Old Dominion University has signed a guaranteed admission articulation agreement with the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) that will provide a pathway to the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies' early childhood program for students attending any of the 23 VCCS-affiliated institutions.

The agreement supports students in completing 62 credits in an Associate of Applied Science in early childhood development degree, which they can then apply toward a 121-credit Bachelor of Science in early childhood education. The program enables students to transfer general education and early childhood-specific coursework toward their bachelor's degree. ODU's Bachelor of Science program leads to licensure in early childhood education PK-3.

"This agreement builds upon the many guaranteed admission articulation agreements we already have with community colleges throughout the state," ODU President John R. Broderick said. "This new pathway will also help to address the pressing shortage of teachers - which was exacerbated by the pandemic - both locally and throughout Virginia."

Course work spans the disciplines of English literature and composition; history; fine and performing arts; mathematics; natural sciences; social sciences; human growth and development; and educational foundations, technology, assessment, theory and teaching methods.

"Engaging with other educational institutions is a critical part of the strategic plan at Old Dominion University," said Austin Agho, provost and vice president for academic affairs. "This initiative is a win for community college students, ODU and the communities that graduates of this program will ultimately serve."

"I am thrilled to see this agreement come to fruition because it will open doors to so many who want to pursue early childhood education bachelor's degrees and teacher licensure," added Tammi Dice, interim dean of the Darden College. "This streamlined pathway for individuals to become licensed early childhood educators also promotes access to quality early education opportunities for children, which will better prepare them for success in school and beyond."

Kristine Sunday, ODU's early childhood education program director and associate professor, pointed out that this program "addresses the complexities of the field and the critical need for licensed early childhood teachers across the commonwealth."

Daniela Cigularova, ODU's executive director of advising administration and transfer initiatives, said she is "very excited" about the initiative.

"This agreement will directly contribute to our state goals of educating Virginia and we, at ODU, take great pride in the transfer students we serve and the partnerships we continue to enhance with community colleges and K-12," she said.

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