South Dakota State University officials announced the National Association for the Education of Young Children has reaccredited the university’s Fishback Center for Early Childhood Education. SDSU has been NAEYC accredited since 1985, with the SDSU kindergarten being the only kindergarten in the state to hold NAEYC accreditation.
Across the nation, less than 200 higher education institutions have earned NAEYC accreditation. The Fishback Center, SDSU’s laboratory school, serves the early childhood education degree program and 117 families in the local area. Early childhood education majors work directly with the children, ages 15 months to 6 years, during one of their midpoint field experiences and possibly during their first student teaching experience.
The early childhood education degree program is in SDSU’s School of Education, Counseling and Human Development, which is in the College of Education and Human Sciences.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children is a professional membership organization that works to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8, by connecting early childhood practice, policy and research.
“The NAEYC Accreditation focuses our attention to what we do. It assures that we take the time to align our philosophy and practice to make the Fishback Center and ECE program the best it can be,” said K. Cutler, an early childhood education professor.
“The Fishback Center has had a long history at SDSU as it is in its 93rd year. As I step down from a 23-year leadership position of the Fishback Center, it has been exciting to support and grow this high-quality program,” Cutler continued.
Accreditation serves as a mechanism for ensuring a consistent and high level of program quality and alignment to the NAEYC Initial Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation Programs while respecting the unique mission and context of each degree program, its host institution and its community.
“The NAEYC accreditation process is important to assuring programs deliver high-quality learning with practices supported by research,” said Paul Barnes, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences. “The renewal of our accreditation is illustrative of the hard-working team of faculty and practitioners who serve children and ECE students at the Fishback Center for Early Childhood Education.”