The Child Development Center (CDC) at Missouri State University provides many hands-on experiences for students, graduates, and community members.
MSU students have the opportunity to complete practicums for Early Childhood Education (ECE) and Child and Family Development (CFD) courses at the CDC in all age classrooms (infant through preschool), offering them a different perspective on different age groups. Additionally, the CDC has had the opportunity of serving other departments such as nursing, kinesiology, occupational therapy, speech and language, and psychology in practicum experiences, internships, testing and screening opportunities, and observations. The CDC typically serves over 500 students each academic year.
The CDC employs MSU alumni. Many staff at the CDC hold graduate and undergraduate degrees in early childhood and family development, child and family development, early childhood education, and elementary education. Additionally, many staff at the CDC are currently students at MSU pursuing their graduate and undergraduate degrees.
The CDC employs over 35 MSU students in many fields of study, providing opportunities for students to engage in the campus community, increasing student retention rates. Many students who work at the CDC join our community as freshmen and remain with us throughout the duration of their program.
The CDC offers community members a chance to get involved with MSU. Some examples include:
- Point Performing Arts (PPA) provides a weekly dance class for preschool children. The preschoolers will perform at PPA’s yearly recital being held at Parkview High School in June.
- Happy Feet soccer provides weekly soccer classes for about twenty preschool children. Happy Feet provides songs, stories, games, imagination, and adventures all centered around a soccer ball.
- Bobby Allison donated a significant amount of money to build the Betty and Bobby Allison Fun Field that encompasses five playgrounds, as well as a “splash pad” for enjoyment on hot summer days.
Families of CDC children have a chance to get involved with the MSU campus and Springfield community as well. Some of these CDC initiatives include:
- For the 2018 – 2019 school year, children at the CDC had the opportunity to participate in Support a Soldier. Food items and personal items were collected to send to Southwest Missouri’s deployed soldiers. The children made cards for the soldiers, which provided them an opportunity to use emerging literacy skills.
- Donation drives planned for the MSU Bear Pantry give children the opportunity to sort items. This allows them to apply emerging math skills.
The CDC Director and Assistant Director have had the opportunity to get involved with Early Learning Leadership Academy (ELLA) through a grant funded by the Darr Family. This group provides leadership instruction, as well as opportunities to attend trainings at state and national levels. The group aims to increase awareness of what high-quality childcare looks like and how it impacts children and families in our community.
The CDC is an integral force on the MSU campus and the larger Springfield community.