Young children get extra learning time at Northeast Community College


Special to The Viewpoint

NORFOLK– A day off from school allowed some young children whose parents are employed at Northeast Community College to get in some extra learning time with students enrolled in the institution’s Early Childhood Education program.

Lisa Guenther, early childhood education instructor, said students in the program’s Preschool Child Development and Health Safety and Nutrition classes planned lessons to teach to children during a Bring Your Child to Work morning.

“Northeast faculty and staff were invited to register and bring their children to college for a morning of learning and activities. College students researched learning activities and taught lessons to the children,” she said. “It was a ‘win-win’ for everyone.”

In addition to Northeast students, high school students enrolled in the College’s Fridays @ Northeast program participated in the morning of learning. The Fridays @ Northeast program allows high school seniors to spend the final day of their school week on campus as college students and introduces them to a variety of career and technical education classes that lead directly into programs of study upon completion of their high school education.

Guenther said the young children enjoyed being with college students for a morning of learning knowing that their parents were close by.

“The college students gained experience in planning, teaching and working with the children,” she said. “Children involved were ages 3 through 8, so there was a variety of developmental and learning levels. It was a great learning experience for all of the ‘college’ students over the two-hour span.”

Early Childhood Education Student Madisen Grosserode, of Neligh, said, “This experience was very fulfilling. I truly love working with kids and I’m glad I get these opportunities to work towards a major that I’m so passionate about.”

Parents also appreciated having the opportunity, too. Becky Miller, communications specialist at Northeast, said her daughter had a wonderful time.

“Lorelei had so much fun. I got to hear all about it on the way to daycare and I am sure I will hear a lot more tonight on the way home.”

Northeast offers two degrees through its early childhood education program to meet industry needs.

An associate of applied science (AAS) degree is designed to allow students to seek immediate employment in the early childhood workforce. Most graduates with this degree option work in early childhood facilities or home childcare settings.

The second option, the associate of arts (AA) degree transfers to four-year institutions. Students can pursue an early childhood education inclusive option, which prepares them to teach preschool through third grade. The other option is a degree in early childhood education in the family and consumer science field. Students who choose this option most often work in administration in childcare centers.