Bunker Hill Community College

Bunker Hill Community College

The Early Childhood Development Institute (ECI)

The Department of Early Childhood, Education and Human Services at Bunker Hill Community College has created the Early Childhood Development Institute to offer both credit and non-credit courses of training for staff currently employed in early care and education programs. These courses will advance their knowledge and skill development beyond the traditional beginning courses to cover more advanced areas of training. These advanced areas will allow staff to expand their knowledge to deeper levels of understanding helping to push programs in early childhood and their staff to a higher quality of care for children and families in the Greater Boston area. Those staff who have taken lots of workshops, trainings and other classes for non-credit can now use it further their professional growth.

This model is different from the usual offerings. It creates a Pathway to Learning that contains both credit and non-credit work.

  • Credit courses work in the traditional manner. But these courses are short-term, one-credit and can be done in a very timely manner.
  • Additionally, non-credit courses are available for those not needing credit. But these are different!! These were created so that there is now a mechanism for turning these non-credit sessions into college credit!! The Institute will change the traditional model where non-credit leads nowhere to provide a means to achieve credit from completion of the courses in the Institute’s programs.

In addition to providing short-term courses for credit, the Institute will change the traditional model where completion of a certain number of non-credit courses would provide a means to achieve credit. The plan goes like this:

The course offerings work like this:

  • Each course will consist of 3, 15-contact hour courses
  • At the end of each course:
  • If taking the courses for credit:
    • If completed successfully for credit, the student will receive 1-college credit, reflected on his/her BHCC transcript. (Attendance, participation, and written assignments will be included in each 15-hour course).
  • If taking the course(s) for non-credit:
    • If completed successfully for non-credit, a student will be given an Early Childhood Institute “Prior Learning Certificate” (PLC) to show completion of course competencies and requirements. (Attendance, participation, and other requirements will be included in each 15-hour course).
    • For those doing non-credit work, those who complete the three courses successfully in a particular course topic area and then does the final coaching/mentoring course will be able to use the PLCs and additional assignments from the final coaching/mentoring course to petition for prior learning credit from BHCC’s Prior Learning Assessment Program.
    • Upon acceptance by the Prior Learning Assessment Program, a student will be granted 3-college credits that can be used to meet requirements in the Early Childhood Development Program at BHCC.

Getting Credit

The following explains the process for getting credit through the Institute program when taking a non-credit course:

  1. Student must physically attend a minimum of 80% of courses to be eligible for a Prior Learning Certificate for the course.
  2. Student must successfully complete all four courses to be eligible for credit.
  3. All four courses must be completed within 24 months of starting courses within a particular topic in order to petition for PLAP credit.
  4. To be granted credit at end of four courses, student must provide proof of completion of all courses through Prior Learning Certificates, proof of completion of prerequisites by showing an official college transcript, and follow the Prior Learning Assessment Program portfolio and submission process.
  5. To complete the fourth course of each course, a student must secure a placement sites (preferably an employment site) that will allow for completion of coaching/mentoring assignments and the ability to affect change in the sites. The College will not place students in community sites.

Registration and Costs

  1. Student must register for minimum of one course ($110 per course as of June 2015). Credit courses are charged at the rate of enrollment for other credit courses ($149 per credit as of June 2015).

    Registration for credit courses are done through he BHCC website or in person at the enrollment services area in B Building at the Charlestown campus.

    Non-credit individual registration is done through the Office of Community Education. For further information go to bhcc.edu/ce or call 617-228-2462.

  2. For those outside agencies who wish to purchase a 4-part course through Workforce Development, contracts for an agency and its participants will be completed through WFD. Contact Jack Chan at jchan@bhcc.edu for further information about this option.

  3. For non- credit courses, student must meet the prerequisite set down in course description, but this will be done on an honor system at registration rather than through the collection of transcript data. This means we will take your word that you meet the prerequisite before enrolling into the course, or individual courses. At the successful completion of all four courses, if you cannot prove you have the prerequisite by way of an official college transcript, your petition for college credit will be denied.

  4. To receive prior learning credits, student must provide proof of prerequisite completion through transcript data to the PLAP Coordinator.

  5. Students may take courses with some time lapse in between registrations, but all four courses must be completed within 24 months to be eligible for credit through PLAP.

  6. If there is a time lapse between courses, students taking one course at a time will have to check back on the website regularly to see when the next course is offered. Courses may be taken in any order, except the coaching course that must be taken last.

  7. Course courses will be capped at maximum of 20 and minimum of 15 for the first three courses of each course; caps for the fourth course will be minimum of 10 and maximum of 15 due to the greater intensity required in the coaching/mentoring model. Those sessions without minimum enrollment will be cancelled.

  8. Refunds of registration will be done through Continuing Education based on its refund policy for all courses.


Each course contains four courses. While a student may enroll in one course, only (a minimum of 10 hours of course instruction), all four courses must be taken to earn 3 college credits.

Costs, If Purchased as an Agency for On-Site Delivery at the Workplace.
Whole courses (4 courses in one topic) or only one course may be purchased. For more information, contact Jack Chan for costs and further information.

To Purchase Seats as an Agency:

Contact Jack Chan at the Workforce Development Center at 617-228-2157, jchan@bhcc.edu. If you are able to recruit a minimum of 12 employees as a cohort to take a course or the entire course, Jack can arrange for the instructor to travel to your site to deliver the instruction. You will have to provide a suitable parking spot for the instructor.