SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Technical Community College announced that it will offer a free class to people working in after-school programs, summer camps, community centers and other places that provide education and care outside of regular school time.
The online class, called “Out of School Time” aims to educate and care for children when they’re not in school. Conor J. Bevan, the director of program development for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holyoke, teaches the class, which serves as an entry to an STCC certificate in Early Education.
STCC will offer 20 free seats in the class, which is open for Summer Session 1 between June 7 and July 9.
The class is open to everyone and those interested in registering for the class can visit stcc.edu/info/child-development-associate or call Admissions at (413) 755-4812.
The class is designed for people working in the field and serves as an entry point to the certificate in early childhood education called Child Development Associate Plus. The class also covers areas such as curriculum design, behavior management, child and family interaction, and childhood development.
The certificate is only 26 credits and is completed in less than a year according to Richard Greco, dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies at STCC.
“This is a fantastic way for after school programs, summer camps, and community centers to add professionalism to their programs. Our students, upon completion of their certificate, are trained in the most modern educational theories and provided the real life skills needed to elevate any Out of School Time program,” said Greco.
Bevan, the instructor, said organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club offer “out of school time” childcare services and programs and face a growing demand for trained educators.
“We’re trying to teach students to become youth development professionals, and give them an understanding that this is a critical time in a child’s life. We serve as a primary link between academic support, enrichment activities, physical health and nutrition,” said Bevan.