The ECDC programs are enriched by the involvement of college students in the ECDC programs as they provide extra hands and additional individual attention. During the school year, students from 6 area colleges and universities are involved in the ECDC program on a weekly basis as practicum students, volunteers and/or part time employees. College students bring a great wealth of talents and support to the program as they build relationships with the children, teachers and program staff
Practicum students are typically enrolled in Education, Psychology, Communicative Disorders, Sociology, Social Work or Nursing college courses that include a “real life” experiential component with children.
ECDC also hires college students to work on a part time basis assisting the teaching staff during transitional times of the day and meals, including early morning breakfast, lunchtime, rest time and end of the day.
During the summer program, college students join the ECDC professional teachers in providing the day camp program. These college students are typically students who are pursuing education, sociology, child development and other child related degrees. These temporary seasonal summer positions are typically full time positions for a 10 week period.
All college students involved with ECDC receive an orientation to ECDC’s philosophy, goals, curriculum/learning activities, licensing, accreditation and child guidance/discipline to support consistency for the children. Each activity room typically has at least one college student involved during each day. College students who are not ECDC employees always work with ECDC professional teachers while at ECDC; they are not given responsibility for a group of children or for individual children. All teachers/program staff and employed college students undergo a rigorous interview process including FBI fingerprinting, a five panel drug screen, and a physical and TB test in addition to orientation and training.
“ECDC has allowed me to be a kid again. Although, I am working I am also engaged in all that the children are doing and I find myself coloring, finger painting, building, and reading my favorite childhood books. I love knowing every time I walk into a classroom I will get a hug from a child. There is something to be said about building relationships and sharing connections with children, they really do provide me with the most joy. ECDC is more than a child care facility it is a place were learning, growth, and memories are created not only for children but for myself also. When I graduate this Spring and think about my experience at Saint Mary’s I will always think about ECDC and all that it has taught me. Entering the field of Audiology, I have learned valuable techniques of how to engage with a child and how to handle situation that may arise in a professional manner. ECDC has shaped me into the professional I am today and I can not thank them enough for allowing me to be a part of their family!” — Saint Mary’s College Senior