Marica Cox Mitchell

Marica Cox Mitchell is responsible for NAEYC’s major program efforts in early childhood program and higher education accreditation. She is also leading the alignment among and between our Center for Applied Research, accreditation, and higher education with early childhood and higher education systems across the country. Mitchellhas been in the early childhood education field for more than 16 years and has worked in both administrative and classroom settings.  

Before assuming her current role, she served as the Director of Higher Education Accreditation for NAEYC. Prior to this position, she led the Early Childhood Professional Development Unit at the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education where she developed and monitored a wide range of professional development resources designed to increase the quality of early learning programs and advance cohorts of early childhood professionals.  These resources included the TEACH Early Childhood DC scholarship program, DC Career Guide for Early Childhood and Out of School Time Professionals, DC Trainer Approval Program and accreditation facilitation projects.  She also worked with stakeholders to evaluate and propose enhancements to the DC Quality Rating and Improvement System.  She was promoted to Director of School Preparedness (Readiness) before her departure from the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education. Mitchell also facilitated the pilot and implementation of the Full Service Community School Model while serving as a specialist with the District of Columbia Public Schools.  Early in her career, she supported the launch of NAEYC’s Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation system as a staff member.

Mitchell began her early childhood professional journey working in early childhood programs as a teacher assistant, teacher and curriculum specialist.  These diverse experiences and perspectives inspired her to focus on advancing professional practice and recognition. Mitchell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of the District of Columbia and a Master’s of Science degree in Educational Administration from the University of Scranton.