Helios Education Foundation Partners with Prescott College to Increase the Number of Certified Early Childhood Educators in Rural Arizona

Posted on: March 8, 2010

Helios Education Foundation is investing $608,000 over four years in Prescott College's Early Childhood Teacher Education Programs in Arizona's rural areas. The program will focus on recruiting students of the Navajo Nation in Northern Arizona and the Tohono O'Odham Nation in Pima County.

"The grant gives Prescott College the opportunity to redouble its commitment to serving individuals who are teaching or interested in teaching on the reservations and in rural Arizona. The first cohort of 15 students is scheduled to enroll in fall 2010 in the College's Adult Degree Program, a low-residency model," says Dr. Vicky Young, Prescott College's Coordinator for Native American Students.

The low-residency program allows students to complete their degree or certification programs from their home communities, while working and maintaining a family life. Student scholarships are an integral part of the grant. Coupled with other financial aid, students in Arizona's rural areas who are considering teacher certification and a college education beyond their financial reach will now have the opportunity to further their education.

"Improving the quality of early childhood education professionals is such a fundamental part of laying the foundation for future academic success for children ages birth to five," said Paul Luna, Helios Education Foundation's President and CEO. "We're excited about our partnership with Prescott College because not only will it lead to an increase in certified early childhood educators, but this initiative will create opportunities for under-represented students in rural Arizona to attain a bachelor's degree."

"We are honored that the Helios Education Foundation shares our goal to train and place certified Early Childhood Education teachers in schools on their reservations or in their home communities," notes Prescott College President Dr. Dan Garvey.

About Helios Education Foundation

Helios Education Foundation is dedicated to enriching the lives of individuals in Arizona and Florida by creating opportunities for success in postsecondary education. The Foundation's community investments are made across three impact areas: Early Childhood Education, the Transition Years (grades 5-12) and Postsecondary Education. Since inception in 2004, Helios Education Foundation has invested over $76 million into education-related programs and initiatives in both states. For more information, visit the Foundation online at

About Prescott College

For more than forty years Prescott College has been serving the needs of Arizona by offering a teacher certification program. Teacher Education is Prescott College's most popular area of study. Each year, approximately 100 students obtain Arizona state certification through its state approved teacher education programs. The teacher education program is approved by the Arizona State Board of Education.

In 2008, the College was the first school of higher education in Arizona to receive certification in Early Childhood Teacher Education from the Arizona Department of Education. The College also offers teaching degrees and certification in Early Childhood Special Education, Elementary and Secondary Education, and Special Education in mental retardation, learning disabled, or serious emotional disability. Degrees are offered through the College's on-campus bachelor's program, as well as low-residency bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. programs.

Category: Early Grade Success

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