Academic and Professional Development Programs

Child Care Provider Training and Academic Support

The Center of Excellence for Learning Sciences provides assistance to individuals through professional development programs that offer training and mentorship directly to Tennessee’s early childhood workforce. We understand the responsibility of the academic community to lead thoughtful engagement with practitioners and policy makers and provide support for students, practitioners, and researchers.

The Center promotes the critical management of ideas, comprehensive teaching and learning strategies, and the ongoing evaluation of rules and policies regarding education at all levels. We continually focus on developing new and current practitioners by partnering with other academic institutions, forming collaborative partnerships on campus and working in collaboration with other local, state, and national organizations. The Center believes that the academic institutions and the individuals benefit from these partnerships. Working with practitioners in the field provides an insight into what works best and how to evolve academic curriculum.



TECTA LogoThe Tennessee Early Childhood Training Alliance (TECTA) is a statewide program that provides free training and academic tuition support to childcare providers and administrators. The program offers a free 30-hour Orientation with instruction in five areas: center-based child care, infant/toddler care, family child care, school-age child care, and administrator training. After completing the Orientation, participants are eligible to receive tuition assistance for coursework at any Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) institution. Participation is open to any staff employed in a licensed child care facility in Tennessee. 

The TECTA management office of Tennessee State University provides administration and technical assistance to eight TECTA sites housed within Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) institutions, which serve as local centers that implement the statewide system for certificate, credential, and degree training programs. Each site provides 30-hour Orientation training and serves as a local resource for technical assistance with program accreditation and access to college courses.

The eight TECTA sites include:

New TECTA Regions

Austin Peay State University

Chattanooga State Community College

Dyersburg State Community College

East Tennessee State University

Roane State Community College

Southwest Tennessee Community College

Tennessee State University

Tennessee Tech University

Research shows that quality early childhood education plays an important role in preparing children to enter school ready to learn. TECTA is based on the belief that early childhood personnel need professional knowledge and skills to provide the appropriate care and prepare children. To learn more about the TECTA program visit the website or click here to read an article published in Child Care Exchange about the TECTA program. 


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Center for Learning Sciences