Project Pathfinders scholarships are now available for Summer Semester 2019

Applications for Project Pathfinders early educator scholarships are now available for summer semester 2019. Through April 15, early educators interested in building their skills through community college coursework and credentials can submit an application through our online system or by mail. Project Pathfinders information and application can be found on the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation’s website.

Since its inception, Project Pathfinders has provided scholarships to 1,485 individual students working in early childhood settings. Already, 359 educators have completed certificates and degrees—and nearly 70% of those completers said they would not have been able to do this without Pathfinders scholarships. This access to high-quality coursework and credentials is paving the way for improved classroom quality for children and families.

And don’t forget – Pathfinders is more than just a scholarship program. To strengthen and grow the early education workforce, Project Pathfinders will continue to partner with other initiatives to maximize the impact of this investment:

Dual Enrollment – Project Pathfinders is 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.

Registered Apprenticeships – Are you an early childhood employer seeking to groom loyal, talented teachers for your center? Apprenticeships may be just right for you, and Pathfinders scholarships can eliminate costs of coursework for you and your employees. For more information, contact alyson@vecf.org.

Virginia Quality – Project Pathfinders aligns with and supports Virginia Quality. These scholarships provide access to coursework for teachers and programs to help meet Virginia Quality’s Education and Qualification Standard (Level 2).

Recertification – 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.

2+2 Bachelor Degree Programs – James Madison University is the first of Virginia’s four-year universities to roll out a 2+2 Bachelor of Individualized Studies in ECE degree program. Students who have already earned an associate degree from a Virginia Community College, and are accepted into the JMU program, are eligible to continue their coursework using Pathfinders scholarships. With nearly 80% of Pathfinders completers wanting to continue on toward a bachelor’s degree, we are excited to see more of these programs opening up in the coming months. For information about the JMU program, contact Holly McCartney: mccarthb@jmu.edu.

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 process. She can be contacted at pathfinders@vecf.org or by calling 804-749-8149.