MSU Mag: Educator ensures Indian students get a Head Start

"For Laura Massey, sitting down with a writer for a magazine interview is nothing new.

After all, the early childhood education professor in Montana State University's College of Education, Health and Human Development has been profiled by magazines and journals before, mostly because of the project she started at MSU to help tribal Head Start teachers finish their bachelor's degrees without leaving their homes--a project that has been held up as a national model.

Head Start, a comprehensive federal preschool program for children from low-income families, addresses the developmental, academic, psychosocial and health needs of children at a time in their lives when experts believe it can make the most difference to their future success.

However, when the 1998 Head Start Act required at least half of Head Start teachers in the country to have a degree by 2003, it threatened the programs in places like Indian reservations where teachers could not easily travel to earn a college degree.

Enter Massey and her project, the Early Childhood Education Distance Partnership, which has provided nearly 70 Head Start teachers on Montana Indian reservations the chance to complete their education through online classes. Recently, ECEDP received its second $1.2 million federal grant. Its first was in 2007."

Get the Story:
Helping Montana Native children get a good Head Start (MSU Magazine Fall 2011)

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