Career Pathways Grant

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Career Pathways Grant 

Through the ECE Cohort at BCC, the EEC Career Pathways Grant funds courses towards Teacher Certification, Lead Teacher Certification, Director Certification as well as an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. The grant staff also support students to complete their CDA. This grant pays all tuition and fees for students to earn their Certification or Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education.

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BCC Education Program

For general questions about the BCC Education program, please contact Patty Kay, M.Ed., Chair, Education Department at or 413-236-4626.

EEC Career Pathways Grant

To register with the EEC Career Pathways Grant, please reach out to Alicia Ginsberg M.Ed, Career Pathways Grant Coordinator at or 413-236-4598.

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Learn More

  • Early Childhood Education A.A. Degree

    Courses outlined in the Associate in Arts program meet the Massachusetts Transfer Compact and provide a strong foundation for students continuing on to a bachelor's degree while the Associate in Science program prepares students to immediately enter the work force.

    Learn About the Early Childhood Education A.A. Degree

  • Early Childhood Education A.S. Degree

    The A.S. in Early Childhood Education is a "career degree" meeting the needs of teachers in the field seeking an associate degree as a terminal degree. This option, with more required courses directly relevant to the care and teaching of young children and relating to working with families, provides training for those early childhood educators who choose to remain in the field at an associate degree level. Early Childhood Education (ECE) courses align with MADOEEC and NAEYC standards.

    Read About the Early Childhood Education A.S. Degree

  • Early Childhood Education Introductory Certificate

    The Introductory Early Childhood Education certificate is the first pathway leading to greater qualifications for work with young children. With the experience provided in the practicum (ECE-123), those completing this certificate will be ready to apply for teacher qualification through the MADOEEC. The required ECE courses will be offered in the evening in rotation.

    Get Information About the Early Childhood Education Introductory Certificate

  • Early Childhood Education Intermediate Certificate

    After completion of the Introductory Early Childhood Education certificate or equivalent, students may begin work on this pathway. This certificate, together with nine months of additional experience in the field, prepares people to pursue lead teacher qualification through the MADOEEC. The required ECE courses will be offered in the evening in rotation.

    Learn About the Intermediate Certificate

  • Elementary Education A.A. Degree

    The Elementary Education Program in Liberal Arts meets the Massachusetts Transfer Compact and lays the groundwork for students to become well-rounded, competent educators. The curriculum offers a strong foundation in liberal arts courses including: Foundations of Education, Language and Literacy, Introductory Psychology and Children's Literature, while adhering to the Massachusetts Professional Standards for Teachers. Field Experience hours are embedded in program courses in preparation for pursuing a bachelor's degree and to fulfill requirements for the elementary education license and MTEL exams.

    Read About the Elementary Education A.A. Degree

The EEC Career Pathways Grant

The EEC Career Pathways Grant funds individuals working in the field of early education and care, or individuals interested in working with young children.

The ECE Cohort courses meet after 5pm allowing students to work during the day and attend class in the evening. Cohort courses follow BCC's "stackable" credentials, which allow students to progress towards certificates and an A.S. Degree ("Stackable" means that the courses build upon one another as the student earns different credentials towards their completion goals.)

Benefits of the Grant:

The Career Pathways grant at BCC provides:

  • Tuition and fees for all ECE courses.
  • Weekly meetings with our ECE Mentor to help students with content, assignments, time management and study skills.
  • Textbooks on loan for all ECE courses (including the CDA Bundle of textbooks).
  • Materials for CDA portfolio development.
  • A laptop on loan while enrolled in courses.
  • Stipends for completion of EEC Certification Requirements.
    • Teacher Certification, Lead Teacher Certification, Associate Degree, & Director Certification

In addition, our robust traditional day program is here for you to pursue courses during the day if you prefer.

EEC Career Pathways Grant FAQ

  • Do I qualify for the EEC Career Pathways Grant?

    To qualify you need to be working in childcare with young children for a minimum of 20 hours a week, OR intend to work in childcare within the next 6 months. 

    Work in the field can be at a childcare center, before/after school care, family child care center.

  • Why a cohort?

    In a college setting, a cohort is a group of classmates that enters the same program at the same time, and completes their courses together to complete a certificate, CDA or an Associate in Science Degree.

    • Always in courses with the same group
    • Cohort classes meet after 5pm
    • Learn through modular hybrid courses (classes that meet both on Zoom and online)
    • Only two classes a semester
    • Learn year-round
  • Not sure if college and the cohort is right for you?

    The ECE Cohort begins with a pre-cohort semester in which interested students are enrolled in Child Growth and Development (3 credits), Childcare Health and Safety (1 credit).

    The Child Growth and Development course allows students to apply for Teacher status in the EEC's credentialing system. The Childcare Health and Safety course helps you to become acquainted with BCC's technology while you learn how to be a college student. Once accepted into the college, students continue into the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Cohort to earn their certificates (CDA and BCC), and finally an Associate of Science (AS) degree.

  • What courses would I take? What is the schedule?

    Schedule of Education classes for an AS Degree in Early Childhood

  • I don 't work in early childhood now, but I want to. Can I join the cohort and receive grant funding?

    You do not need to be employed in childcare at the start of the semester. We will support you in taking classes while you find a job. In order to continue into the second semester, you will need a job in childcare.

  • Will the grant pay for me to get my A.S. degree?

    The grant will pay all tuition and fees for Education courses. Other courses are subsidized by the grant after your financial aid is applied or other scholarships are applied, such as the ECE Scholarship. With these supports you should not have to pay for any courses at BCC while under the grant.

  • I don 't have money to buy books. Can the grant help me?

    The Career Pathways grant will lend you books for all Education courses. For other courses, you will be required to purchase books and materials. You may save your Certification Stipends for these expenses.

  • Will I have time to work and take classes?

    All classes for the cohort are held in the evening after 5pm, allowing you to work during the day and attend class once a week during the evening. Each class will require 6-9 hours of homework a week, usually an hour a day. 

  • How can the grant help me to pass a course? I am afraid I will not be successful at college.

    The EEC Career Pathways grant at BCC is designed to support students who have not had success in school in the past. Through weekly mentoring sessions students are supported in their individual needs, including understanding content and assignments as well as developing study skills, time management techniques, professionalism, and more. The mentor and grant coordinator will be your advocates in the higher education process, and will support you throughout your pursuit of a degree. In ECE 100 Childcare Health and Safety, you will be supported in the technology and strengthening your executive functioning to support you in completing the coursework.

  • What if I fail a course?

    A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required to receive grant funds. If you fail a course, you will be supported to identify the challenges you faced and determine if you should take a break or try again. If for any reason you lose EEC Career Pathways grant funding, you can continue on to take courses at BCC with other grants, scholarhships or sources of funding.

  • If I fail a course, how can I requalify for grant funding?

    If you fail a course, you must show that you are committed to your education by taking and passing a course without the grant funds or supports. Once you successfully pass a course you can be reinstated in the grant.

  • What is a CDA?

    The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ is a nationally recognized credential in early childhood education based on a core set of competency standards to nurture the physical, intellectual emotional and social development of children.

    BCC offers the CDA PLUS, in which these competencies are integrated into the Education coursework, ensuring the students understand and apply the CDA competencies along with EEC and NAEYC. This allows educators to get hands-on training at work, gain entry into the college system, and earn college credit along with their CDA.

    The CDA credential requires a portfolio, 480 hours working with children, as well as a CDA Verification Visit and Exam.

  • Should I pursue a degree and career in early childhood education?

    Employment of Early Childhood Educators is projected to grow 10% from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than average for all occupations. A degree with concentration in Early Childhood Education is flexible and can lead to work within public and private school systems.

    Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • What if I want to work with older children in elementary school instead of early childhood?

    There are many pathways at BCC, and different sources of funding. If you want to work with older kids you can get an Associate Degree in Elementary Education at BCC through our new Paraprofessional Cohort. While the EEC Career Pathways Grant does not fund students in this program, there are many avenues for funding at the college and there is a Paraprofessional Scholarship. We can help you talk to Financial Aid to find funding.

    Contact Barb Kotelnicki at

  • Can I speak to someone for more information?

    Yes. You can book a meeting with Alicia Ginsberg, M.Ed., Career Pathways Grant Coordinator.

Further Studies

Our Early Childhood Education program graduates meet the requirements for the MassTransfer Pathway in Early Childhood Education and can transfer to all Massachusetts State Schools. BCC has an articulation agreement with MCLA's Early Childhood Education Program.