Apprenticeship programs provide credential pathways for Collin students

May 28, 2024

Kirk Dickey

Pictured from left: Awards and Grants Coordinator Angelia Turquette, Apprenticeship and Employer Engagement Manager Jewel Coates, Mentor Morgan Winnubst, Apprentice Bailey Swinney, and Early Childhood Educator Lead Ann Butler

Bailey Swinney, a preschool teacher at The Goddard School for Early Childhood Development in McKinney, is the first graduate of a Collin College apprenticeship program designed to reinforce learning objectives and clarify coursework as they pursue Child Development Associate® (CDA) Credentials™. The apprenticeship opportunity is just one available to students through Collin College’s Education, Advanced Manufacturing, and Energy and Infrastructure consortiums.

“I think this is just a great opportunity to advance in my field and learn as much as I can,” Swinney said after a small ceremony celebrating her completion of the CDA coursework. Her participation in the apprenticeship program provided her with a Department of Labor credential in Early Childhood Education (ECE), and she plans on pursuing her CDA Credential from the CDA Council soon.

While Collin College offers a curriculum to prepare for the CDA credential outside of the apprenticeship model, apprentices benefit from working in the industry while they pursue their education. Courses can be completed online outside of regular working hours and reinforced by on-the-job learning under the mentor’s guidance.

“I like going to in-person classes, but this helped me get things done faster,” Swinney said. “If I had to go to class and work full-time, it would have been harder for me.”

Morgan Winnubst, Swinney’s mentor at The Goddard School, said she enjoyed working with the apprenticeship program and appreciated its comprehensive and flexible structure.

“Being able to use all of the material they gave me in a form of my own helped a lot,” Winnubst said, adding that she's open to mentoring another apprentice. “I just thought that it would be great for someone here to use the grant to further their education. Some people don't have that opportunity, so I loved the opportunity for Bailey to do that.”

Collin College currently has registered apprenticeship program participants in its ECE and Electronic Engineering Technology (EET) programs under the Education Consortium and Advanced Manufacturing Consortium banners. The registered apprenticeship program is a part of ApprenticeshipUSA, through which participants earn nationally recognized credentials like Swinney’s. Apprentices who complete these programs are seen as journeyworkers in their professions and generally command a higher salary because of their credentials.

To learn how to participate in the apprenticeship programs as an employer or student, contact Jewel Coats, Apprenticeships and Employer Engagement manager for Collin College, at

The initial funding for the ECE apprenticeship program that Swinney participated in was a $129,574 grant from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), 100 percent of which was financed with federal funds.