The ABCs of WSU’s NAEYC Accreditation
Preschoolers in Sherrie West’s AS ’78, BS ’83 class at the Melba S. Lehner Children’s School learned about all things earthworms last spring — discovering how earthworms eat, crafting a 22-foot paper worm (modeled after the longest on record) and finding the creepy creatures on the playground.
Hands-on activities, like the worm project, are common in the school’s five classrooms that serve children 2 to 6 years old. “Our curriculum really focuses on each individual child, and we’re teaching to meet the needs and interests of those children,” said Camie Bearden BS ’98, M.Ed ’11, the children’s school director.
The school’s curriculum also benefits university students, who fill student-teaching roles.
Recently, the children’s school, along with the Jerry & Vickie Moyes College of Education’s academic programs in early childhood and early childhood education, earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
Weber State now offers Utah’s only NAEYC-accredited degree programs, including one of a handful of bachelor’s degrees in the country accredited by the organization. NAEYC assesses academic programs on standards such as offering field experience, like the children’s school, building family and community relationships, and offering meaningful curriculum.
“It’s great for the young children that attend an accredited school and university students who come through an accredited program,” Bearden said.