The Year 3 interviews of the Learning Together study reveal that the vast majority of students successfully graduated from their B.A. cohort program. Year 3 interviews focused on two issues of concern about higher education programs – the practicum experiences for employed students and the adequacy of attention to working with children from linguistically diverse backgrounds. The graduates overwhelmingly reported that their B.A. classes provided them with skills and strategies needed to communicate with children who speak a language other than their own. While the majority of students reported that their practicum experiences helped them do a better job at their workplace, they also identified several areas for improvement. The Year 3 study also reports on the graduates’ perspectives about support at their jobs for ongoing learning and any changes in employment and/or compensation upon completing their degree.
The Learning Together study focuses on four California counties’ (Alameda, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, and San Francisco) efforts to expand bachelor’s degree opportunities in early care and education (ECE) for working adults. The student cohort model – in which small groups of ECE students with similar interests and characteristics pursue a bachelor’s degree together and receive targeted support services – has emerged across the country.
The Learning Together study is supported by: First 5 Alameda County-Every Child Counts, First 5 Santa Barbara County, First 5 San Francisco, the WestEd – E3 Institute, and the W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation.