Why study education at GCC?Our missionOur core principles Greenfield Community College offers a warm and stimulating atmosphere that supports learning and understanding in all our students. We are the only NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) accredited college in Western Mass! Our classes are small, allowing for increased student participation and support as well as increased faculty-student interactions. Our schedule includes face-to-face, on-line, hybrid and and evening courses to match your schedule! We offer "enhanced" advising for both academic decision-making and career exploration. Your adviser is part of your journey, not just someone you get a signature from once a semester! Students have the option to attend full-time or part-time. Students can also earn "Credit for Prior Learning" if you have been working in the field for over a year (applies to the ECE degree only). Both our Early Childhood Education A.S and Liberal Arts in Education A.A. degrees lead to transfer to bachelor programs and are part of the MassTransfer compact. Our Early Childhood Education degree prepares you for Lead Teacher Certification under the Department of Early Education and Care upon graduation! There are plenty of wonderful support services right on campus to help you on your journey including a terrific Wellness Center, Peer Tutoring Center, Student Life Center, an Educational Technology office and several computer labs, a fantastic library and Math and Science Studios staffed by faculty to help support you after class. Explore our programs GCC’s Education Department prepares students to pursue, and continue, a career in teaching and learning at all levels from birth – high school. Students learn to partner with children, youth, families, and colleagues to create places of learning and development that respect the competency and diversity of all children and families in order to provide high quality instruction and care. Students are immersed in a culture of critical thinking and reflective practices. Faculty support and model the exploration and exchange of ideas and perspectives in order to expand frameworks for teaching and learning, to promote cultural competency, and foster academic rigor. Our purpose is to develop each student's passion for curiosity, social justice, and lifelong learning so that they may carry this forward as educators and advocates and inspire others. All children and youth have the right to optimum care and education. Children and youth are citizens. We hold an image of all children and youth as strong and capable, with the innate desire to connect with others and make meaning of their world. They have a right to participate in society and their communities (to the best of their abilities). Family is fundamental. We believe the family is the essential context for a child. They have a right to partner with teachers to support their child’s growth and learning. Families have a right to express their culture and values. Curriculum is built upon the foundations of pedagogy and content knowledge. Learners have a role as active participants in constructing knowledge. College students deserve an academic space that respects the individual and welcomes the full spectrum of diversity among people and experiences. Knowledge building is challenging and transformative. It requires critical self-reflection and risk-taking. Learning and teaching (are) relationship based, including with one’s self, with others and with physical materials and environments. Learning is a multi-directional process, not a linear path to right answers. Curiosity is a seriously important academic and professional attitude. Teachers are researchers! Educators and caregivers are professionals who remain current in the field and continue to evolve their knowledge and skills. Teaching is a political act! Advocacy and social justice are part of the profession. Educators have the capacity to be agents of change in the community.