New findings from a team of faculty researchers at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) highlight the need to improve infant-toddler teacher training through specialized curricula, skill-building experience and improving the credit-transfer process from two-year to four-year programs that lead to early childhood teacher certification.
Teacher Education Professors Jennifer Gilken, Jennifer Longley and Jillian Crosby have received $85,000 from the Heising-Simons Foundation through the New York City Early Childhood Research Network.
“Our project had two purposes,” says Gilken. “These are to examine the scope of course content and fieldwork opportunities focused on infants and toddlers provided in New York State undergraduate programs, and to analyze the teacher education pipeline, career pathways and professional development opportunities afforded to infant-toddler educators and leaders.”
The team’s research points out the shortage of infant-toddler teachers in New York. It also defines barriers to training early educators in the unique skill sets they need to work with children from birth to age three.
As Gilken explains, these barriers include the lack of specialized college curriculum and coursework, faculty expertise and practical experience in building needed skills.
Another barrier is the difficulty many graduates experience as they attempt to transition credits from two-year to four-year programs that lead to early childhood teacher certifications relating to the instruction of children from birth to grade two.
In addition, she says, “Given that the first three years of a child’s life are the most critical in providing a foundation for intellectual, social and emotional skills, the lack of specialized training and practical experience for infant and toddler educators does not bode well for New York’s early childhood system and the children and families it serves.”
Working with infants and toddlers requires a special skill set
Being able tobuild relationships, individualize instruction and routines, understand child development and work collaboratively with families are vital skills that infant-toddler teachers use daily to facilitate learning, Gilken says.
“College students interested in working with infants and toddlers enter teaching and training programs that are largely geared toward educating preschoolers,” she says. “There is a lack of specialized infant-toddler coursework and curriculum. There is also an absence of faculty experienced in teaching it, and opportunities to practice skill-building in real-life settings.”
While two-year college programs are more likely to focus on infant and toddler care and curriculum, students find their education marginalized when they seek to transfer credits to four-year colleges that generally do not prioritize infant-toddler instruction, Gilken says. “This perpetuates inequities by restricting access to higher education.”
Ironically, certified infant-toddler teachers are qualified to work with any age group in early childhood settings, while those certified for preschool instruction are not appropriatelytrained to work with infants and toddlers.
Recommendations support classroom instruction and teacher certification
The study recommends eight core competencies that training programs should use to adequately prepare teachers to work with infants, toddlers, and families.
These include holistic child development, relationship-based practices, a focus on the sequence “ Observe, assess and communicate,” family-centered practices, creating positive environments, reflective and ethical practices, culturally sustaining practice and hands-on fieldwork.
“Using these competencies to work with infants, toddlers, and their families will support educators for both certification and their work in the classroom,” says Teacher Education Professor Jillian Crosby.
The team’s findings assert that New York can improve its early childhood undergraduate programs by increasing infant-toddler course content and learning experience in classrooms with children under three, as well as by building faculty capacity to teach infant-toddler development and curriculum.
The team also recommends that New York State improve its career pathways by facilitating seamless transfer between two- and four-year colleges and providing better credentialing opportunities.
“The highest quality pre-K programs cannot mitigate the impacts of a low-quality infant-toddler program,” says Teacher Education Professor Jennifer Longley. “And if we don’t have a high-quality, prepared workforce, we won’t have high-quality programming.”
This research was made possible by The New York City Early Childhood Research Network, a unique partnership of researchers from the city’s higher education institutions who work with the New York City Department of Education, New York City Administration for Children’s Services, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene,and the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity to study the implementation of New York City’s early childhood system and use the knowledge gained to improve instruction and outcomes for all children. This study was funded by the Heising Simons Foundation. The New York City Early Childhood Research Network is a project of the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute at the City University of New York and is funded by Early Childhood Partners NYC, Foundation for Child Development, Heising-Simons Foundation, and the W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation.
Eighteen people have been indicted in connection to a litany of gang-related crimes including racketeering, murder, drugs, firearms, and fraud offenses
Largest Corporate Gift in 20 Years Funds New Comprehensive Initiatives
Baruch College received a $1 million gift from Bank of America to fund comprehensive new initiatives supporting education and career development programs that prepare Black and Latino students to enter the professional workforce, and to embark on a path to success.
The $1 million gift represents the largest corporate gift to Baruch in 20 years, and is the second largest in the College’s history.
“The partnership between Bank of America and Baruch College will have a life-changing impact on the academic, professional, and personal success of our students,” said S. David Wu, PhD, president of Baruch College. “Baruch has a long legacy of leading innovation and social change—not only has it been a catalyst for the social mobility of its diverse population, but it has achieved academic excellence at the highest level.”
“We are grateful to Bank of America for this generous gift, and together, we reassert our commitment to racial equality and economic opportunity. We look forward to creating an ever more robust and concentrated focus on expanding career and professional leadership opportunities for Black and Latino students, thereby elevating opportunities for all of our students.”
Baruch College is the first higher education institution in the Northeast selected by Bank of America to be part of the company’s $25 million initiative, which includes partnerships with nearly two dozen higher education institutions across the country. Bank of America is also partnering with and providing funding to the Aspen Institute to convene the participating higher education institutions for technical and programmatic assistance and to share best practices.
A Comprehensive Initiative: Black and Latinx Success Amplified
Baruch College and Bank of America’s partnership comes at a time when the national graduation and completion rates for underrepresented minority students within six years of college enrollment are particularly low—28.8 percent for Black students and 37.1 percent for Latino students.
While Baruch’s six-year graduation rates stand well above the national average—just under 57 percent for Black students and over 60 percent for Latino students for the past five years—the College aims to close the gap to its overall six-year graduation rate of 69.9 percent, which is significantly higher than schools serving students from similar academic and economic backgrounds.
With funding from Bank of America, Baruch College will establish a comprehensive new initiative Black and Latinx Success Amplified—a multi-prong model of services that will integrate and expand existing programs dedicated to supporting Black and Latino students’ academic success—from matriculation to graduation, and beyond.
This large initiative will provide intense programming support for service and experiential learning opportunities, culturally responsive counseling services, and relationship-building efforts with faculty and mentors in the student’s field of study. Programming will focus on career success with an emphasis on establishing mentoring and networking relationships for students with Baruch’s New York City-based and global web of alumni.
Bank of America’s support will also scale up Baruch’s Rising Starr Sophomore Program (RSSP) in the Starr Career Development Center to help students gain a head start in their career and leadership development and to counter the trend of greater attrition among Black and Latino students in their second and third years.
Black and Latinx Success Amplified will also encompass family programming, available in English and Spanish, to cultivate support systems for students that extend beyond academics. Guided family support will begin at recruitment and follow the students and their families through graduation to help ensure a successful career future.
Baruch’s divisions of Enrollment Management & Strategic Academic Initiatives and Student Affairs will create, administer, and support Black and Latinx Success Amplified.
Baruch College: A Powerhouse for Diverse New Talent
The Black and Latinx Success Amplified initiative is the latest example of Baruch College’s ongoing commitment to advancing economic opportunities for students, especially those in underserved communities.
“In providing affordable access to a high-caliber education for people from all backgrounds and social classes, and establishing results-focused career and leadership development programs,” said President Wu, “Baruch pioneers and expands ways for producing the creative, analytical, and leadership talent needed for the innovation economy of New York, the nation, and the world.”
According to President Wu, this exciting partnership with Bank of America marks a new beginning for Baruch’s efforts to strengthen, leverage and grow relationships with broader business, civic and community organizations, including frequent employers of Baruch students, such as JP Morgan, Amazon, Google, major nonprofits, and government agencies.
President Wu added: “Given the high quality and national reputation of Baruch—along with the diversity of our student body—Baruch College is clearly positioned as a powerhouse of diverse new talent.”
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Some New Jersey Transit rail passengers have to adjust their schedules while the railroad continues to make repairs following last week’s derailment
The Rock Orient Foundation, led and chaired by Steven C. Rockefeller Jr., a fifth-generation member of the Rockefeller Family, donated 100,000 masks to The City College of New York that will be used to support the CCNY community and neighborhood during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
CCNY alumnus Daxi Li ’85, who got his Ph.D. in physics, helped establish the charity organization and initiated the donation with Ngee-Pong Chang, professor of physics at CCNY. Li attended City College with a full scholarship under the CCNY-China Exchange Program, which began under former CCNY Provost Harry Lustig.
“There is an old Chinese saying: a drop of water given in need shall be returned with a burst of spring,” said Li, who actively promotes the Global Cultural Exchange Program and works with alumni from the China U.S. Entrance Application program, an initiative of Nobel Laureate TD Lee, Columbia University. “I will never forget the help and the education I received from CCNY; I want to do my best to give my humble contribution to CCNY, especially during this difficult time of a pandemic.”
Lustig, who was born in Vienna, Austria, escaped with his immediate family from Hitler’s Europe on the last passenger vessel to leave Naples, Italy and journeyed to New York City where he attended public school and City College. He was drafted at age 18, and after the war pursued a career in academics eventually returning to City College where he helped develop the Physics Department and the CUNY School of Medicine, formerly the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education.
The Rock Orient Foundation seeks to provide solutions to the challenges of world public health and education. They also support the evolvement of public health, promotion of global education and culture communication, development of human society and enhancement of technological development.
The foundation also donated masks to Harvard University, Yale University and Saint Joseph’s University. To learn more about the Rock Orient Foundation, please click here.
About the City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high-quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. CCNY embraces its position at the forefront of social change. It is ranked #1 by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights out of 369 selective public colleges in the United States on the overall mobility index. This measure reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at CCNY can move up two or more income quintiles. In addition, the Center for World University Rankings places CCNY in the top 1.8% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. Labor analytics firm Emsi puts at $1.9 billion CCNY’s annual economic impact on the regional economy (5 boroughs and 5 adjacent counties) and quantifies the “for dollar” return on investment to students, taxpayers and society. At City College, more than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.
Deputies in New York City broke up another massive party held amid a surge in coronavirus cases. Over the holiday weekend, deputies found nearly 400 people partying in an illegal club in Midtown. The authorities shut down the club just before 3 a.m. Saturday on West 36th Street next door to the Pig ‘n’ Whistle. Four organizers of the party...
CUNY’s Ana Lucia Fuentes is a pandemic hero. A professor and scientist, her determination to educate others about COVID-19 has resonated throughout the university — and in immigrant communities and internationally — even as she and her medical resident son contracted the virus and her husband died from its complications.
When the pandemic hit New York City last spring, the professor’s biology students at LaGuardia Community College were researching bacteria in the East River. Fuentes quickly realized the students needed to shift their focus to the virus, which was hitting them and their families especially hard. She guided her students to use the knowledge they gained through their research of the coronavirus to create posters and informational brochures. Fuentes then had her students translate the brochures into languages they spoke at home or with family members, namely Spanish, Chinese and Romanian.
The translated brochures were eventually distributed by students and faculty online throughout CUNY. Students also distributed them in their neighborhoods, mindful that some relatives and neighbors would be more comfortable and better-informed reading about the virus in their native tongues. The brochures were also distributed in Guatemala, Colombia and Spain. All the while, Fuentes fought the effects of the virus, mourned the passing of her husband from COVID-19 and continued teaching her students.
“My students were really scared and disoriented,” said Fuentes, who is now recovered, as is her son who was working with COVID-19 patients as a resident. “I know that many of my students are disadvantaged. Many of them live in very small places with their family members. Three students lost family members during the spring semester. A grandfather, a father-in-law and a third close relative. Many had relatives who were sick. A trigger went off for me. I realized I needed to talk to my students and tell them that what is really important here is to know what we are dealing with. This is biology and also your life. I feel a very, very articulated bond between the students and myself.”
“The valiant story of Professor Fuentes, of her family and of her students, shows us that even in the most trying hours of their lives the members of the CUNY community feel deep concern for others—and act on this concern,” said Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “From research posters, to town halls, to brochures that have both a local and international reach, Fuentes and her students did–-and continue to do—their utmost to educate those whose universally-shared fear and confusion could be lessened with information. While the people of CUNY honor Professor Fuentes, we also mourn her loss with her and are thankful to know that she and her son have recovered.”
Even while ill from COVID, Fuentes continued teaching remotely. During one class held via Zoom, her coughing prompted her students to implore her to take a break. Her husband, meanwhile, became so ill from the virus that he was hospitalized and suffered a fatal heart attack while being transported from the emergency room to the intensive care unit. He was a psychiatrist who, Fuentes says, insisted on seeing his patients in person as the pandemic progressed because he felt they needed him.
After her husband’s death in March, Fuentes took just two days off from teaching. “You feel that you need to do something for others. This is the only way I was going to be able to go ahead with my life.”
As for the brochures, Fuentes felt they would be most helpful and effective if presented in relatively simple terms with graphics. Student translations were edited by Fuentes, student Anastasia Aponte and LaGuardia Associate Professor of Biology Na Xu.
The brochures provide clear information on the origins of COVID-19, why it is so contagious and what is known about the ongoing push to develop a vaccine. The students also explored issues such as transmission of the virus from one animal species to another, its molecular biology and how it replicates its own cells. “The students were asked to summarize what impact the virus could have in terms of their different communities and living conditions,” said Fuentes, a plant virologist who now conducts research in immunology.
A native of Guatemala, Fuentes still has friends in the country. When the brochure translations were completed, one of those friends, who is an environmental activist, asked for an electronic copy of the Spanish version so that she could print and distribute them in neighborhoods on the outskirts of Guatemala City. Another friend had the same idea for San Sebastián, Spain, adding “everyone in my family wants one.”
Most recently, the brochure is being printed and distributed in Cucuta, Colombia, through a gender-based violence prevention project, “Cosas de Mujeres.” Fuentes has also sent the brochures to friends and family with contacts in Latinx communities as far as Los Angeles.
The brochures were sent to the LaGuardia community through the AdAstra newsletter, which showcases undergraduate research. The link was also posted on the website of the CUNY Research Scholars Program (CRSP), a program often lauded for the unique research opportunities it provides for community college students.
Fuentes spearheaded a virtual town hall in the spring so that LaGuardia students could learn about the virus and ask questions. With the support of the CRSP, the town hall became a university-wide event in October. Another is planned for February.
That Fuentes persevered under the most difficult of circumstances, may be reflective of her family history. Her father Alberto Fuentes Mohr was a prominent Guatemalan economist and politician, one of the founders of the country’s progressive Social Democratic Party and a renowned Central American activist whose life was often in danger as a result of his activism. In 1979, when she was a 21-year-old student, her father was assassinated by the country’s military.
“You think you are going to learn about biology and trees; you don’t expect to learn about courage,” said Claire Sansaricq, one of Fuentes’ students. “But knowing that she would be there with us twice a week and giving us lectures and doing this in the context of her personal life was such an inspiration.”
The City University of New York is the nation’s largest urban public university, a transformative engine of social mobility that is a critical component of the lifeblood of New York City. Founded in 1847 as the nation’s first free public institution of higher education, CUNY today has seven community colleges, 11 senior colleges and seven graduate or professional institutions spread across New York City’s five boroughs, serving 500,000 students of all ages and awarding 55,000 degrees each year. CUNY’s mix of quality and affordability propels almost six times as many low-income students into the middle class and beyond as all the Ivy League colleges combined. More than 80 percent of the University’s graduates stay in New York, contributing to all aspects of the city’s economic, civic and cultural life and diversifying the city’s workforce in every sector. CUNY’s graduates and faculty have received many prestigious honors, including 13 Nobel Prizes and 26 MacArthur “Genius” Grants. The University’s historic mission continues to this day: provide a first-rate public education to all students, regardless of means or background.
Boozy Santa Clauses will not be making their way to the Big Apple for what has become an annual bar crawl tradition — that’s because SantaCon 2020 has been canceled as coronavirus cases continue to climb in the tri-state area. “All of the reindeer got the ‘rona so, the elves have advised Santa to hold off on the in-person merriment....
“We mourn the loss and celebrate the life of the honorable David N. Dinkins, a richly respected leader who secured his place in history as New York City’s first and only African American mayor. A pioneering champion of inclusion whose message resonated across all corners of the nation’s most diverse city, Mayor Dinkins’ conception of New York as a ‘gorgeous mosaic’ provided a lofty, dignified vision that we still strive to sustain.”
Police arrested a suspect early Wednesday in the attempted rape of a young girl in a New York City building over the weekend. Authorities say the 14-year-old victim was waiting in the hallway of a building on Foster Avenue in Brooklyn last Sunday when the suspect approached her and exposed his genitals. The young girl tried to run away but...