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Inaugural NSCC Africentric Early Childhood Education diploma program students set to graduate in special ceremony

Nov. 07, 2022 – Media Release

Dartmouth, N.S. --The first graduating class of the Africentric Early Childhood Education (ECE) diploma program will be celebrated at a ceremony – held in the gymnasium at Nova Scotia Community College’s (NSCC) Akerley Campus – on Tuesday, November 8, 2022, from 9:30 am to 12 noon.

The graduation ceremony will begin with a drumming procession and the Black National Anthem. Highlights also include an exhibit of student learning and an address from Frances Waterman-O’Connell, a Facilitator of African Canadian Education Services with the Halifax Regional Centre for Education.

This unique program offers students an opportunity to learn in an entirely Africentric learning environment with respected African Nova Scotian educators. African Nova Scotian early childhood educators play an important role in shaping anti-racist practices in early learning childcare programs by providing education, lived experience, understanding, family support and physical representation of the children and families enrolled in childcare programs across the province.

Representation of African Nova Scotian ECEs in early learning programs is significant to the proper growth and development of the African Nova Scotian child, helping children to see diversity in their environment, not just hear about it.

Senai Colley, one of 18 graduates, explains the importance of an Africentric ECE cohort. “Being a part of the first Africentric ECE Cohort is a privilege and needed experience. I learned a lot about myself and how I can represent my culture in the future.” She adds, “I believe this program is needed for our communities to see a positive outcome for our children.”

“Graduates of the first Africentric ECE program will have a significant impact on youth throughout the province, especially young African Nova Scotians who can see themselves reflected in their learning environment,” says Education Minister Becky Druhan. “This unique and impactful program will aid in the development of young Nova Scotians who respect and learn the importance of diversity and inclusion.”

Access, Education and Language School Dean, Terrah Keener, applauds the members of the first graduating class. “These 18 individuals are now leaders in their field. I know these talented and eager educators are going to make a difference by being role models for the next generation. I can’t wait to bring the next cohort together in 2023 to also work towards making a positive difference in this vital educational, caring sector.”

The second cohort of the Africentric Early Childhood Education diploma program is set to be delivered beginning in January 2023.

About Nova Scotia Community College

NSCC is committed to building Nova Scotia's economy and quality of life through education and innovation, transforming Nova Scotia one learner at a time. NSCC offers more than 140 career-oriented programs throughout the province at our 14 campuses, including our online eCampus. Programs are offered through five academic schools – Access, Education and Language; Business and Creative Industries; Health and Human Services; Technology and Environment; Trades and Transportation – and reflect the labour market needs and opportunities in Nova Scotia. NSCC's primary goal: student success. An annual survey of College graduates shows that 83% are employed one year after graduation, most in their field of study, with 94% of those employed living and working in Nova Scotia.

For more information

Kathleen Cameron, NSCC Manager, External Relations