Internship Prepares Students for Careers in Early Childhood Education

Article excerpt

Joseph Case High School

SWANSEA * MA

Pathways to Success is the internship component of the school-to-career Child Care program at Joseph case High School in Swansea, Massachusetts. Its primary purpose is to prepare high school seniors for future education and employment. Through involvement in this 24-week internship, family and consumer sciences (FCS) students gain a broader perspective of the early childhood education field and have the opportunity to refine their skills and apply their knowledge. Upon completion, they become eligible for teacher certification in group daycare from the Massachusetts Office of Early Education and Care and for credits from Bristol Community College.

To be accepted into Pathways to Success, students must successfully complete 2 years of the Child Care program with an average of B or above and have 200+ contact hours with young children in the onsite laboratory, case's Little Faces Preschool. Once accepted, students and their parents sign a contract that describes the eligibility requirements for recommendation for teacher certification. This contract requires students to maintain at least a B average in Child Care III; complete 90% of their internship time requirement; develop a career portfolio, and demonstrate developmentally appropriate practice for this age group as determined by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Once the contract is in place, students are given internship assignments that rotate every 8 weeks.

They demonstrate their knowledge by planning appropriate activities that connect the language arts, math, social studies, science, and technology with the preschool standards outlined in the Massachusetts Guidelines for Preschool Learning Experiences (www.eec. …