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News & Press Press Release February 2019

New Training Opportunity for Early Childhood Education Leaders Announced

Online hybrid program to begin summer 2019

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CHICAGO — A cohort of promising local Jewish early childhood educators will expand their knowledge through a new initiative using online instruction and in-person seminars to elevate their current practice in the classroom.

The Jewish United Fund (JUF) and Erikson Institute are proud to partner for the first time to offer this ground-breaking model for working education professionals. The selected participants will embark on Erikson’s 20-month Online Master of Science in Early Childhood Education program in August 2019. JUF will work with Chicago’s 38 Jewish early childhood centers to recruit ten teachers, who are early in their careers and looking to gain more practice and experience while they complete the degree.

Sharing a commitment to high-quality early childhood education, the collaboration between (JUF) and Erikson Institute will enable the cohort to continue working in their classrooms while taking classes in the online hybrid program.

Through the support of The Crown Family, tuition will be fully funded. Participating educators are asked to commit at least two additional years to the field following completion of the degree. The initiative will also pay retention bonuses to teachers who stay in the field for each of the two years following that commitment.

“In keeping with our strategic goal to strengthen the early childhood workforce, Erikson Institute is eager to welcome this new cohort of teachers to our Online MSECE program this August,” said Erikson President and CEO Geoffrey A. Nagle, PhD. “We are grateful to The Crown Family for supporting this partnership between Erikson and JUF, an organization that shares our mission to help all children achieve their optimal educational, social, emotional and physical well-being.”

The partnership with Erikson is one in a series of recent JUF initiatives designed to further strengthen Jewish early childhood education in Chicago.

“Our Chicago Jewish community has long believed in early childhood education as a gateway toward engagement for families,” says JUF Director of Early Childhood Excellence Anna Hartman. “This trajectory begins with JUF Right Start, which increases accessibility through financial vouchers toward a child’s first year in preschool and continues with the pioneering work of JUF Young Families, with its jBaby and PJ Library portfolios. These programs are enhanced by JUF’s Early Childhood Collaborative, a network of educators and community members devoted to retaining, developing, and recruiting the incredible faculty that make Jewish preschool so transformative.”

Erikson’s innovative Online MSECE program provides students with a deep understanding of how children age 8 and younger grow and learn, and how their families, communities, culture, and the broader early childhood systems affect their development and success. The Online MSECE program is flexible and accessible, allowing working professionals, like the teachers in the local Jewish community, the ability to access courses anywhere and at any time.

Like all Erikson programs, the Online MSECE creates and supports a genuine community of learners. The JUF cohort will participate in a customized hybrid online and in-person integrative seminar designed to provide interaction between each student and a cohort advisor from Erikson.

Applications will open in January 2019. For more information, please contact Anna Hartman at [email protected] or [email protected] #

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