Children Outdoor Play
Post-secondary partners seek to unite early childhood education instructors across Canada

April 28, 2021

Virtual conference will focus on outdoor pedagogy in college ECE programs How does playing in the mud support children’s cognitive and social development? Why is outdoor play such a powerful conduit for learning? How can we advance curriculum to empower current and future early childhood educators (ECEs) to tap into it? These and other questions will be explored during a unique virtual conference next month that will bring together ECE instructors and outdoor play experts from across the country. On May 18, Okanagan College, in collaborati...

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Beverlie Dietze, Director, Learning and Applied Research
From Colleges to Communities: Lawson Foundation supports early childhood education project at OC and partner PSEs

January 19, 2021

A major investment by the Lawson Foundation will support researchers from Okanagan College and three partnering institutions in their innovative approach to advancing outdoor early learning and teaching across Canada. Okanagan College has received a grant of $750,000 for a collaborative project with Bow Valley College, New Brunswick Community College and Saskatchewan Polytechnic called Outdoor Pedagogy in Early Childhood Education: From Colleges to Communities. This goal of the three-year project is to demonstrate a model of outdoor pedago...

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Early Childhood Educator graduates Tina William and Alicia Dominick
Splatsin Band celebrates the success of two of their students, now OC graduates

July 9, 2020

Representatives of the Splatsin Band and Okanagan College recently came together to honour and celebrate the success of two of their students with a special graduation event.  Two years ago, Alicia Dominick and Tina William began upgrading their education with the Adult Academic and Career Preparation (also known as Adult Upgrading) program at Okanagan College in Salmon Arm. They continued their educational journey with the Early Childhood Educator Certificate and Early Childhood Educator Infant Toddler Specialty training. And as they celeb...

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John Sokolowski holding a picture of his mother, Janina
Mother's values recognized with large gift to College

February 24, 2020

A $50,000 donation to the Our Students, Your Health campaign will recognize a mother who survived and found lessons in the horrors of Germany's concentration camps. John Sokolowski has donated $50,000 towards an Early Childhood Education classroom in the College’s new Health Sciences Centre, currently under construction on its Kelowna campus. The donation is made in memory of his mother, Janina Sokolowski. “My mom was a champion of education for as long as I can recall,” says John. “The gift to the College will help educate future Early Chi...

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Department of Early Childhood Education

The Early Childhood Education Department prepares students to work with young children in a variety of inclusive early childhood environments. Students will acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to work with children, families and the community in planning enriched programs in daycares, preschools, infant/toddler centres and other early childhood initiatives that focus upon healthy early development.

ECE Diploma

This two-year program is the foundational education required for all Early Childhood Educators.

Infant Toddler Certificate

After gaining experience in the field, this advanced training certificate allows graduates to work with infants and toddlers.

Courses

Explore the courses offered within ECE programs at Okanagan College.

Instructors

Terri-Lynn Russell

Chair - Early Childhood Education
Office: Business Building 220
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4387
Early Childhood Education - Terri Russell

I have worked in the childcare field since 1996. My work experience has included working in licensed family daycare, group daycare and preschool. I worked for over 10 years with children and families requiring extra support needs in our community. I have worked as an instructor in the ECE department at OC since 2017.

Credentials:
MSW, UBC Okanagan
BSW, UBC Okanagan
PIDP, VCC
ECE, UFV

Betty Cleland

Early Childhood Education
Office: Business Building 222
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4385
Headshot of Betty Cleland

I am an instructor in the Early Childhood program, beginning 2008. Prior, I worked directly with children and families in preschool, full day childcare, family child care, and supported child development. A highlight in my early education career has been to design, establish, and facilitate a preschool program for 80 children that continues to thrive today.

I am community minded, working collaboratively with local childcare and youth organizations in the Okanagan Valley. I was an advisor to the Minister of State for Childcare. This commitment to enhancing social policy and investing in the next generation of professionals was formally recognized in 2017, as I was honoured with the Kelowna Community Leader Mentor Award.
 

Credentials:
MA Ed, Early Childhood Education, Concordia

Barb Fay

Early Childhood Education
Office: Main Building D317
Campus: Vernon
Phone: 250-545-7291 ext. 2288
Early Childhood Education - Barbara Fay

Alicia Larson

Early Childhood Education
Office: Business Building 222
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4385

I have worked in the childcare field since 2000. I began working in the hospital setting with children and their families as a Certified Child Life Specialist. I have worked in group childcare as well as infant/toddler in a young parent’s program. For five years, I worked in the community with child care providers that wanted to open an in-home daycare. I have worked as a sessional instructor in the ECE department at Okanagan College since 2016.

Credentials:
BA, Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria

Diane Little

Early Childhood Education
Office: Salmon Arm Building 150
Campus: Salmon Arm
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 3218
Headshot of Diane Little

Heather Ross

Early Childhood Education
Office: Business Building 219
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4319
Early Childhood Education - Heather Ross

Credentials:
MA, Applied Behavioral Science, Leadership Institute of Seattle
BA, Psychology, University of Waterloo
Diploma, ECE, Okanagan College

Andrea Thiessen

Early Childhood Education
Office: Main Building A300
Campus: Vernon
Phone: 250-762-5445
Early Childhood Education - Andrea Thiessen

Credentials:
MSc, Child and Family Studies, University of Southern Mississippi

Experience

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Ask

Have your questions answered by an advisor or recruiter. 

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Take the next step and enrol in a program or course at OC. 

Larson, Alicia

Last Name
Larson
First Name
Alicia
Department
Early Childhood Education
Building
Business Building
Campus
Kelowna
Phone Number
250-762-5445
Extension
4385
Unlisted
No
Email
alarson@okanagan.bc.ca
Office
222
Employee Group
INS
Active
Yes
Bio

I have worked in the childcare field since 2000. I began working in the hospital setting with children and their families as a Certified Child Life Specialist. I have worked in group childcare as well as infant/toddler in a young parent’s program. For five years, I worked in the community with child care providers that wanted to open an in-home daycare. I have worked as a sessional instructor in the ECE department at Okanagan College since 2016.

Credentials
BA, Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria
Search Exclude
No

Fay, Barbara

Last Name
Fay
First Name
Barb
Preferred Name
Barb
Department
Early Childhood Education
Building
Main Building
Campus
Vernon
Phone Number
250-545-7291
Extension
2288
Unlisted
No
Email
bfay@okanagan.bc.ca
Office
D317
Employee Group
INS
Active
Yes
Early Childhood Education - Barbara Fay
Department Display
Early Childhood Education
Search Exclude
No

Thiessen, Andrea

Last Name
Thiessen
First Name
Andrea
Department
Early Childhood Education
Building
Main Building
Campus
Vernon
Phone Number
250-762-5445
Unlisted
No
Email
athiessen@okanagan.bc.ca
Office
A300
Employee Group
INS
Active
Yes
Early Childhood Education - Andrea Thiessen
Credentials
MSc, Child and Family Studies, University of Southern Mississippi
Search Exclude
No

Little, Diane

Last Name
Little
First Name
Diane
Department
Contract/Event Activity STH-CS
Building
Salmon Arm Building
Campus
Salmon Arm
Phone Number
250-762-5445
Extension
3218
Unlisted
No
Email
dlittle@okanagan.bc.ca
Office
150
Employee Group
INS
Active
Yes
Headshot of Diane Little
Department Display
Early Childhood Education
Search Exclude
No

Russell, Terri-Lynn

Last Name
Russell
First Name
Terri-Lynn
Department
Early Childhood Education
Building
Business Building
Campus
Kelowna
Phone Number
250-762-5445
Extension
4387
Unlisted
No
Email
trussell@okanagan.bc.ca
Office
220
Employee Group
CHR
Active
Yes
Early Childhood Education - Terri Russell
Bio

I have worked in the childcare field since 1996. My work experience has included working in licensed family daycare, group daycare and preschool. I worked for over 10 years with children and families requiring extra support needs in our community. I have worked as an instructor in the ECE department at OC since 2017.

Credentials
MSW, UBC Okanagan
BSW, UBC Okanagan
PIDP, VCC
ECE, UFV
Department Display
Chair - Early Childhood Education
Search Exclude
No
Staff Phone Unlisted
No
Staff Office Unlisted
No

Wetterstrand, Pamela

Last Name
Wetterstrand
First Name
Pamela
Department
Early Childhood Education
Building
Business Building
Campus
Kelowna
Phone Number
250-762-5445
Extension
4385
Unlisted
No
Email
pwetterstrand@okanagan.bc.ca
Office
232
Employee Group
CHR
Active
Yes
Early Childhood Education - Pam Wetterstrand
Bio

I have been an Early Childhood Education instructor for over 35 years. My career working with young children began as a preschool teacher and evolved into working at SIAST in Saskatoon as an instructor and then to the Child Development Center in Kelowna where I was a Supported Child Development Consultant and a Case manager. For the last 12 years I have been a full-time instructor at Okanagan College. My specific interest area is the emotional wellness of children and youth. I was a clinical counsellor for a time and believe strongly that there is a role in ECE to promote resiliency in young children. I have three grown children and four grandchildren.

Credentials
MEd, University of Victoria - Psychological Foundations
Department Display
Early Childhood Education
Priority
1
Search Exclude
No
Staff Phone Unlisted
No
Staff Office Unlisted
No

Ross, Heather

Last Name
Ross
First Name
Heather
Preferred Name
Heather
Department
Early Childhood Education
Building
Business Building
Campus
Kelowna
Phone Number
250-762-5445
Extension
4319
Unlisted
No
Email
hross@okanagan.bc.ca
Office
219
Employee Group
INS
Active
Yes
Early Childhood Education - Heather Ross
Credentials
MA, Applied Behavioral Science, Leadership Institute of Seattle
BA, Psychology, University of Waterloo
Diploma, ECE, Okanagan College
Search Exclude
No

Cleland, Betty

Last Name
Cleland
First Name
Betty
Department
Early Childhood Education
Building
Business Building
Campus
Kelowna
Phone Number
250-762-5445
Extension
4385
Unlisted
No
Email
bcleland@okanagan.bc.ca
Office
222
Employee Group
INS
Active
Yes
Headshot of Betty Cleland
Bio

I am an instructor in the Early Childhood program, beginning 2008. Prior, I worked directly with children and families in preschool, full day childcare, family child care, and supported child development. A highlight in my early education career has been to design, establish, and facilitate a preschool program for 80 children that continues to thrive today.

I am community minded, working collaboratively with local childcare and youth organizations in the Okanagan Valley. I was an advisor to the Minister of State for Childcare. This commitment to enhancing social policy and investing in the next generation of professionals was formally recognized in 2017, as I was honoured with the Kelowna Community Leader Mentor Award.
 

Credentials
MA Ed, Early Childhood Education, Concordia
Department Display
Early Childhood Education
Search Exclude
No