MACON — Mercer University continues to lead the way in birth-through-five teacher education. Two state agencies have given Mercer’s Tift College of Education $240,000 in grants in support of its innovative Early Care and Education program, bringing the total grants from the agencies to $680,000 over the past three years.
For the third consecutive year, the College has received funding from the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, this time in the amount of $90,624. The Department awarded the College $200,000 in 2005 and $190,000 in 2006 to develop articulation agreements among colleges, technical colleges and universities. The Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC) has also given the College, in collaboration with Kennesaw State University, a grant of $150,000 in addition to an earlier $50,000 grant, to support curriculum development.
“Mercer University’s Tift College of Education is pleased to partner with both the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning and the Georgia Professional Standards Commission in efforts to build and sustain quality educational experiences for early care and education professionals,” said Dr. Penny Elkins, associate dean and Fred L. Miles Chair of Educational Leadership. “These funds will continue to support programs that will have lasting positive impact on Georgia’s young children.”
Mercer has led Georgia’s efforts to develop curricula to meet certification standards for birth through five programs in response to the increasing demand for educated childcare professionals. The PSC, familiar with Tift’s reputation for innovation, asked the College to take the lead in the development of an early care education baccalaureate program. Mercer’s Early Care and Education program not only educates students about child development, but also about childcare program administration.
The appeal of Mercer’s program was evident immediately, as 40 students enrolled in the first class of Early Care and Education at Mercer’s Henry County Regional Academic Center in fall 2006. Since then, the program has grown to include over 60 students. The flexible program allows students to earn their degree while working full-time.
About Mercer University:
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University has 7,300 students; 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies; major campuses in Macon and Atlanta; four regional academic centers across the state; a university press; two teaching hospitals — Memorial Health University Medical Center and the Medical Center of Central Georgia; educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta; an engineering research center in Warner Robins; a performing arts center in Macon; and a NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit