For immediate release
May 21, 2006

Guerra Early Childhood Center Receives First-Ever National Accreditation  

UTB/TSC’s Raul J. Guerra Early Childhood Center has earned its first-ever accreditation from the National Association for Education of Young Children- the nation’s leading organization of early childhood professionals. 

This is the first time the Early Childhood Center has applied for such accreditation since it came into existence at then Texas Southmost College in 1978. It is the only Early Childhood Center in South Texas to receive such a national accreditation.

The accreditation means that UTB/TSC has a quality program and is meeting national standards when it comes to early childhood programs. 

“It sends a message to this community that the parents that have their children in our center are confident that we have a quality program, that the students that are going through our academic program are assured that we are running a very quality academic program and it hopefully allows the other centers in the Valley to look to us as a role model and guidance for issues related to early childhood,” said Dr. Carl A. Stockton, Dean of the School of Education. 

The Raul J. Guerra Early Childhood Center is a Campus Lab School that provides quality care for more than 70 children in ages ranging from two weeks old to 5 years of age. 

Marisela Nava, director of the Early Childhood Center, said administrators and staff had been working on the accreditation project for more than two years, ensuring that they met all the requirements before submitting a formal application in July 2005. 

“I can honestly say that had it not been for the support of the administration, staff and the families I believe it wouldn’t have happened,” Nava said. 

The process for receiving accreditation included submitting a self study and a 12 hour on-site visit from an out of the area validator.The validator looked at the curriculum, the professional development of the staff, interaction between the teachers and children and the interaction between the teachers and the families, nutrition, safety issues and the physical environment. 

Nava received a letter in April that the center had received national accreditation. The accreditation runs from March 31, 2006 to March 31, 2011.

“They were always ready to go for the accreditation they just didn’t realize how well their program had been set up. This is a tough accreditation. If it was easy everybody would have it,” Stockton said. 

The National Association for the Education of Young Children created its accreditation program in 1985 to set professional standards for early childhood education, and to help families identify high-quality child care and early education programs. 

For more information, contact Marisela Nava, director of the Raul J. Guerra Early Childhood Center at 882-8238 or Dr. Carl A. Stockton, Dean of the School of Education at 882-7220.