Reedley College

Reedley College file photo

published on December 22, 2023 - 1:18 PM
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Fresno Pacific University and Reedley College have created a program to improve opportunities for early childhood educators.

This program allows qualified students of the Reedley College early childhood education program to study for FPU’s B.A. in early childhood development. These students are guaranteed admission to the university and a 10% tuition discount as well as support for future employment.

Work on the project began four years ago when Carol Gossett presented Reedley College with a proposal she designed. Gossett is associate professor of education and director of the early childhood development program at FPU.

“It gives our students the ability to stay close to home on the campus they are comfortable with,” said Marcy Davidson, chair of the early childhood, education & health sciences department at Reedley College, in a news release.Our students are from rural areas, so a different population than Fresno City College or even Clovis Community College.”

The program is aimed at adult students to achieve their educational goals while balancing work and family responsibilities. Students join a cohort they stay with throughout an accelerated program and meet once a week for mutual learning and support. 

“The pathway between the two institutions allows the students to transition to the university level without feeling overwhelmed and nervous as they begin their next level of education,” said Cynthia Kaitfors-Smith, FPU faculty member, in the release. 

Cohorts allow students to continue working at preschools, in childcare and early care and education programs or other employment without adding travel time to FPU’s Visalia or Fresno campuses. Instruction takes place in Reedley College’s recently completed Early Childhood & Education Building that provides classroom space and a lab school for infants, toddlers and preschool children. It also provides student work opportunities.

One of the students in the FPU-Reedley program allowed her to balance work, motherhood and education. 

Liliana Gonzalez, a student in the FPU-Reedley program, said it allowed her to balance work, motherhood and education. She is one of the students learning in the classroom and putting lessons into practice at the lab school. 

“It has allowed me to continue my education and not have to drive far from home. Being able to stay on campus where I work has also been a huge relief,” she says.

Students transfer their Associate of Science-Transfer degree (ATS-T) in early childhood education from Reedley College to the FPU Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Development, finishing their B.A. in 18 months after a series of six-week classes. Graduates can then become lead teachers in early childhood programs, teach at state-funded preschools or in pre-kindergarten or transitional kindergarten classrooms. 

FPU is also working to develop an A.A.-B.A. program with West Hills Firebaugh Campus. Both pacts build on similar pathways FPU has created with area K-12 school districts such as Visalia Unified, Chawanakee Unified in Madera County and Chaffey Joint Union in Ontario, California.

Reedley College provides day and evening classes. Operated on an 18-week semester system, the college offers a fall and spring term, as well as four-, six-, eight- and 10-week summer sessions. 

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