The growth of Child Development

Child Development teacher reflects on newfound CDA class


Photo by Anna Lee

Children at Paul Laurence Dunbar Early Education Center play with shapes in class Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. The CDA program buses Texas High students off-campus to Dunbar to develop their skills and gain experience with children.

Story by Anna Lee, Staff Writer

Texas High decided to expand their CTE department for the 2022-2023 school year; specifically in the child development area. They added a series of classes that ensure students have a chance to be certified through the Child Development Associate National Credential Program. 

“We have been trying for the last few years to get students interested in the CDA program,” Child Development teacher Maurice Oldham said. “Our goal for the future is to get more kids involved in the program.”

This certification stems from three different dual-credit classes, all offered over the course of three years. At the end of the three courses, the student takes a national certification test to earn their official certificate. 

“[The program] allows the kids to be certified and earn a credential to be recognized in the field of early childhood development,”  Oldham said. “It is a good opportunity for anyone who even wants to go to college for a teacher certification.”

The program has several different requirements, the most vigorous one being 480 volunteer hours within a specified age group, with a large number of those having to be within the specialty the student chooses. 

“These volunteer hours not only allow them to learn what they are doing in school, but get the experience,” Oldham said. “They get the instruction in class, but they have to take that and apply it in those volunteer hours.” 

Not only does the program give a certification, it opens up a variety of choices for the people who decide to go into the field of early childhood development, giving students a chance to specialize in a preferred field. 

“They can work in development programs, headstart programs, federal programs or anything that has to do with kids under the age of five,” Oldham said. “There is even a bilingual certification offered.”

This program started out small, with only seven students in the CDA one class. The CTE program expects more people to join in future years. 

Oldham started spreading the word last year in her Child Development Dual Credit courses; however, with the news getting out so late, very few people signed up. 

“I hope that once the word gets out it will light a spark in our program,” Oldham said. “This program is just exciting, especially for someone who wants to get an [early childhood education] certification.”