|Faculty member Jamie Harmount talks with a class of education students.|
By OU-C public relations student employee Jasmine Garcia
Many students have fond memories of faculty members whom they have come to know and respect throughout their academic careers. These mentors often make an impact on students’ educational pursuits, leading the students to follow in their footsteps and pursue careers as educators.
“Students have different stories as to how they come to know they want to be a teacher,” said Jamie Harmount, assistant professor for the early childhood education associate degree. “Most students want to be teachers due to having been influenced by former teachers and family members.”
“My parents and grandparents are teachers, and it was natural for me to continue the profession of teaching,” said Jaclyn Finch, an early childhood education (ECE) student.
Current students, such as Heather Ward and Whitney Bee, were influenced by their love of working with children.
|Classroom instruction addresses practical insights.|
“I have always loved children and I wanted to choose a major that would allow me to do what I love every day,” said Bee. “The early childhood program at OU-C was perfect for me because it would provide me with a degree to teach children from preschool to third grade.”
The support system created in this degree program attributes to the large amount of success of the early childhood education program.
“My experience with the ECE program has been the most tremendous, uplifting, positive experience I have ever had,” said Taylor Rickards, a current ECE student. “I absolutely love my classmates in the program and I love my professors who push us to be the best that we can be.”
“I have found so much comfort in the Chillicothe campus and in Jamie,” said Ward. “She always puts your best interests first, she responds quickly to questions and she genuinely wants you to succeed. I have learned so much from her.”
The OU-C early childhood education program has an excellent reputation, said Harmount. The early childhood education program draws many students, traditional and non-traditional.
“The local schools are very complimentary of our students. Many of our students are hired by local school districts,” said Harmount.
Students enrolled in the Associate Degree in Child Development usually seek employment in childcare facilities, as aides in public schools or in Head Start teaching positions, said Harmount.
“After graduation, I intend to immediately begin my job search as well as begin my reading endorsement for K-12 reading intervention,” said Finch. “Shortly after, I plan to begin graduate studies at OU in the Educational Leadership program with hopes of becoming an elementary principal.”
“Once I graduate, my ideal plan is to have the opportunity to teach where I do my student teaching at, wherever that may be,” said Rickards. “If that is not able to happen then I will be glad to teach at any school or child care center because at least I will be doing what I love.”
“I have learned so much in the ECE program in the last few years, and I feel prepared to obtain a job in my field once I graduate,” said Bee.
However, students who choose to pursue their Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood education after obtaining their associates degree are open to advanced opportunities.
“Students enrolled in the Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood education program will be eligible to be licensed to be teachers serving children preschool through third grade,” said Harmount. “They could also decide to be teachers serving infants and toddlers.”
Harmount added that students have many reasons for choosing teaching as a profession, but many want to make an impact on the lives of others, especially children.
“I chose ECE because I love young children and want to make them the best people they can be; after all, young children are our future,” said Finch. “I love walking into a classroom and receiving love, hugs, and the fulfillment of making a difference in a young child's life.”
“The experience that I have gained through this can never be replaced,” said Ward “I truly have a passion for working with young children and am so happy that I choose the OU-C ECE program to pursue my degree.”