IRVINE, Calif. – Westcliff University, today announced that it broke ground on the Westcliff Early Learning Academy (WELA). The establishment of WELA, in addition to the Westcliff Preparatory Academy, Westcliff University and Western State College of Law, marks a significant stride towards realizing Westcliff’s vision of providing exceptional, lifelong learning opportunities. Set to open in Irvine, Calif. in Spring 2024, WELA will serve the Orange County community, as well as Westcliff University staff, faculty and students—providing a trusted care solution for families with children ranging from 3 months to 6 years old. This initiative also addresses the scarcity of childcare and early childhood education services in Southern California.
“Providing top-notch early childhood instruction is a tremendous step in progressing Westcliff’s mission to provide the best possible education to future generations,” said Dr. Anthony Lee, president & CEO of Westcliff University. “At Westcliff, we believe in the innate capability of children to learn. Young children possess a natural inclination to seek wonder and knowledge, and our goal is to create an environment that nurtures this fascination into a lifelong value within each child.”
WELA’s curriculum is designed to offer students a holistic, personalized and developmentally appropriate education. The school will emphasize building health and wellness in students through methods such as encouraging healthy eating habits, using organic materials, as well as promoting exercise and movement for a well-rounded education. It will also be one of the first schools in California to offer a blended Montessori, Reggio Emilia and nature-based approach to activities, enabling children to explore learning in their own way and teachers to understand their individual learning methods through observation. This inclusive and flexible approach encourages every child to discover their true potential and provides the best possible learning experience so each child can grow and thrive.
Westcliff understands the importance of fostering an appreciation for diversity, equity and inclusion, and will encourage students to open themselves up to alternate perspectives via planned dual-language programs. It currently includes Vietnamese for students 2.5 to 6 years old, with plans to expand to French, Spanish, Korean and Mandarin in the future.
“If intelligence is defined as the ability to learn, children are the most intelligent beings on earth,” emphasized Monica Heredia, director of Westcliff Early Learning Academy. “We understand that the experience they have during their early years will have a lasting effect on their cognitive and socio-emotional development. We are proud to prepare these youngest of students to become lifelong scholars who are intrinsically motivated to learn and make discoveries.”
Westcliff selected central Irvine because of its location between the city’s residential areas and large business sector, providing convenient access to working parents in the business community. In addition, its proximity to campus provides easy accessibility to the Westcliff community. The academy will be one of the largest preschools in the city welcoming students and families from throughout Irvine.
“We are proud to have Westcliff as a part of our strong community of local schools. Master planned with education at its core, Irvine is one of the best places in the nation to receive an education, from cradle to career. We are grateful for our award-winning schools, educators and educational programs,” said Bryan Starr, president & CEO of the Greater Irvine Chamber. “The Westcliff Early Learning Academy will be an invaluable opportunity for families in Irvine to give their children an early start on the path of education.”
WELA will operate from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and offer half-day and full-day options, with additional support for families who require early care and aftercare.
Individuals looking to apply for teacher, teacher’s assistant and daycare teacher positions can visit the job board.
About Westcliff University:
Westcliff University is an innovative global higher education institution with its finger on the pulse of the international business landscape and the needs of today’s employers. Founded in 1993 and based in Irvine, Calif., it offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees spanning 21 areas of study including business, education, technology, computer science and engineering and law. Westcliff is a California Public Benefit Corporation which affirms its dedication to operating in the best interests of its students and the surrounding community. With more than 5,000 enrolled students, its programs focus on both the hard and soft skills needed to secure quality jobs in high-growth industries; it offers community and business engagement opportunities for the hands-on experience today’s students require; and it provides innovative and affordable programs live online and in classrooms across the globe.