News

November 20, 2020

Tuition-Free Courses Available for ECE Professionals

Are you an early learning professional who is interested in earning an Associate’s Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, or Child Development Certificate? No- and low-cost options are available for eligible professionals in Pennsylvania through the Professional Development Organization (PDO).

Professional Development Organization

The Professional Development Organization (PDO) is a grant-funded educational collaboration among four universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and numerous partner universities, colleges, and community programs across the state to advance the career pathways of the early childhood workforce. PDO funding covers tuition, expenses, and other supports to help eligible early childhood educators earn credit-bearing credentials and degrees.

Tuition-Free Courses

Tuition-free courses are eligible for early childhood professionals who:

    • are Pennsylvania residents,
    • work in a Keystone STARS program, and
    • work a minimum average of 25 hours per week over an entire work year (during non-COVID times).

To determine your eligibility, complete the online application. Once your eligibility is confirmed, a PDO Liaison from your region will contact you to discuss your professional development options.

Available Pathways

The following pathways are available to advance your academic and professional development:

    • Child Development Associate Certificate (CDA)
    • Associate’s Degree, Early Childhood Education
    • Bachelor’s Degree, Early Childhood Education

Steps To Take

If you are interested in taking advantage of this limited-time opportunity, complete these three steps:

    • Apply for Tuition Assistance 

      Complete the application. Once submitted, an ECE Liaison will contact you to confirm your eligibility for tuition assistance, guide you through the application at a PDO partner university, college, or program, and help you register for classes. Be sure to check your spam folder as it may contain an email from your ECE Liaison.

    • Register for Classes 

      Class offerings at all schools and programs may change each semester. Check with an ECE Liaison or the school for details. View this document for examples of available classes.

More Information

For more information, contact Mimi Loughead at mimi@tryingtogether.org.

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News

October 21, 2020

Benefits of Having a PD Registry Profile

Do you have a Pennsylvania PD Registry profile? If not, you are missing out on features that could help you schedule professional development, request financial assistance, and more.

What is the PD Registry?

The Pennsylvania Professional Development (PD) Registry is an online system that functions as a “workforce registry” by tracking the professional accomplishments of registered individuals, providing important data about the early childhood workforce, and highlighting a consolidated list of available professional development opportunities.

Data collected through the PD Registry—including data such as length of time in the field, education level, and wages—is also used to advocate for better education opportunities and higher wages for professionals in Pennsylvania.

Benefits

Early Learning and School-Age Professionals

Through the PD Registry, early learning and school-age professionals can:

    • track their employment, education, and training history;
    • complete a professional development self-assessment to plan upcoming training;
    • register for in-person and online professional training that offers PQAS and Act 48 credit;
    • begin an application for financial assistance if eligible;
    • keep track of CPR, First Aid, and Fire Safety expiration dates;
    • and more.
Program Directors

Through the PD Registry, Program Directors can:

    • track staff completion of Bureau of Certification and Keystone STARS training requirements;
    • access verified staff qualifications for meeting Certification and Keystone STARS requirements;
    • support staff with professional development planning; and
    • register staff members for training using the statewide training calendar.

Creating an Account

If you don’t have an account, visit the PD Registry website to create one. For assistance, view this step-by-step tip sheet on how to create an account or contact pdregistry@pakeys.org.

More Information

Additional tip sheets and resources are available for new users, existing users, and program directors. For more information, view this document or visit the Pennsylvania Key website.

News

October 14, 2020

Receive A School-Age Professional Credential

Are you interested in receiving a School-Age Professional Credential? A School-Age Professional Credential Course will be available online from October 20, 2020 to May 18, 2021. This course is free to those who qualify. Textbooks are provided.

About

The Pennsylvania School-Age Professional Credential (SAPC) is a competency-based program modeled after the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential. It provides individuals working in school-age programs the opportunity to examine their work in relation to the Pennsylvania School-Age Competency Standards.

A School-Age Professional Credential Course will be available online from October 20, 2020 to May 18, 2021. Course participants will digitally meet on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and there will be a self-paced weekly assignment that will take approximately two hours to complete.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for this course, professionals must:

    • be working in a Department of Human Service regulated program that serves school-age children (age five to 12-years-old);
    • have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED credential;
    • complete an individual professional development plan; and
    • have worked at least 480 hours with school-age children.

Apply

This course is free to those who qualify. Textbooks are provided. Technology and child care supports are available. To apply, visit the PDO at PASSHE webpage.

More Information

For questions or more information, call 814.836.9295 or email chuck.lytle@nwirelrc.org.

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News

September 2, 2020

CDA Credential Course (North Side): Registration Deadline

About

Are you an early educator in the North Side of Pittsburgh who is working with young children? Are you looking to take the first step in advancing your career? Join your peers and Trying Together for this nine-month online CDA course where you will:

  • focus on Competency Standards and Best Practices that support healthy early development in young children;
  • complete online coursework;
  • receive support from an experienced instructor; and
  • receive a nationally recognized credential upon completion.

Session Details

  • Course Timeline: September 14, 2020 – May 31, 2021
  • Delivery: Online (Schoology and Zoom)
  • Course Instructor: Theresa Hetler
  • CDA Orientation Date: September 2, 2020
  • Registration closes on September 2, 2020. Space is limited.

Registration

To register, complete our online form.

Please note that this listing is not a one-day, in-person event. This online course runs from September 14, 2020 to May 31, 2020. More information will be provided after registration.

More Information

For questions or more information, please contact Theresa Hetler at theresa@tryingtogether.org.

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August 31, 2020

CDA Credential Course: Registration Deadline

Important Note: This course is full. If you are an early learning professional in the North Side of Pittsburgh, please register for our other CDA course that will run from September 14, 2020 – May 31, 2021.

About

Are you an early educator who is working with young children? Are you looking to take the first step in advancing your career? Join your peers and Trying Together for this nine-month online CDA course where you will:

  • focus on Competency Standards and Best Practices that support healthy early development in young children;
  • complete online coursework;
  • receive support from an experienced instructor; and
  • receive a nationally recognized credential upon completion.

Session Details

  • Course Timeline: September 8, 2020 – May 31, 2021
  • Delivery: Online (Schoology and Zoom)
  • Course Instructor: Theresa Hetler
  • CDA Orientation Date: August 31, 2020
  • Registration closes on August 31, 2020. Space is limited.

Registration

This course is currently full. To stay up-to-date on available courses, sign up to receive the Trying Together newsletter and/or follow Trying Together on Facebook and Twitter.

Please note that this listing is not a one-day, in-person event. This online course runs from September 8, 2020 to May 31, 2020. More information will be provided after registration.

More Information

For questions or more information, please contact Theresa Hetler at theresa@tryingtogether.org.

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News

August 17, 2020

Online CDA Credential Courses Available

Are you an early educator who is working with young children? Are you looking to advance your career? Join Trying Together for our nine-month online CDA courses to complete coursework with an experienced instructor and receive a nationally recognized credential upon completion!

Available Courses

More Information

For questions or more information, please contact Theresa Hetler at theresa@tryingtogether.org.

News

July 15, 2020

T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship Fall 2020 Deadline

Early childhood education professionals interested in attending college for the fall semester can submit applications to receive a T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education And Compensation Helps) Scholarship.

Eligibility

The Pennsylvania Child Care Association (PACCA) offers a variety of T.E.A.C.H. scholarships to meet the needs of the early care and education workforce in center and home-based settings. Eligible applicants must:

    • work a minimum of 25-30 hours per week directly with children in a DHS-certified child care program;
    • make $19 or less an hour ($25 or less per hour for directors); and
    • be interested in pursuing coursework at a participating college toward a degree or credential in early childhood.

Scholarship awards are dependent upon the availability of funds and priorities of funders. Other eligibility criteria may apply are subject to change without notice. See the brochure.

Application Details

To be considered for the Fall 2020 semester, T.E.A.C.H. applications must be completed and submitted with all required documentation by Friday, August 7, 2020. PACCA will continue to accept applications on an ongoing basis, however, incomplete applications and applications received after this date will not receive priority for consideration. New scholarship awards for the Fall 2020 semester will be dependent upon funding availability at that time.

Interested applicants should also begin the college admissions process now and contact an early childhood education (ECE) advisor at their intended college/university. This helps to ensure that scholarship applicants are admitted to their college/university and can register for courses if/when they receive a T.E.A.C.H. scholarship. T.E.A.C.H. can provide contact information for early childhood education advisors at partnering institutions if needed.

Submit an Application

To download a scholarship application, visit the PACCA website. Completed applications must be submitted to PACCA by Friday, August 7 through one of the following methods:

    • Fax: 717.657.0959
    • Mail: 20 Erford Road, Suite 302
      Lemoyne, PA 17043

More Information

For questions about scholarship eligibility and requirements, contact a T.E.A.C.H. Counselor at 717.657.9000.

News

July 14, 2020

CDA Community of Practice

Are you an early educator who is interested in advancing your career? Join Trying Together starting July 14 for our six-week online course, “CDA Community of Practice.”

About

This online course is intended for individuals who have completed the necessary hours and requirements for a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. During this community of practice, participants will explore the current theory, research, and best practices related to early childhood. Participants will focus on the completion of portfolio requirements, as well as preparation for the CDA credential exam.

This course will be hosted on Zoom. Participants will receive the Zoom link via email from the course instructor. For questions, contact Theresa Hetler at theresa@tryingtogether.org.

Course Details

    • Timeline: July 14 – August 18, 2020 (Six Weeks)
      Sessions will be held every Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m.
    • Instructor: Theresa Hetler, Workforce Development Strategist
    • Course Type: Online (Zoom Meetings)
    • Registration Deadline: Friday, July 10

Registration

To register for this course, contact Theresa Hetler at theresa@tryingtogether.org. Space is extremely limited. Registrations must be submitted no later than Friday, July 10.

More Information

For questions, contact Theresa Hetler at theresa@tryingtogether.org.

News

November 6, 2019

T.E.A.C.H. Scholarship Spring 2020 Deadline

Early childhood education professionals interested in attending college for the spring semester (beginning January 2020) can submit applications to receive a T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education And Compensation Helps) scholarship.

Eligibility

The Pennsylvania Child Care Association (PACCA) offers a variety of T.E.A.C.H. scholarships to meet the needs of the early care and education workforce in center and home-based settings. Eligible applicants must:

    • work a minimum of 25-30 hours per week directly with children in a DHS-certified child care program;
    • make $19 or less an hour ($25 or less per hour for directors);
    • be interested in pursuing coursework at a participating college toward a degree or credential in early childhood; and
    • Bachelor’s degree applicants must meet additional eligibility criteria, which includes having at least 55 transferable credits towards a degree in Early Childhood Education or equivalent.

Scholarship awards are dependent upon the availability of funds and priorities of funders. See the brochure.

Application Details

To be considered for the Spring 2020 semester, T.E.A.C.H. applications must be completed and submitted with all required documentation by Friday, November 15, 2019. PACCA will continue to accept applications on an ongoing basis, however, incomplete applications and applications received after this date will not receive priority for consideration. New scholarship awards for the Spring 2020 semester will be dependent upon funding availability at that time.

Interested applicants should also begin the college admissions process now and contact an early childhood education advisor at their intended college/university.  This helps to ensure that scholarship applicants are admitted to their college/university and can register for courses if/when they receive a T.E.A.C.H. scholarship. T.E.A.C.H. can provide contact information for early childhood education advisors at partnering institutions if needed.

Click here to download a scholarship application.

More Information

To learn more, visit the PACCA website.

For questions, contact a T.E.A.C.H. Counselor at 717-657-9000 or teachinfo@pacca.org.

*Information provided by PACCA

News

August 21, 2019

East End CDA Credential Course: Registration Deadline

Are you an early educator working with young children in a center, home, or school setting? Are you looking to advance your career? Join Trying Together for a nine-month Child Development Associate (CDA) course that will meet in a classroom setting and include online coursework, both supported by an instructor throughout.

Course Timeline

This course runs from September 6, 2019 through May 18, 2020.

More Information

For questions or more information, contact Theresa Hetler at 412.567.3329 or theresa@tryingtogether.org.

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Registration

To participate in this course, complete the registration process below. Registration closes on August 21, 2019.