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Fresno Pacific, Reedley College Put Students First, Team on Early Childhood Degree

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Early childhood education students at Reedley College can earn a bachelor's degree from Fresno Pacific under a new program at the Reedley campus. (Fresno Pacific)
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Students at Reedley College who want to earn a bachelor’s degree in early childhood development now won’t have to leave the campus. Reedley has joined forces with Fresno Pacific University on a new cooperative program in which Fresno Pacific faculty come to the community college campus for classes, Fresno Pacific officials announced Tuesday.

A dozen students in Reedley’s Early Childhood Education program are the first enrolled in the new program, which is held online and in the recently completed Early Childhood and Education Building. The building provides classroom space and a lab school for infants, toddlers, and preschool children, and is where some students work.

“It’s a one-stop building,” said Marcy Davidson, chair of the early childhood, education, and health sciences department at Reedley.

Bringing Classes to Students

Holding classes as Reedley benefits students who come from rural areas and for whom traveling to Fresno Pacific’s Fresno or Visalia campuses would pose a hardship, Davidson said.

The program is the brainchild of Dr. Carol Gossett, associate professor of education and director of the early childhood development program at Fresno Pacific. She contacted Reedley College four years ago with her proposal.

Students meet in person one night a week in groups, or cohorts, that remain together throughout the 18-month program.

Reedley students are guaranteed admission to the university and receive a 10% tuition discount. Fresno Pacific also helps them find employment.

Becoming Lead Teachers

Graduates can become lead teachers in early childhood programs, or teach at state-funded preschools or in pre-kindergarten or transitional kindergarten classrooms. That’s the goal of Haylee Poole, a 2013 Reedley graduate who worked in the field before returning this fall for Fresno Pacific’s bachelor’s program.

“Having the opportunity to attend a university much closer to home and the flexibility of being able to participate in just one night a week as well as the online component is something that is easier to do and commit to,” she said. “It is also helpful that I will be attending the same location for the entire program and the instructors will come to us when the next class starts.”

Still in development is a PK-3 teaching credential program that will authorize graduates to teach in pre-kindergarten through third grade.

Fresno Pacific also is working on a similar associate of arts/bachelor of arts program with the West Hills Coalinga’s Firebaugh campus. Both the Reedley and West Hills pacts build on pathways that Fresno Pacific has created with local school districts such as Visalia Unified in Tulare County and Chawanakee Unified in Madera County.

Fresno Pacific has been in search of new revenue streams as the university battles budget pressures that have led to a series of layoffs, including one announced in November that will shrink the faculty by 10%.

Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email

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