By Ian C. Robertson
Western and Fanshawe College are joining forces to help early childhood teachers.
A new agreement between Western and Fanshawe will make it simpler for graduates from both schools to obtain more education in the field of early childhood education, said Rebecca Coulter, associate dean of education at Western.
Talks for the new agreement began in the spring of 1997 and concluded this summer, said Coulter, who took over discussions when she became dean.
Coulter said discussion began because both Western and Fanshawe students wanted more beyond their respective degrees and had goals which could not necessarily be met by only attending one or the other.
While a degree in early childhood education from Fanshawe does not allow a student to become a teacher, the new program will allow a small number of high-performing Fanshawe graduates access to an undergraduate degree at Western, Coulter said.
Michelton Murphy, coordinator of early childhood education at Fanshawe, said this agreement formalizes the movement of students from Fanshawe to Western by granting four university credits for a degree from Fanshawe.
What this does, Murphy said, is stops the individual application process for individual credits that a college graduate normally would have to make. "It opens doors that wouldn't be available without this combination," he said.
Sharon Ritch, a professor in the faculty of education at Western, said this agreement is an opportunity for Fanshawe students to obtain a bachelor of arts, which could lead to a teaching degree.
Coulter said Western students who want more experience in early childhood education, while working on a BA at Western, will be able to do it at Fanshawe easier than in previous years. "The education of Western students will be enriched by variation and experience."