Clark’s original Family Life Program (parent cooperative preschools) started immediately after World War II and evolved out of Kaiser Shipyard kindergartens.
The original building for Clark’s Child and Family Services department was built in the 1970s with state of Washington funds acquired by former Senator Al Bauer. Bauer participated in the dedication of the Cora Haag Parent Education Center on June 10, 1975.
This article appeared on the June 3, 1975 issue of the Clark College newsletter, "Run of the Mill."
At the time of the dedication, the facility was hailed as the only parent participation preschool operated by a college in Washington or Oregon. Bauer, a Clark College alumnus, said, “I have always believed that colleges and universities must find ways to support the earliest years of a student’s education. I’m proud that Clark College is continuing its strong history as a leader in early learning.”
While Clark’s programming and instruction have been praised statewide, the college facilities have not kept pace with advances in early childhood education. “For more than a decade, it has been our dream to have a new Early Learning Center facility,” said Laurie Cornelius, Clark College director of children and family services. “It is exciting to know that our new learning environment will fully support our program and our aspirations for our students.”
Interim Vice President of Instruction Dr. Tim Cook said, “The Child and Family Studies Program is a lab school where Clark students have the opportunity to put theory into practice by working with children and families. This is a unique approach which is considered a best practice throughout the U.S. In order to meet the needs of today’s students and prepare them for the work they will do after graduating, it will be important to successfully complete both phases of this exciting, learning-focused project.”