PROJECT PATHFINDERS


 

June 12, 2017   Friends – We are excited to kick off the second year of Project Pathfinders scholarships for Virginia’s early educators! In our first year, Project Pathfinders provided access to over 660 community college courses for early childhood professionals. Thanks to many of you who helped us successfully launch Pathfinders by promoting the program through your networks and providing thoughtful feedback along the way.  Applications for Fall Semester 2017 will be accepted through our online system from June 15 – August 1.  All Project Pathfinders information and our online application can be found here. Please continue to spread the word about this important opportunity for early childhood professionals to build their skills through access to high quality community college coursework and credentials.  And don’t forget – Pathfinders is more than just a scholarship program. By partnering with other initiatives, Pathfinders has leveraged additional opportunities to strengthen and build the early education workforce.

  • VECF is working in partnership with the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry to pilot registered apprenticeships for early education professionals. Registered Apprenticeships allow professionals who are working at least 30 hours a week to talk with their employer to set specific professional development goals. Apprentices are then assigned a veteran teacher at their site to act as a mentor, and take coursework at a local Virginia community college utilizing the Pathfinders scholarships. At the end of each year of the Apprenticeship – usually 2 to 3 years – the employee receives a wage increase that is pre-determined by the employer. The Apprentice also receives a nationally-recognized Certificate of Completion. Click here to learn more.
  • Project Pathfinders is also working with dual-enrollment programs to support high school students taking early education coursework at the community college level, giving them a jump start on their career pathway. Contact pathfinders@vecf.org to learn more.

·         Licensed Virginia preschool teachers may be able to meet recertification requirements by taking early childhood coursework at community colleges in Virginia using Pathfinders scholarships. To confirm that courses of interest at your nearby college meet recertification requirements, please mail your inquiry to the Virginia Department of Education, PO Box 2120, Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120.  Please make sure to include your name, license number or social security number and current mailing address.

Got questions or need help completing the scholarship application or an application for community college?  We have a terrific Scholarship Advisor, Mila Spaulding, who can guide applicants through the entire application process. She can be contacted at pathfinders@vecf.org or by calling 804-749-8149. Is there an employer, community college or quality initiative in your community that would like to organize a group of providers to take coursework as a cohort? Just contact pathfinders@vecf.org to get started. VECF is pleased to be supporting the most valuable workforce in Virginia – early childhood educators – and appreciates your help in distributing information about these opportunities through your networks and communities.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Kathy Glazer

President

 

 

 

 1703 North Parham Road

Suite 110  Richmond, VA 23229