CSU, Chico News

Associated Students Child Development Laboratory Receives New Name and National Accreditation

Date: 07-19-2007

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Judy Bordin
Child Development Program

The Child Development Laboratory at California State University, Chico under the Child Development Program has partnered with the on-campus Associated Students Children’s Center for the last three years to provide comprehensive services to university students and families in the community. After meetings between the faculty, the dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, the Associated Students and the Children’s Center director, the program has officially been renamed Associated Students Child Development Laboratory.

The new program underwent a full evaluation from the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs in the spring of 2006 and received national accreditation in its new format.

The two programs existed side by side for more than 30 years, with Child Development faculty serving on the board of the Associated Students Children’s Center. In spring 2002, the Child Development Program and the Associated Students Children’s Center, under the direction of Child Development faculty member Melissa Groves and program director Susan Toussaint, collaborated in the opening of an infant center for the children of students. The infant center has been fully operational for four years, serving more than 50 infants and their families.

In 2004, a financial crisis brought on by the loss of an important source of funding from the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences forced the Child Development Program faculty to find alternative ways of meeting the child observation and student teaching experience needs of students. After assessing their own program needs, they chose to partner with the Associated Students Children’s Center.

The collaboration has benefited both programs. Money has been saved through the efficiency and consolidation of the programs. There are more classrooms and more diversity among families and children. Child Development faculty can spend more time teaching, and university students in the Child Development program have a wider range of ages to observe and work with, from infants to four-year-olds.

“The partnership has allowed us to provide increased services to student parents and the campus community, as well as enhanced learning opportunities for CSU, Chico students,” said Toussaint. “We look forward to continuing to grow in our role as a teaching/learning laboratory.”

“One of the benefits of the partnership,” said Judy Bordin, coordinator of the Child Development Program, “is the increased professional opportunities for faculty. It’s important to note, also, that the academic goals of the Child Development Laboratory have been maintained: observation, self-reflection, behavior management, curriculum, child assessment, wrap-up and parent contact.”

The program is licensed through the Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing and accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children Academy for Early Childhood Program Accreditation. For more information, call the laboratory at 530-898-5865.