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QCC Partners for Innovative DHE Program

Improving Teacher Quality Learning Projects Help Close Early Education Gaps

Contact: Cherie Ronayne
Office of Institutional Communications
cronayne [at]

Release Date: 

Worcester, MA, June 6, 2014 – In support of the most recent project initiated by the Department of Higher Education (DHE), educators from QCC have partnered with their peers from Worcester State University (WSU) across sectors to enhance early STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. The project, called Using Science to Strengthen and Align Early Childhood Teaching, is a unique collaboration of Higher Education faculty, Worcester Public Schools, the Ecotarium, and Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary to develop Geology and Mechanical Physics learning experiences for teachers that will enhance teacher knowledge and enable further creativity to develop enriched, developmentally appropriate curricula for children.

The DHE initiative, Improving Teacher Quality (ITQ) programs partner MA Institutes of Higher Education in an effort to close early education and achievement gaps before they open.

For the most recent ITQ project, QCC faculty provided the field supervision instruction. Charlene Mara, QCC’s ECE Program Coordinator and Professor said, “Our faculty ensured that the STEM lessons were developmentally appropriate, child centered and addressed all domains of development. QCC’s early childhood education expertise brings a wealth of high quality early childhood experience and understanding of developmentally appropriate practice to the DHE’s ITQ initiatives.” Teachers in the ITQ program develop curriculum units that will be shared on the department of elementary and secondary education website. Early Childhood Education faculty as well as children in each classroom and program across Worcester County benefit from the ITQ collaboration.

Outcomes from the latest ITQ partnership include geological experiences for children from birth through grade 3, learning about sediment minerals, rocks, tectonic plates, soil, erosion, volcanoes, glaciers and more.  Experience with mechanical physics enables children to learn about gravity, motion, speed, force, velocity, weight, balance, symmetry, density, buoyancy and more. 

College is on the horizon for many MA children through engaging discoveries, knowledge of science through experimentation and excitement for learning that is enhanced when Worcester educators share  expertise that enriches curricula for young students.   

For more information regarding this release: Call Josh Martin, Director of Institutional Communications at 508.854.7513

Quinsigamond Community College is the most affordable higher education in Worcester County. As a regional leader in education and workforce development, QCC serves the diverse educational needs of Central Massachusetts by providing affordable, accessible, and high quality programming leading to transfer, career, and lifelong learning.