MCC Early Childhood Education Program earns national accreditation

MESA, Ariz. – Nov. 28, 2022 – The Associate in Applied Science in Early Childhood Education program at Mesa Community College (MCC) has been granted first-time accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in Washington, D.C.

MCC is one of four schools in the country granted first-time accreditation during the association’s summer 2022 session and brings the number of institutions with accredited programs to 180 in 39 states and U.S. territories (or an estimated 20% of early childhood education associate degree programs).

According to the NAEYC, MCC “demonstrates commitment on the part of the program and the institution to high quality and continuous improvement, benefiting students, the profession and young children.”

"NAEYC Accreditation of Early Childhood Higher Education Programs is a hallmark of quality assurance for the early childhood preparation profession," said NAEYC Senior Director of Higher Education Mary Harrill. "We congratulate all of the programs that have recently achieved accreditation. Their dedication, through the accreditation process, to program improvement, to the students they serve, and to the early learning settings in which their graduates will work is to be commended.”

Annapurna Ganesh, Ph.D, Faculty Early Childhood Education & Chair Education Studies Department said “the program team has been working toward accreditation for two years, in collaboration with colleagues from sister colleges (Chandler-Gilbert Community College, GCC, Glendale Community College and Rio Salado College) on the accreditation self-study process.” The self-study process involves a focused reflection to determine needed improvements to comply with NAEYC standards. Arizona Association for the Education of Young Children (AzAEYC) supported with funding and consultation services.

The program has been granted Accreditation through December 2024 with the requirement of annual reports demonstrating continuous improvement. MCC’s Early Childhood Education Program has been tasked with continued evaluation and improvement of their NAEYC Key Assessments embedded in core courses. The Key Assessments are cumulative assignments that allow students to demonstrate a deeper understanding of core course concepts and competencies as well as NAEYC standards.

“Accreditation not only recognizes the quality of our AAS program, it verifies the program’s commitment to uphold the highest standards for early childhood and continuously evaluate the program’s effectiveness. MCC students can feel confident that they are earning a degree that represents a rigorous and robust program of study” said Jamie Lopez, Ph.D, Early Childhood Education Faculty & Program Director.

Additional information about Education Studies at MCC is available at

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Media contact: Dawn Zimmer, 480-461-7892,

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for university transfer, career and technical programs, civic engagement, service-learning and innovative approaches to education. On average MCC students provide 23,000 hours of community service annually. For more than 50 years, the college has served as a resource for education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to more than 25,400 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations through a combination of modalities. MCC is transforming how it champions student success through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution with nearly 50% of its students being the first in their families to attend college. MCC has the largest indigenous student population of all the Maricopa Community Colleges; its American Indian Institute serves students from the 22 federally recognized Arizona tribes as well as out-of-state tribes. The diverse student body includes hundreds of international students from around the world. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to attain their goals. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, on the traditional territories of the O'odham, Piipaash and Yavapai Peoples, MCC is one of 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Visit to learn more.

Mesa Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) --

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District. MCCCD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, visit

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Publication Date: 
Wednesday, November 23, 2022