Speakers and panelists from state government, academia and advocacy groups will share strategies to advance immigrant early education workforce
Speakers at the conference, which will take place from 9am-12:30pm at Wheelock College's Brookline campus, will include Commissioner of Early Education and Care Tom Weber; Marie St. Fleur, President and CEO of the Bessie Tartt Wilson Institute for Children; Michael Taylor, President of Urban College; and Valora Washington, founder, President and CEO of the CAYL Institute. Three immigrant teachers and program directors from the Community Action Agency of Somerville Head Start program will share lessons from their own careers. A panel discussion will include academic leaders, professional development specialists, and early childhood advocates. More than 100 participants are scheduled to be in attendance.
The conference will focus on sharing knowledge and building support across the state’s public higher education and adult education systems to meet the needs of this critical and growing segment of the state's early education and care workforce. It will explore strategies to help immigrant early educators gain access to associates and bachelor's degrees through creative models using prior learning assessments and bilingual coursework, and alignment of program and credentialing requirements across community and four-year colleges in both public and private systems. The larger goal of the event is to start a conversation among the broad range of system stakeholders—in higher education, early education and care, adult education, policy advocacy, and other arenas—that will lead to greater awareness and alignment around this issue.