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Last Modified: Monday, May 19, 2014

VGCC Early Childhood Program earns Renewed Accreditation

May. 19, 2014

The Early Childhood Education program at Vance-Granville Community College recently learned that it is one of 15 associate degree programs to earn the distinction of Accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) this year. This is the VGCC program’s second accreditation, which lasts for seven years. In 2007, the program was one of the first 17 in the country to receive this national recognition for quality.


“We are excited that a great deal of hard work by our faculty has resulted in the renewal of our national accreditation,” said Tracey Bennett, chair of the Education department at VGCC. “Our accreditation indicates that this program continues to maintain high academic standards. At the same time, it helps to set apart our graduates in the job market because they completed an accredited program.”


Dr. Angela Ballentine, VGCC’s vice president of academic and student affairs, added, “With this renewed accreditation, our Early Childhood Education program continues to be looked upon as a leader not only in North Carolina but throughout the nation. As the need for high-quality early childhood professionals grows, members of our community interested in nurturing and teaching young children can find the very best preparation here at our institution.”


The most recent round of accreditation decisions brought the total number of colleges with accredited programs to 159 in 30 states since the accreditation system was launched in 2006.


“These programs have demonstrated their commitment to continuous quality improvement, transparency, and public accountability at a critical time when increased attention is being placed on the quality of the early childhood education professional pipeline,” said Marica Cox Mitchell, Director of Higher Education Accreditation and Program Support at NAEYC. “This is a rigorous competency-based accreditation model. It requires programs to provide evidence that their students possess the nationally identified competencies needed to positively influence the development and learning of young children, birth through age eight. These programs should also be applauded for meeting the accreditation standards in a way that is innovative and responsive to their unique contexts.”


The NAEYC associate degree accreditation system was established to raise the quality of early childhood teacher education, and in turn raise the quality of early education programs serving young children. As part of the accreditation process, Vance-Granville completed an extensive self-study of its program, submitted data and reports, and then had a site visit by a peer review team in 2013. The NAEYC Commission on Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation then made the final decision.


Founded in 1926, the National Association for the Education of Young Children is the largest and most influential advocate for high-quality early care and education in the United States.  For more information, visit


VGCC offers certificates, diplomas and Associate in Applied Science degrees in Early Childhood Education, as well a certificate in Infant/Toddler Care. For more information on these programs, call Tracey Bennett at (252) 738-3471.


Above: Faculty members of the VGCC Early Childhood Education program include, from left, Connie Lawhorn, Tina Dekle, Beth Vick and Tracey Bennett. (VGCC photo)

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