Coleman Center taking sign-ups for Fall open

TROY Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., speaks at the Coleman Hall groundbreaking event in Dothan.

TROY Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., speaks at the Coleman Hall groundbreaking event in Dothan.

Troy University’s Coleman Center for Early Learning and Family Enrichment is taking applications from parents in preparation of an expected August opening.

The early learning center, which will serve children ages six weeks to 4 years old, will be housed in Coleman Hall, a new 14,000-square-foot facility currently under construction at the Dothan Campus.

Once open, the center will remain open year-round from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“We want to focus on the whole child,” said Nancy Mitta, Director of the Coleman Center. “This is an innovative, quality learning program for children through the use of research-based curriculum. We also have a strong focus on families, providing enrichment activities that will engage them.”

A collaboration between TROY’s College of Education and College of Health and Human Resources, the Coleman Center will feature support and collaboration from faculty and students representing a variety of Troy University colleges.

“The early learning aspect is overseen by the College of Education,” Mitta said. “Health and Human Services will provide a family enrichment program, activities, and also a health component.”

The Coleman Center will feature qualified teachers and teaching assistants.

“All our staff will have either an associate’s degree in early childhood education or a child development associate credential,” Mitta said. “We’ll also have a couple of teachers who have a bachelor’s degree.”

The center also features 24-hour security with regular emergency drills and access to a storm shelter.

Mitta said the center features a curriculum drawn from a number of research-based sources, including a focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) and utilizes technology to reflect each child’s level of development, capitalizing on the child’s natural desire to work collaboratively to solve problems.

Enrollment in the center costs $150 per week per student.

“We want this to be a family environment where parents feel secure leaving their children here, and where families truly get to know one another,” Mitta said.

To apply to the Coleman Center waiting list, visit this link.

The center is named after James F. Coleman, the longtime chairman of Coleman Worldwide Moving, whose family’s donation helped make the project possible.

In addition to the focus on children, the center also provides research opportunities that prepare teacher candidates for careers in the field of early education.

Furthermore, it provides a training environment for students who are taking courses related to the well-being and development of young children, such as nursing, nutrition and therapy.