College of the Canyons
Center for Early Childhood Education
Outdoor Classroom Project
Project Description: The Outdoor Classrooms at College of the Canyons will be a place to instill this connection to nature with children, parents, students, educators, and the community and strengthen a sense of wonder and build values of inclusion and respect for the intercultural community. The Outdoor Classroom Project and the Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom Certification Program is a national initiative that recognizes schools and other organizations that have made a commitment to providing outdoor classrooms and comprehensive programing to help children use the natural world as an integral part of learning.
Providing Opportunities: The Outdoor Classrooms will be an inclusive demonstration site for students majoring in Early Childhood Education, Psychology, Sociology, Nursing, American Sign Language, Biology; as well as the Sustainability Center, Santa Clarita Environmental Education Consortium and various student clubs including Student Nutrition & Wellness Advocates, Hands on Earth, Science Technology Engineering & Math (STEM) projects, as well as a field trip site for early care and education programs in the community.
Vision: The Center for Early Childhood Education is committed to providing quality opportunities for young children to develop an awareness of the connection with nature and to foster the holistic health and well-being of infants, toddlers, and preschool children.
Mission: The Outdoor Classrooms will be a model in nature education for children, parents, early childhood educators, campus departments, and the community, who will be engaged in a continuous learning process to raise awareness and the appreciation of nature by infusing curriculum with experiential learning.
Goals & Objectives: The Outdoor Classrooms are in alignment with the Center’s program goals and the College’s Facility Master Plan, as well as being reflective of the excellence of the program’s mission, vision, and practice. The goals of the Center for Early Childhood Education are to:
Provide quality teaching and learning experiences in collaboration with the COC Early Childhood Education Department preparing students to enter the workforce as educators.
Provide opportunities for children to develop an awareness of the human connection to nature and to foster the holistic health and well-being of infants, toddlers, and preschool children.
Facilitate children’s developmental processes of learning through math, science, literacy and social/emotional skills; as well as problem solving and teamwork.acilitate children’s developmental processes of learning through math, science, literacy and social/emotional skills; as well as problem solving and teamwork.
Educate about sustainability and its importance in the world.
Create and sustain wildlife habitats.
Bring focus to childhood health and nutrition.
Provide contextual learning opportunities about the importance of healthy eating, how the life cycle is connected, and how produce is grown.
Provide an outdoor environment for Early Childhood Education students to experience teaching strategies to incorporate into lesson plans for working with young children.