Young woman working with young kids

Blue Ridge Community College receives NAEYC accreditation for third time with no conditions

Blue Ridge Community College’s Early Childhood Education Program was recently re-accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young People (NAEYC), which marks the third time the College has been accredited with no conditions.

Accreditation is conducted by NAEYC every seven years. This new accreditation lasts from March 2021 – March 2028.

Blue Ridge Dean of Business and Service Careers Brenda Blackburn expressed her pride at the findings, as most programs that receive accreditation also receive conditions to work on and fix.

“This accreditation acknowledges that best learning practices are implemented by Blue Ridge students having hands-on learning experiences in classrooms throughout our community,” she said. “The education department is committed to providing the highest quality professional preparation of future educators by meeting these national standards of quality.”

Blackburn also praised the efforts of Shelah Combs and Melanie Wilkins, the two lead Blue Ridge faculty members over the education programs. Both Combs and Wilkins played a major part in the program’s accreditation process.

“Shelah and Melanie both put in an immense amount of work, and should be commended for their efforts,” Blackburn added.

To earn this accreditation, Blue Ridge worked with the education advisory committee members and community members during the self-study process.
The accreditation decision is based on the Commission’s review of the Self-Study Report, the Peer Review Report, and Written Response. The Commission evaluates the patterns of evidence indicating ability to support positive candidate outcomes in relation to the accreditation standards and offers feedback on program strengths and areas for consideration.

Special attention is given to the use of candidate assessments and performance data to increase program effectiveness, capacity and innovation.

According to Blackburn, this accreditation proves that Blue Ridge concentrates on data and the use of data to make informed decisions for continuous improvement of its teaching and learning opportunities provided in the Early Childhood Education program.

For more information about Blue Ridge’s education programs, visit