Aug. 15, 2023 (COLUMBUS, OH) – Beginning in June, YWCA Columbus, along with Bridging Our Communities Together for Success, ACHIEVE Professional Development Center, and the City of Columbus, offered a free 12-week institute for high school students interested in earning their Child Development Associate (CDA) credential.
Twelve students participated in the workforce development program and received all program materials, including laptops, at no cost, as well as transportation through COTA.
“We’re incredibly proud of the students who worked toward meeting the requirements to earn their CDA credential, which would create opportunities for career advancement in early childhood education,” said Christina Walls, managing director of education at YWCA Columbus and founder of ACHIEVE. “Programs like this are vital, as they help the staffing crisis the early childhood field is facing.”
The certification is administered through the Council for Professional Recognition, which Walls serves as a professional development specialist, and is designed to help young educators learn more about developmentally appropriate practices for children and be more comfortable working with children.
Many of the students in the program were placed at various YWCA Kids Place sites throughout Central Ohio, allowing them to fulfill the necessary hours “on the job” required to earn the certification.
“It was a win-win to offer this training and have extra hands on deck throughout the summer for our camp programming,” said Dr. Tameka Donaldson, district program administrator for the Gahanna School District and founder of Bridging Our Communities Together for Success. “We are excited to recognize all of our participants this August.”
Donaldson also is a professional development specialist through the Council for Professional Recognition.
In addition to gaining on-site experience, the students completed 120 hours of training covering eight subject areas, including intellectual and emotional development, the management of effective childcare programs, and nurturing productive family relationships.
The students who participated were recognized and celebrated on Aug. 9 and Aug. 14 at YWCA Columbus. YWCA Columbus hopes to host another institute later this fall.
About YWCA Columbus
YWCA Columbus defies the status quo that puts women, people of color, and the underprivileged on uneven footing. By fostering dialogue and providing practical resources and education, we promote empowerment and inclusion. YWCA Columbus initiates systematic social change that will create a Columbus of peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.