Early Childhood and Afterschool career pathways include certificates, credentials, academic degrees and educator licensure.
An academic degree is a position or title awarded by an accredited college or university. Northern Lights and the Community College of Vermont use the same criteria to determine if a college has acceptable accreditation. The college or university registrar issues a transcript, which is acceptable documentation of courses and degrees completed. This transcript is required by other colleges and by Northern Lights to document college coursework or degrees.
An educator license is issued by the VT Standards Board in the VT Agency of Education for either educator or administrator licensure. There are endorsements added to the license that specify the level and/or topic you can teach, for those who have met their qualifications and standards. Learn more about Teacher licensure . You can find more about licensure on the Agency of Education website.
A certificate recognizes completion of a program of study or training, which is based on a defined set of learning objectives. The early childhood and afterschool pathways recognize these certificates:
- On the Job Training certificate (primarily afterschool)
- Afterschool Foundations Certificate (afterschool)
- Afterschool Essentials Certificate (afterschool)
- Early Childhood Level certificates I-V (early childhood)
- Program Director Step 1 and Step 2 Certificates (afterschool and early childhood)
- Completed Vermont Child Care Apprenticeship Certificate (early childhood)
- CCV Child Care Certificate (early childhood)
- Instructor Registry Certificate (for early childhood and afterschool)
A Credential recognizes when an individual has met specific competencies based on established professional standards set by a recognized institution or professional organization. Credentials often require a portfolio or observation to document achievement of competence. Vermont Early Childhood and Afterschool Credentials include:
- Afterschool Professional Credential (afterschool)
- Program Director Credential (completion of Steps 1-3) (afterschool and early childhood)
- Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential (National- early childhood)
- Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Credential (afterschool and early childhood)
- National Afterschool Credential (pending)
- Infant/Toddler Credential (pending)
Afterschool credentials are embedded in the Afterschool career pathways.
In the early childhood career ladder, many of the certificates, credentials and teacher licensure are embedded at specific levels. The Program Director and Early Childhood Family Mental Health credentials branch off of the career ladder.