We are pleased to share that last week, 20 students received their Child Development Associate Certificate from the CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS), a certificate program run in partnership with the Institute. Students in the program faced particular challenges this last semester, as classes were converted to a virtual instruction format in March due to the pandemic. Even before the pandemic, students were working hard to complete not only the college coursework, but also field placement assignments, working full time, part time or interning at Montessori schools, Head Start programs, child care centers and family or group family child care programs. As classes transitioned to online during the pandemic, the students demonstrated their agility and flexibility (both useful skills in an early childhood setting) in adapting from face-to-face to virtual instruction.

On June 8, 2020, the achievements of the CUNY SPS Class of 2020 were recognized in a school-wide virtual celebration. The Institute applauds the hard work of the 20 CDA graduates and Claudine Campanelli, our Director of Career Development and Higher Education. Claudine oversees the CDA program, as well as the Children’s Program Administration Credential for program leaders, in conjunction with the CUNY School of Professional Studies.

As further testament to their hard work, 24 CDA students in the program received invitations to the CUNY SPS Honor Society. Most of the students who graduated from the CUNY SPS CDA program have been accepted into the Institute’s Early Childhood College Completion program (funded by Graduate NYC’s College Completion Innovation Fund) and will transfer into Associate’s, Bachelor’s or Master’s early childhood degree programs this fall.

This year’s graduating class is filled with talented, ambitious early childhood educators. One of the students in this year’s graduating class, Tobey Buford, demonstrated the perseverance and stamina that characterizes so many of our grads. She began taking CDA classes in Fall 2016, taking one class each year. Tobey completed the final CDA class this past semester, showing her true dedication to the field and her career!

Another student named Robert Shum showed his incredible creativity and artistic talent, gifting his classmates and professor with drawings of them and their virtual connectedness (see below).

Congratulations to all the 2020 CUNY SPS graduates, as well as all of the other 2020 graduates on CUNY’s 25 NYC campuses!