Saskatchewan Polytechnic is ensuring, through a wide range of program options, that anyone with a desire to become an early childhood educator can become qualiﬁed through the school.
The polytechnic offers a certiﬁcate and diploma option at three of the four main campuses—Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert—along with online and part-time courses and programs. Students with previous experience in early childhood education can complete an accelerated program; folks in smaller communities can study through satellite schools that partner with the college.
Students can opt for a one-year certiﬁcate, which will prepare them to work with preschool-aged children. In the two-year diploma program, students have the chance to work with school-aged kids, as well as infants and those with disabilities.
On-campus students beneﬁt from access to a demonstration child care centre on-site. “They can be sitting in the classroom learning about a particular theory,” says Nancy Holden, an instructor at the Saskatoon campus, “and they can walk down to this demonstration centre and see it happening.” Classrooms are also equipped with cameras for students to observe and learn from daycare centres in real time.
Over the past few years, the program has moved toward integrating more Indigenous approaches into their curriculum. “We have Indigenous student advisers working with us on ways of knowing and learning from an Indigenous perspective,” says Veryl Coghill, an instructor at the Prince Albert campus, where the vast majority of students are Indigenous. “We incorporate those teachings into our storytelling, and have different elders come in and talk to our students,” she adds.
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