INSIDE Chico State
0 April 29, 2004
Volume 34 Number 11
  A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico




From the President's Desk

Briefly Noted



Librarian at Large





CDL and A.S. Children’s Center to Merge

lBeginning with the fall 2004 semester, the Child Development Laboratory (CDL) will merge with the Associated Students Children’s Center to provide expanded access to child care for CSU, Chico students and continued high-quality laboratory experiences for child development majors.

The CDL has served the campus well for decades, operating during the academic year four days a week. Up to 24 three-year-olds attend a two-hour morning session, and up to 24 four-year-olds attend a two-hour afternoon session. Staffed with a master teacher, a lead teacher, and student teachers in each session, the CDL has provided a model of best practice in early childhood education. The program has been central to the education of students in the Child Development Program in particular, and has provided observation opportunities for students in such programs as psychology, nursing, and physical education. These students have benefited immeasurably from observing interactions among children and between children and adults, and working with young children and their families. The CDL also has a very special place in the hearts of the parents and grandparents of the children who have attended.

Unfortunately, as resources continued to shrink, it became impossible for the campus to continue operating this preschool program. Thus, Jeanne Thomas, dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, asked the Child Development Program faculty to examine alternative ways of providing these laboratory experiences. “We simply can no longer afford to operate the CDL and provide the classes that students throughout the college need to progress toward their degrees. Though the CDL is a gem—and means a great deal to the parents of the young children enrolled—providing classes for our students must be job number one for us,” explained Thomas.

Beginning this fall, students will be given number one priority for enrolling their children in the newly merged program, followed by staff and faculty, and community members.

After a long and difficult process of considering a wide variety of alternative models, the Child Development Program faculty and Associated Students Children’s Center director Susan Toussaint determined that a merger was a win-win solution. The Child Development Program faculty looks forward to continuing and expanding the high-quality, hands-on learning experiences formerly provided in the CDL.

Professor Judy Bordin, the incoming coordinator of the Child Development Program, said, “This partnership supports the primary directive of the university and the Child Development Program, without diluting the educational quality for our students. The A.S. program is an outstanding program where our students already participate in a variety of ways. In addition, it will offer students a supervised internship with not only preschool-aged children but also with infants and toddlers. The A.S. program has met the high standards of several licensing and funding agencies, including California Department of Education and Community Care Licensing.”

Staff at the A.S. Children’s Center are equally enthusiastic about the merger. Center director Susan Toussaint said, “The energies, knowledge, and talents of child development students and faculty will enrich the Children’s Center program. In addition, this partnership represents the implementation of the Associated Students’ mission statement, “to complement the educational mission of the university.”

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