Sixteen working adults have started the process of earning their bachelor’s degrees through a Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) partnership with the CSUS College of Continuing Education Department. Funding for the Child and Adolescent Development (CHAD) program comes through SacE3 (Sacramento Consortium Empowering Early Educators), a local partnership that was formed in 2022 to increase and support a highly qualified early learning and care workforce. The aspiring teachers in the program will earn degrees in Child and Adolescent Development.
The first cohort of students in the program is helping to achieve a state workforce development goal of increasing the number of California early education teachers by 11,000. The dramatic increase in staffing needs comes as transitional kindergarten (TK) is being made universally available in California through Assembly Bill 130. By the 2025–26 school year, California will have a Universal Prekindergarten system for all four-year-olds that will maximize parent choice for providers, programs, and settings.
Students who work during the day get extra flexibility by attending the two evening classes per week over the three-year program. The cohort stays together with the same facilitator for all three years, helping them build a supportive community.
As part of the SacE3 workforce development efforts, students in the CHAD program each receive a total of $10,000 in tuition assistance. Funding comes from a $3.7 million grant SCOE received from the California Department of Education. SacE3 will also sponsor a portion of the tuition costs for participants to attend the SCOE School of Education Teacher Intern Program or the Fortune School of Education Teacher Intern Program to earn a P–3 or multiple-subject credential focused on early childhood education.
One aspiring teacher summed up the importance of the program: “With everything in our economy going up, it’s been hard. SacE3 would help me achieve my career goal by helping me with tuition. I wouldn’t have to stress getting a second job, and would be able to focus on school.”
Sign Up to Learn More
Applications for the next CHAD cohort (fall 2024) will be due in January 2024. Those interested in applying should email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about upcoming information sessions. Additional education opportunities for aspiring early learning and child care professionals can be found on the SacE3 webpage.