Through the research center at UNLV/CSUN Preschool, university students and registered faculty members have observed the way students develop in their environments.
The research conducted at the preschool was made possible through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation that was granted in 1994, only held by a few select schools in the Vegas valley. The school also has the approval of the UNLV Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects.
“Our program at the preschool aims to provide a quality early childhood environment for children ages six weeks to 5-years-old, provide professional development and training for future educators, and stimulate developmental research that advocates for child development,” said director of the UNLV/CSUN Preschool, Claire Tredwell.
The Lynn Bennett Early Childhood Education Center was created over a decade ago, to research in early childhood education, support the development of a high-quality early childhood workforce, and provide inclusive early childhood educational opportunities to the Southern Nevada community. Currently, the center employs roughly 20 full-time staff members and 70 teaching assistants.
Since 2004, 22 research studies have been completed through the center. Research conducted at the center has addressed questions related to the social/emotional development of young children along with the needs of children with disabilities and their families. 11 of these studies have been dissertation studies by students
across fields of psychology, physical therapy, special education, and educational psychology.
The College of Education faculty, preschool staff, and students have disseminated research findings and early childhood practices through regular publications and
presentations at state and national conferences.
In one prominent study conducted by John Filler, it was found that social skills are also correlated to behavioral and emotional difficulties.
“We are so proud of the work and research we are doing at the center. Many of the outcomes of these studies have been presented at a variety of conferences and impacted the way resources are developed for early childhood education,” Tredwell told the Scarlet & Gray.
Outside of conducting research, the preschool also offers a reduced tuition rate to attend and operates through a reduced enrollment to improve the environment for both students and staff. In addition to serving students from a variety of backgrounds, the preschool has created an inclusive learning model that serves students with disabilities.
Through the preschool’s 25-year interagency agreement with CCSD, they have been able to provide 28 free spots for children with disabilities. In return through this partnership, CCSD provides two special ed teachers and related service personnel to serve those students.
Those wishing to enroll their children in the preschool join a first come, first serve waitlist. Priority in the waitlist is typically given first to UNLV students and staff, and then the general public in Las Vegas.