The Stadler-Waldron Accelerator of Transformative Leadership in Early Care and Education (the Accelerator) is named for two families who have deeply influenced Jumpstart’s growth and evolution through their generosity, leadership, board service, and partnership. Even knowing recognition is not important to the Stadler and Waldron families, we want to name and honor their unprecedented contributions to model transformative philanthropy to other donors, to publicly celebrate and inspire our Corps Members and alumni, and to fuel our mission.
The Accelerator is designed to foster the future of early childhood education. It will:
- Serve as the epicenter for Jumpstart’s Corps Member recruitment, training, evaluation, and support to create a pipeline of future teachers and leaders;
- Lift up exceptional Alumni and Corps Members as Stadler-Waldron Leaders; and
- Provide the infrastructure for Jumpstart alumni support and activation.
As Jumpstart prepared for our current strategic plan, we surveyed our existing partners and stakeholders to learn about their most pressing needs and how Jumpstart could best provide value.
From our preschool partners we learned that 96% found it challenging to find and hire early childhood educators with the required qualifications and skills. Over three-fourths of our preschool partners indicated knowing an applicant was a former Jumpstart Corps Member would make them more likely to hire them. Reasons cited for this preference for Jumpstart alumni included the extensive pre-service training, experience in implementing a quality curriculum, experience with data collection and standardized assessment tools, and the professional and high-quality interactions they observed between Jumpstart Corps Members and the children and families they engaged with.
The most pressing issue our higher education partners wanted support in was recruiting a more diverse pipeline of candidates for their education programs, followed closely by needing support in strengthening coursework on culturally responsive practice, early literacy content, and social-emotional learning.
Our Corps Members are diverse:
- In terms of race/ethnicity, 32% of the group identify themselves as White, 23% as Latinx or of Spanish origin, 21% as Black or African American, 13% as Asian, and 11% indicate “other” or identify with two or more races/ethnicities.
- 52% of the respondents are first-generation college students. For many, the Jumpstart experience also supports their academic performance and helps shape their educational plans:
- 91% felt they learned what it was really like to work in early childhood education.
- 84% said that their experience with Jumpstart deepened their interest in working with young children.
When a Corps Member completes their service, Jumpstart continues the relationship through our Alumni Relations and Development programming. This critical department seeks to support former Corps Members through their career development by providing networking, training, and professional development opportunities.
From our most recent alumni survey, we know that 91% of our alumni who teach young children today report their Jumpstart service provided them with skills and resources they still use in their classrooms. In addition to our Corps Members believing we prepared them for their career in early education, Jumpstart remains a trusted partner, staying informed on quality practice and changes in early education. Our ability to continue to provide resources and growth opportunities for our alumni allow us to expand our reach and impact to the children and families they work with in their classrooms and communities.
STADLER-WALDRON CENTER ACTIVITIES FOR FY23
On 12/14/22 the accelerator was inaugurated with Jumpstart’s VP of Programs, Dr. Ashley Williams named Chair, Stadler-Waldron Accelerator of Transformative Leadership in ECE. Over the next year, the Accelerator will focus on 3 key areas that include
1) making headway in Jumpstart’s efforts to advance a pipeline of future early educators2) creating opportunities for CMs and alumni to develop as transformative leaders, and 3) bolstering supports and engagement of alumni
Corps Member recruitment, training, evaluation, and support to create a pipeline of future teachers
- All Corps Members will receive enhanced training and support with a focus on building understanding around the core competencies that contribute to developing a high-quality teacher.
- VP of Programs and Chair of the Accelerator, Dr. Ashley Williams, will work with internal and external partners to define how our workforce development strategy will develop for the remainder of this strategic plan with an eye toward subsequent workforce development efforts. Among other details, this work will include exploring and defining approaches to working with:
- 2-year colleges
- 4-year universities
- Possible dual enrollment programs
- Apprenticeship programs
By building out a more complete ecosystem of teacher preparation alignment where Jumpstart programming can be integrated, our ability to dramatically scale the number of quality early educators will increase, as will our brand and reputation as thought leaders in this space.
Transformative leaders in Early Care and Education
- A five member Alumni Advisory Council (Council) will be established to serve as the inaugural cohort of Stadler-Waldron Transformative Leaders. Council members will receive a stipend for their role in developing guidance and direction for alumni programming, as well as develop criteria and the process for selection of Corps Members and alumni to serve as future Stadler-Waldron Transformative Leaders.
- Stadler-Waldron Leaders will be introduced to and recognized by the full Jumpstart network (staff members) during the August 2023 org-wide Quarterly Community Meeting (or separate call), and by the National Board of Directors at the August 2023 meeting.
- Stadler-Waldron Leaders will have an opportunity to meet with the Stadler and Waldron families at the end of the fiscal year to learn about their experiences and provide a professional development opportunity.
Alumni support and activation
- Roll out a new alumni portal that will give all former Corps Members the ability to access training, resources (e.g., podcasts, job board, etc.), and materials (e.g., newsletter) directly. It will also allow us to communicate with our alumni regarding policy/advocacy opportunities, new ideas/practices, and upcoming professional development opportunities.
- Gather data on how many children are being served in classrooms staffed by a Jumpstart Corps Member. Questions will enable us to learn the number and percentage of Jumpstart alumni who are preschool teachers, the year they graduated from college, and how many children they serve by classroom and in aggregate.
VISION FOR THE FUTURE
As we build out the development of the Stadler-Waldron Accelerator of Transformative Leadership for ECE, we will strengthen our capacity to support a robust pipeline of Corps Members and alumni serving in the ECE workforce, increase our learning and thought leadership in the early childhood workforce space, lift up the voices and experiences of exceptional Corps Members and alumni, expand the resources offered to our alumni , and better gather data on the impact of these efforts, all leading to exponential growth in the number of children entering kindergarten prepared to succeed.