Community College Partnerships

The Opportunity

Community Colleges are the largest provider of Early Childhood (EC) teacher preparation programs in Colorado. Enrollment in these programs increased by more than 300% from 2008 (4,500 students) through 2010 (14,800).  These students reach and teach almost 70% of the approximately 246,800 children in licensed early learning settings in Colorado.

Explore this page to learn how Colorado Community College EC Programs pursued NAEYC associate degree program accreditation as a cohort group to improve program quality and accountability, and enhance Colorado’s early learning system.

In March 2012, the NAEYC Commission on Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation awarded accreditation to nine of the participating programs.  Four of the programs only qualified for program improvement and continue in that process and one program is still in the self-study phase.  (Accreditation Press Release.)

NAEYC Associate Degree Program Accreditation

Explore the accreditation process completed by a cohort group from 14 Colorado Community College Early Childhood Programs.

Partner Community College Early Childhood Programs

Meet Our Partner Community College Programs.

State-Level Partners and Impact

Meet the state-level partners and learn how the project contributes to Colorado’s early childhood professional development system.

Professional Development Opportunities for Community College Faculty

Read how Clayton supports this critical piece of the EC system.


Dig deeper: Access additional digital resources related to NAEYC Associate Degree Program Accreditation.

Project Tools and Samples

Use or adapt these artifacts, lessons learned and tools generated through the Colorado accreditation process.