UT takes training video at San Jacinto College children’s center

08.08.2016 | By Rob Vanya

Representatives from a major university recently visited the San Jacinto College North Campus Children’s Center to take video footage that will be used for education courses and training in the university’s child development program.

Representatives from the University of Texas Children’s Learning Institute toured the North Campus Children’s Center, and then filmed staff members as they performed various duties of providing care for young children. The San Jacinto College facility is a lab school that supports learning for young children and models best practices in early childhood development. The facility is affiliated with associate degree and certificate programs, licensed through the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

“We are very happy with the classroom activities we captured on video,” commented Jasmine Wiggins, Children’s Learning Institute at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) special projects coordinator. “We truly appreciate the San Jacinto College teachers’ commitment to creating high-quality learning experiences for the children in their classrooms.”

Wiggins said the UTHealth Children’s Learning Institute regularly develops resources for early childhood teachers to use in the classroom. “Many of our resources include authentic video of teachers working with children in the classroom, showcasing teachers’ instructional practices and classroom arrangement,” she said. “We are currently developing new educational and outreach materials for early childhood teachers. We are very selective when choosing locations for classroom filming, since we are hoping to capture high quality teacher-child interactions. San Jacinto College’s Children’s Center was selected because of the quality of the program, its teachers and their teaching practices.”

Bethany Stansell, North Campus child development lab school director, said it was a “distinct honor and privilege” to be selected by the UTHealth Children’s Learning Institute for the video project. “I am super proud of the North Campus Children’s Center team and their collective and ongoing efforts to provide high quality child care in an industry that typically under-values them,” she commented. “We work tirelessly to adapt our approaches and strategies to positively promote the importance of early childhood education and the work we do with our children, families and students each day. The opportunity to be recognized by the Children’s Learning Institute, who helps drive change in early childhood across our nation and state, is confirmation of our combined efforts each day and we are excited to have been selected.”

The Center serves as a training ground for San Jacinto College students that provides a real life view of children and how they learn. Students can apply the theories learned in class through observations and hands-on experiences. Additionally, the Center offers child care services for San Jacinto College students, employees and community members who want a quality child development program for their children. “San Jacinto College child development students have opportunities to study and observe in an environment with ongoing teaching that reflects best practices based on current research in early childhood education,” commented Caresal Bolds, North Campus child development program director. “At the children’s center, students put into practice many of the concepts and strategies they learn and discuss in early childhood classes. By observing and working with experienced early childhood professionals, students are better prepared for careers in early childhood and have the ability to positively impact the lives of children and families.”

As living proof, San Jacinto College graduate Tamara Hicks puts training she received at the children’s center to good use every day as a child care professional. Hicks earned an early childhood development associate degree from San Jacinto College in 2011 and now works at the North Campus Children’s Center as a lead infant II teacher (10 to 20 months old). She is also pursuing a bachelor’s degree from Ashford University.

Hicks said the UTHealth Children’s Learning Institute made a wise decision by selecting the San Jacinto College Children’s Center as a site for student training videos. “We take pride in our work and have the best interest of every child at heart,” she said. “We use our skills and training to provide and model quality child care on a daily basis. We ensure that our children are in a safe, loving, nurturing and engaging environment. We not only work in child care, child care is our work and our passion.”

Hicks chose child development as a career because of her love of working with young children. “I love to witness the children’s ‘aha’ moments,” she commented. “I enjoy being a part of creating a foundation of learning for each child I serve.”

San Jacinto College operates children’s centers that also serve as educational training facilities for child development students at the North and Central campuses. To find out more, please visit sanjac.edu/career/child-developmentearly-childhood-studies.

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.

For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, visit www.sanjac.edu, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.