and middle income parents will soon be able to provide a quality Christian education for their young children without a financial burden on their family. Public financing will also provide private and faith based schools the assets necessary to pay degreed teachers a more competitive wage.

This writer believes this is good news for our Christian preschools – what do you think?    

Students seek early learning credentials Orange County Register

super saturdayThose of us who went through preschool remember little more than nursery rhymes, chocolate pudding and the swing set. But as national standards increase, preschoolers today are acquiring basic skills in writing, mathematics and social interaction.


Statistics show that students enrolled in preschool enter kindergarten with stronger academic and social skills than their peers, and students who have been through preschool perform better in elementary school.

“I know my daughter will improve a lot by going to preschool, but I want her to go to a preschool where she will actually learn, and not just be babysat,” said Mai Tran of Irvine, who has a 3-year-old daughter.

As parents search for quality preschools, preschools in turn are looking to hire more qualified educators. Schools like Vanguard University in Costa Mesa are trying to help educators meet that need.

Funded by the California Department of Education, the Child Development Training Consortium has created the Child Development Permit Matrix, outlining the requirements for six levels of educators in state preschools: teacher’s assistant, associate teacher, teacher, master teacher, site supervisor and program director. Educators at each level are authorized to care for and assist in the instruction of children and can supervise educators at lower levels.

Teachers in California’s public preschools need to have either an associate degree in early childhood education, or at least 24 completed units of early childhood education courses, 16 units of general education courses and experience.

Private preschools have three permit options: teacher’s assistant, teacher and director. Assistant teachers require six early childhood education units, teachers require 12 units, and directors require 12 units and an additional administration course.

Although a degree is not required for educators to be licensed, as preschool standards are shifting to a greater academic focus, and parents’ demands on preschools continue to increase, more schools, including private and faith-based, are demanding degrees of their educators. As a result, many early educators need to return to school to obtain more units or a degree in early childhood education.

“I’m seeking a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education so I can continue to be a lead teacher at Head Start because in the next few years, every lead teacher at Head Start will be required to have a bachelor’s degree,” said Mary Schreiner, 39, of Huntington Beach, a Vanguard University student.

Schreiner and almost 200 other students selected Vanguard to complete coursework to meet licensing and ongoing professional development requirements for educators.

Vanguard is a private Christian university of liberal arts and professional studies in Costa Mesa that offers 21 undergraduate majors and three graduate degrees.

One of the graduate degrees is the Child Development Program that offers online associate and bachelor’s degrees and other online early childhood education courses. The online bachelor’s degree program was recently ranked No. 16 in the country by TheBest Schools.org, which ranks college and degree programs in different categories and says it is an independent organization.

“Most of our students are adult learners returning to school or seeking a new career path,” said Shari Farris, faculty chairwoman of early childhood education at Vanguard. “Most are parents and work full time. They have very busy lives. The accelerated fully online format works well for them.”

In comparison with in-class courses at other universities, each of Vanguard’s online courses is based on an accelerated eight-week format rather than a traditional 16-week semester format, allowing students to complete the early childhood education coursework requirements within two years.

“The faculty that teaches in the program consists of highly educated practitioners with years of teaching and leadership experience,” said Farris. “Despite the online format, our faculty works to intentionally build relationships with students through discussions, meaningful and relevant coursework, faith integration and mentoring.”

The online bachelor’s degree costs approximately $19,500 or $375 per unit, with books costing about $100 per class.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for an early educator in 2012 was $25,000 a year. Early educators with a bachelor’s degree and a focus in a specific area, such as special education, earned $51,000 on average in 2012.

“I chose the field of ECE because in a career like this, money doesn’t matter,” said Kristina Olsen, 25, of Oakland and a candidate for a bachelor’s degree at Vanguard University. “The rewards are emotional rather than financial. The ultimate reward of working with children is in seeing how each child grows and becomes their own person.”