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Demand-Driven Degree Responds To Early Childhood Education Need

August 24, 2009

A field-based Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) degree is attracting strong interest ahead of the first intake of students at EIT Hawke’s Bay early next year.

EIT is responding to demand in offering the degree, as early childhood centres in Hawke’s Bay and elsewhere in New Zealand struggle to find appropriately qualified staff.

EIT’s Marketing Section says it has fielded hundreds of inquiries about the new degree, which is designed to provide a balance between face-to-face study, applied practice and blended learning.

Students will work in early childhood centres 10 hours a week, coming in to EIT for classwork two days a week.

“Field-based study provides a wonderful opportunity to apply the theory they learn in class to their teaching practice and daily interactions with children,” says programme coordinator Elizabeth Horgan. “It also allows students to undertake paid work as they study towards their qualification.

“Given the current workplace, the degree is advantageous, providing a pathway to research work, opportunities for further study and openings for varied career experiences. In some situations, it will also boost the graduate’s pay package.”

EIT’s early childhood education staffing levels are expanding to deliver the degree.

“New team members bring additional knowledge and experience from across the sector to an already strong team,” Ms Hogan said.

Students enrolled in the Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood Education) will have the choice of continuing or transferring to the degree programme by taking a paper over the end-of-year break.
Similarly, diploma graduates will be offered a pathway for upgrading to the degree.

EIT says the new qualification will have added appeal for Hawke’s Bay school leavers eligible for its Year 13 Degree Study Grant. The grant allows Year 13 students graduating from Hawke’s Bay schools to study free for the first year of a degree while second year study fees are discounted by 50 percent.