FVCC, UM team up to offer early education program degree

Posted at 4:36 PM, Apr 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-16 18:36:48-04

KALISPELL – Students in the Flathead Valley have the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from the University of Montana without having to leave Northwest Montana.

Governor Steve Bullock recently highlighted the importance of early education as he hopes legislators in Helena continue to support it.

A foundation built on confidence, hope and knowing that you can accomplish anything and at Flathead Valley Community College, Kendall Brook instills this in young kids at the Early Childhood Center.

"At this age, you learn how to solve a problem," Brooks said. "You learn how to show others kindness, you learn how to trade and take turns and get help when you need help. An amazing skill that could really change our world if everyone could do that."

But she also imparts these lessons to the college students who hope to eventually receive Early Childhood Education degrees through the college.

"We educate students how to become early childhood educators," said FVCC President Jane Karas. "But we also have an early childhood education center to provide children to get the early start on their education and help them be successful throughout their lives."

Students who have completed the first two years of study in elementary education at FVCC are eligible to apply for admission and complete their studies via a combination of distance learning and face-to-face classes taught by UM faculty on the FVCC campus.

Gov. Bullock visited FVCC last week to highlight the importance of early education in the state.

"Education is one of the great equalizers no matter who our family is it provides us that opportunity to become whatever we want to be," Gov. Bullock said during his Kalispell visit.

The program is partially by the STARS preschool pilot initiative which is a $6 million statewide investment to expand early education. Click here for more information on the FVCC program.

The partnership between UM and FVCC was first launched in 2015.