For Immediate ReleaseJune 21, 2011 The University of West Alabama Offers Degree Program for Head Start Teachers Early Childhood Development Degree Program Will Be Offered Completely Online LIVINGSTON, Ala. – The University of West Alabama Division of Online Programs will begin offering an Early Childhood Development bachelor’s degree, which includes 60 hours of basic studies and 60 hours of professional studies, beginning with the fall 2011 sessions. In addition to being made available completely online, this non-certification ECD program will also be offered through traditional campus classroom settings. UWA Online offers 24 master’s or education specialist degrees totally online, but the Early Childhood Development bachelor’s will be the fourth undergraduate degree program offered completely online by UWA, the first in the College of Education. Until now, UWA Online had offered just three baccalaureate business degrees online – the B.B.A. in accounting and business administration, as well as a B.S. in Technology. “We are so pleased to be able to serve the needs of Head Start and early childhood educators across our state and nation,” said Dr. Martha Hocutt, dean of the Division of Online Programs at UWA. By September 2013, at least 50 percent of all Head Start teachers nationwide in center-based programs will be required by Congress to hold a baccalaureate or advanced degree in early childhood education or a baccalaureate or advanced degree in a field related to early childhood education, with experience in teaching preschool children. Current statistics reveal that only about 30 percent of Head Start teachers have earned a bachelor’s degree. The bachelor’s degree program in early childhood development was created to meet the needs of that congressional mandate. The program contains specifically designed coursework for educators at early childhood centers, Head Start and Early Start centers. “The Early Childhood Development degree was created to accommodate the needs of students who are currently teaching in a Head Start or early childhood center. The program allows students to view models of best practices through video, apply what they learn in their own classrooms, and participate in a collaborative forum with other teachers in their field,” said Dr. Kathy Chandler, dean of the UWA College of Education. “Students in the program may complete the internship in their own classrooms allowing them to stay employed during their entire degree.” The University of West Alabama Division of Online Programs continues to be an innovator and industry leader in teacher education degree programs offered completely online with no out-of-state tuition or residency requirements. Scholarships are available for active members of the United State military and UWA Online is GI-VA approved and a Go-Army Ed School. For additional information regarding UWA Online go to online.uwa.edu, call 1-877-892-1835 or join our Facebook community by going to facebook.com/uwaonline and clicking the “Like” button.