Teacher Professional Development | News

Texas University Launches Online Head Start Training Program

Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas is taking its Head Start bachelor's degree completion program online.

The new Bachelor Completion Program for Head Start Instructors, being offered through SFASU's School of Human Sciences, is a 120-hour degree program that is designed to help existing Head Start employees meet the impending deadline of a federal mandate requiring all Head Start teachers to hold at least a bachelor's degree. That deadline is in 2013. According to information released by the university today, at present only 30 percent of Head Start employees currently hold such a degree.

The online program focuses on "child development and family living through a life-span, multi-contextual and family-systems approach."

Eligibility requirements for the program include:

  • Currently employed in Head Start as a teacher or assistant teacher, coordinator, curriculum specialist, or director or assistant director;
  • Have earned an associate of applied science degree in child development and family living or similar; and
  • Minimum GPA of transferable credits of 2.0.

"Head Start is important because it helps children prepare for success in school and life, and that makes helping to educate Head Start employees important," said Richard Berry, SFASU provost and vice president for academic affairs, in a prepared statement. "For many in Head Start, juggling work and travel to a university would be nearly impossible. So, we're very happy that Academic Partnerships has helped us provide this convenient, effective alternative."

The online program was developed in collaboration with Academic Partnerships, a firm that helps universities bring their traditional classroom programs online.

Courses are held in fall and spring (eight weeks) and summer (five weeks), with six total start dates throughout the year. Course costs will run about $12,000 for in-state students and $19,000 for out-of-state students.

Additional details can be found on SFASU's Bachelor Completion Program for Head Start Instructors FAQ page.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidrnagel/ .