College of Education to open Early Learning Center on UAH campus


UAH ELC Director Deana Preston Aumalis ('89 BA Education).

Michael Mercier | UAH

This fall, The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Early Learning Center (ELC) will officially open on campus. The ELC, an outreach unit of the UAH College of Education is now accepting applications for enrollment.

"The ELC will open on Monday, Aug. 1, with the first day of attendance scheduled for Wednesday, Aug.17, for children and families," said Dr. Beth N. Quick, Dean of the UAH College of Education. "The ELC is a fully-inclusive early childhood education program serving all learners from age nine months to school entry through a variety of program delivery models," Quick added.

The center operates year-round and is aligned as closely as possible with the calendars of both the local school systems and UAH. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Before-School Care is offered from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., and After-School Care is offered from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for an additional monthly fee. A breakfast, hot lunch, and snack are provided daily and included in monthly tuition.

The ELC director will be Deana Preston Aumalis ('89 BA Education). She currently serves as Director for the UAH Rise School. The UAH Rise School provides the highest quality early childhood education services to children with developmental disabilities and children without disabilities.

Open to the community, the ELC will consist of the UAH Rise Model Classrooms maintaining a 50:50 ratio of children with and without special needs, as well as the new UAH Preschool for children nine months (as of Sept. 1, 2016) to six years of age. "The goal is for the ELC to eventually achieve national accreditation so it can be a state-approved site for education internships for UAH teacher education candidates," Quick said.

The new ELC location, is currently the site of University Place School at 4503 University Drive. Additional information will soon be available on the ELC's new website (

Quick said ELC classrooms are staffed by two teachers with optimal group sizes based on accreditation guidelines of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Each of the lead teachers holds a bachelor's degree or higher in early childhood education, special education, child development, or a related field. Additionally, the second teacher in each classroom will have a minimum of an associate degree or equivalent hours specific to young learners. Therapy services for learners with identified special needs are provided on-site through an integrated therapy approach within the ELC.

"The maximum number of students enrolled in the center will be determined as applications for enrollment are received and staffing/funding decisions are made," said Quick.

The UAH Early Learning Center is supported by gifts and grants from individuals, foundations and corporations, tuition, and UAH as a community outreach center for the College of Education.



UAH Rise School
Deana P. Aumalis