Education and Training
Acorn Evaluation works in partnership with the National Head Start Association (NHSA) to provide quality professional development offerings to the Head Start/Early Head Start workforce, focusing on Data Literacy and Data Capacity for all staff.
The Data Literacy Credential
Data-driven quality improvement stands to bring unrivaled levels of performance to the Head Start field, and is defined and mandated by the Head Start Program Performance Standards. Leaders and managers who complete this credential signal to their staff and the Office of Head Start that their program is committed to this level of performance.
To earn this credential, candidates must complete the following three sequential five-week classes, demonstrating their knowledge and skills in data literacy and their ability to apply that information back in their programs.
- Course 1: The Wonderful World of Data
- Course 2: Using Head Start Data
- Course 3: Foundations of Storytelling with Data
Each course will require candidates to attend two “live” 60-minute class sessions each week via Zoom. Classes will be completely virtual—allowing candidates to take classes while maintaining their traditional work schedule. In addition to class time, they will spend approximately 4 hours per week on assignments and learning activities outside of class.
In addition, candidates will be required to complete a final portfolio assignment, the purpose of which is to tangibly demonstrate comfort with the course material and an ability to apply new knowledge and skills. Grading for each course will be a combination of attendance/participation in class and mastery of the content as demonstrated by the various assignments.
The Data Literacy Credential curriculum was developed by Dr. Greg Dixon, Acorn's Chief Analytics Officer, and is built for the working professional. The coursework is built around short, engaging and simple instructional videos and accompanying questions that reinforce the data literacy concepts. Acorn's project staff make up the Zoom faculty.
Please note this credential is granted by the National Head Start Association (NHSA) and is good for five years from the date of award.
Cohorts begin every quarter. Join hundreds of other Head Start and Early Head Start managers and directors in beginning your journey to Data Literacy today! Learn more about how you can earn your own Data Literacy Credential!
Head Start Data Basics and Data Essentials
In our work with Head Start and Early Head Start program directors across the nation, we continually hear the need for quality training for their line staff: the thousands of teachers, family advocates, home visitors, site supervisors, health personnel, etc that work with data and who hold responsibility for quality, timelines, and accuracy.
In partnership with NHSA, we've launched two courses to support the workforce development of all things data with Head Start/Early Head Start staff: Data Basics, and Data Essentials.
Data Basics is a 3-hour online course specifically designed to strengthen program's staff understanding of data in their program. It is designed to be foundational: when a staff member is done, we want to hear:
- "I never knew that before!"
- "I'm so glad I took this training. So many things about data make more sense now."
- "I wish someone had trained me in this earlier."
- "I'm interested in learning more. I never really was interested before."
That's the feedback we receive now from the course. Designed in six consecutive 30-minute modules, the course fits into the busy schedule of a typical Head Start professional. It can be taken at any time and completed over a time period as long as one month.
Data Essentials provides the additional, deeper-dive training that many programs want their line staff to receive, once they've completed Data Basics. It is offered in 5 additional hours of content (ten 30-minute modules), and in addition to the online component, includes two live, monthly webinars that offer direct access to additional concepts, resources, and starting points for data-driven CQI implementation.
These two professional development opportunities can be taken separately or in a bundle. Many Head Start/Early Head Start programs provide Basics for all their staff, and invest in Essentials for staff that work more closely and in an ongoing fashion with critical program data (education, family and community engagement, ERSEA, health, etc).
Visit The Academy at NHSA's page to learn more and register your staff now!
What Our Credentialed Learners Say
"I completed my Data Literacy Credential after working in Head Start for more than 20 years and learned SO much. The credential spans across various levels of data literacy including beginning, intermediate and advanced and really helps you think about data from a systemic approach. If you are just beginning using data it helps you build your workflows and tell your story. For intermediate learners, it helps you analyze and improve your systems. For an advanced learner, it steeps you in the language and how to make much more informed choices through analysis and data-driven decision making. I would HIGHLY recommend this credentialing."
Staff Assessor, National Association for the Education of Young Children, St Louis, MO
Former Education Coordinator, Urban League Head Start, St Louis, MO