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College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

Early Childhood Education: Partnerships with Community Service Providers

The Early Childhood Education program values input from community service providers, schools, and family members and involves them as an advisory group for program development and evaluation. Over the past several years, the ECE Program has developed a partnership with Teach for America (TFA), operating in the District of Columbia and Prince George's County Schools. In partnership with TFA, program faculty designed an Early Childhood Education degree program, have contributed to the national TFA summer institute, and have incorporated TFA graduates as instructors, supervisors, and mentors to work with new teacher candidates.

Program faculty members also work in partnerships with Head Start Programs throughout Northern Virginia. Mason students complete observations and internships in these programs. In addition, Mason faculty members have worked collaboratively with Head Start to provide ongoing professional development. One such project led to the nationally disseminated Cradling Literacy curriculum, co-authored by Mason faculty. Another current research grant involves Mason faculty working collaboratively with Head Start staff to better understand intentional teaching for inclusion.