Nine Community Colleges in Colorado receive NAEYC accreditation

CONTACT:  Nancie Linville, Vice President, Clayton Early Learning Institute; 303.870.1220 (cell)  303.398.8558 (work)

Early Childhood Programs at Colorado’s Community Colleges Earn NAEYC Stamp of Approval, Ensure High Quality

Denver, CO - April 2, 1012 - Clayton Early Learning, the Boettcher Foundation and the Colorado Community College System proudly announce a significant milestone in a statewide effort to strengthen professional development for early childhood educators.  Nine community colleges proved their commitment to quality by meeting the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s standards.

In March, the NAEYC Commission on Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation awarded accreditation to the following Colorado Community College Early Childhood Programs:

  • Arapahoe Community College
  • Front Range Community College
  • Otero Junior College
  • Pikes Peak Community College
  • Pueblo Community College
  • Red Rocks Community College
  • Trinidad State Junior College
  • Aims Community College
  • Colorado Mountain College

Dr. Nancy McCallin, president of the Colorado Community College System is very proud of the colleges’ achievement.  “Colorado’s Community College Early Childhood Programs are a key component in Colorado’s high quality early childhood system.  With Governor Hickenlooper’s recent launch of Colorado Reads: The Early Childhood Literacy Initiative, it is great to have our early childhood programs awarded NAEYC accreditation.  Having the support from the Boettcher Foundation and Clayton Early Learning has strengthened our efforts in Early Childhood Teacher Preparation.”

Community Colleges are the largest provider of Early Childhood Professional Preparation programs in Colorado.   In 2011, over 14,000* early childhood professionals attended community college classes to improve their teaching skills.  
Programs are accredited following a rigorous self-study and program improvement process.  A national team of external evaluators validated that each program has demonstrated the ability to meet national Early Childhood Professional Preparation Standards.  Four other colleges whose programs are currently too small for accreditation were also part of the project.  Morgan Community College, Delta-Montrose Technical, CCC Online and Western Colorado Community College, a division of Mesa State University, fully participated in the self-study and received state-level peer visits.

In partnership with the colleges, Clayton Early Learning led and facilitated this three year statewide effort.  For this initiative, Clayton convened the colleges for specific training and faculty development opportunities and provided individualized technical assistance.  Funding of $750,000 for this Early Childhood Teacher Preparation program initiative was provided by the Boettcher Foundation. 

Tim Schultz, President and Executive Director of the Boettcher Foundation is thrilled with the colleges’ achievements. “This is a tremendous day for the 250,000 young children receiving early care and education in Colorado.  The leadership and faculty at Colorado’s Community Colleges are to be commended for their commitment to providing high quality Early Childhood Teacher Preparation Programs.”

 “All children deserve highly effective teachers.  Colorado’s statewide NAEYC Accreditation Project has strengthened our EC Professional Development system.  All of the Community College EC faculty can be very proud of their accomplishments.  We’re looking forward to our continued work in supporting EC professionals.”  Nancie Linville, Vice President at Clayton Early Learning.

 *not an unduplicated count

The Colorado Community College System comprises the state's largest system of higher education serving more than 162,000 students annually.  CCCS oversees career and academic programs in the 13 state community colleges and career and technical programs in more than 160 school districts and six other post-secondary institutions.

About Clayton Early Learning
Clayton Early Learning is Colorado’s leading catalyst in providing and improving early education during the critical prenatal-to-5 period.  The non-profit organization’s dynamic model harnesses the synergy of research, practice and training to close learning gaps for the children who need it most.  Through its public and private partnerships, Clayton Early Learning drives system change throughout the state championing the fact that quality early education can and does change lives. For more information visit