Students earn Spanish CDA at GNTC

A collaboration between three organizations in the Dalton area have yielded around 15 students who have completed the 120 training hours required to obtain a Spanish Child Development Associate (CDA) credential and can now enter the professional world of education.

According to Suzanne Harbin, director of the Early Childhood Initiative, the partnership between her organization, the Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia, Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) and the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning came about through the demand of qualified educators at childcare centers in the Dalton area.

There were several parents interested in taking early education classes and entering the professional field of education, said Harbin, but they lacked the English skills necessary to enter GNTC or other English-only secondary school systems. The Spanish CDA students receive the expertise they need to seek out jobs in the early education fields and are now qualified for employment at Quality Rated Childcare Centers across Dalton.

Front Row: Jenny Lopez, Rosa Torres, Carliana Mendoza, Loreyda Rodriguez, Leynis Ramos, Mindy Rosales, Karen Torres, Gema Hernandez, Aida Lazo, Maria Grosso, Carmen Grosso Back Row: Magdalena Maldonado, Gladis Arreguín, Rebeca Aguilar, Suzanne Harbin, Patty Hart.
Front Row: Jenny Lopez, Rosa Torres, Carliana Mendoza, Loreyda Rodriguez, Leynis Ramos, Mindy Rosales, Karen Torres, Gema Hernandez, Aida Lazo, Maria Grosso, Carmen Grosso Back Row: Magdalena Maldonado, Gladis Arreguín, Rebeca Aguilar, Suzanne Harbin, Patty Hart.

According to the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning’s website, Quality Rated is Georgia’s system to determine, improve, and communicate the quality of programs that provide child care. Similar to rating systems for restaurants and hotels, Quality Rated assigns one, two or three stars to early education and school-age care programs that meet or exceed the minimum state requirements.

“This is a definite win-win for our community,” she said. “These bilingual teachers fulfill a special need in our community. They bring cultural competence and can communicate with Hispanic children who attend our Quality Rated centers and the students’ families.”

This is part of the overall Northwest Georgia community literacy plan where collaborating agencies are working to assure that all children are ready for school by age five, and that they are given opportunities to be reading on grade level by 3rd grade Harbin added. The certification classes were held on GNTC’s new Whitfield Murray Campus and a new class of 20 students begins in January. For more information about the program or how to join contact Patty Hart, GNTC director of Business and Industry Services,

Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 12,785 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,499 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 5,286 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

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