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Scholarship program offered for child care providers through HCC

Teacher working in classroom with elementary students

Hagerstown Community College and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) are partnering to offer a joint scholarship program for child care providers in the state of Maryland.

To be eligible for the Child Care Career & Professional Development Fund (CCCPDF) scholarship, students must be working in a licensed child care setting in the state of Maryland, have been employed there for at least one year, and must be participating in the Maryland Child Care Credential Program, a voluntary professional development incentive program for child care providers administered by the MSDE Office of Child Care. Students must also be pursuing an educational degree program at HCC such as an associate degree in early childhood/primary grades education, early childhood education, elementary education, or education. Students are required to maintain a 2.5 GPA and complete a minimum of two college courses per year in their academic program of study.

“I think the CCCPDF is an excellent program,” said HCC student and registered family provider Norma Happel, of Hagerstown. “There is absolutely no way that my family and I could have afforded for me to attend college and complete the classes I did in the time that I did it. I was able to take two or three classes a semester, and the grant money made that possible.”

Happel originally graduated from HCC with an accounting degree in 1986. After running a family daycare for the last 20 years, she decided to return to HCC three years ago to get her degree in early childhood education, enrolling in the transfer program so that she can achieve her lifelong dream of teaching preschool now that her own children are older.

“The classes I took [at HCC] were absolutely amazing,” said Happel. “I’ve told many other people about the program—how great it is and how it so worth the little bit of time and paperwork needed to participate in the grant. I wanted to teach coming out of high school, but teaching jobs were not plentiful at that time, so I decided on a different career. The CCCPDF has now made it possible for me to do what I’ve always wanted to do. And thanks to my training, I now have very marketable skills that I can use to successfully teach preschool.”

Fall 2013 applications for the Child Care Career & Professional Development Fund are now being accepted. Deadline to apply is March 1, 2013. To apply or learn more about the program, contact Alison Hess, project manager, at 240-500-2604, or email amhess@hagerstowncc.edu.