New technology adds to professional, hands-on student experience

Melissa Parker, chair of Temple College's child development department, discusses the depart... Melissa Parker, chair of Temple College's child development department, discusses the department's new infant simulators (Steve Lemmons, Temple College)

Temple College has introduced state-of-the-art infant simulators to its child development degree and certificate programs.

The 12 RealCare Baby simulators were purchased with grant funds provided by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Each simulator uses wireless programming to track and report on caregiver behaviors. Tracked behaviors might include care events, mishandling actions, time in a car seat as well as clothing changes.

“Temple College is committed to providing students with the academic and hands-on skills to take them to the next level, whether it’s the next stage of their collegiate journey or entry into a new career,” said Melissa Parker, MS, MA, chair of the child development department. “Students in our programs learn from experienced practitioners, and we work hard to make sure they’re working with the most up-to-date technology.”

The infant simulators are a shared resource for interdisciplinary partnerships at Temple College, including credit and non-credit health care programs.

Temple College child development programs include:

  • Associate of Applied Science in Child Development
  • Associate of Arts in Teaching, child development
  • Child Development Certificate
  • Administrative Certificate

Parker, who has served nearly 30 years in the child development industry, is the owner of Grace Discovery Center, an early childhood education center in Temple, and she is developing two additional operations in the region – an infant/toddler center and an afterschool program.

She said the child development field needs caring and qualified professionals.

“Child development is a key field of study which can open the door to a number of career paths,” Parker said. “Whether you want to work in a professional child-care setting, teach young children within your local school district, or even start your own business, the child development program can help you on your way.”

Child development degree programs can lead to careers in early childhood education, literacy development, special needs education, cognitive development and education technology.

Temple College’s child development program offers small classes, online instruction, practical experience through partnerships with local child development organizations, and scholarship availability for students who work 25-30 hours per week in licensed childcare programs.

Spring classes are available for the second half (second 8-weeks) of the semester, beginning March 20.

For more information, visit the child development program website or call (254) 298-8624.


Temple College is “Your Community’s College, a dynamic and growing community college that equips thousands of students throughout Central Texas and beyond with the knowledge and skills for 21st-century success. Temple College offers more than 75 degree and certificate programs to students who seek to earn credits for transfer, graduate with an associate degree, or complete a certificate for fast entry into the workforce.

Founded in 1926, Temple College has enjoyed an excellent academic reputation for more than 96 years. It is nationally recognized for excellence in its programs, from visual and performing arts to competitive athletics. The College has become one of the state’s premiere institutions for healthcare providers’ education and training, advanced manufacturing, and workforce development programs. The faculty and staff are committed to providing exceptional quality instruction.