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Scholarship helps early childhood professionals earn bachelor's degree

EHE News
January 16, 2018

The Early Childhood Education Professional Pipeline program is ramping up to select its third cohort of aspiring early education teachers. The upcoming scholarship deadline for practitioners with an associate’s degree is Jan. 31. The scholarship provides full tuition to earn a bachelor's degree in early childhood education.

Launched by Ohio State President Michael V. Drake and EHE Dean Cheryl Achterberg in 2016, the five-year program partners with the city of Columbus, Columbus State Community College and Action for Children.

The goal is to improve the quality of Columbus’ early childhood educators, and thus impact the development of young children with a goal of preparing them to succeed in school.

Laurie Katz, professor of teaching and learning, leads the Early Childhood Education Professional Pipeline program.

“The program supports students who have limited financial resources and have been working full-time jobs in early children education in addition to fulfilling their family and community obligations,” she said.

A passion for learning

Alice Williams, a pipeline scholarship recipient, teaches at Columbus Urban League Southside Head Start Academy and recently received Action for Children’s first Educator of the Year Award.

Raised in a well-read family of 11, her passion is for children to have what she had — a love of reading and learning. That’s why she continues to love teaching after 46 years.

“I am determined to look beyond what I see on the outside of a child,” she said of her work, “so that I see the potential that lies within.

“My walk, my talk and my actions are the teaching tools that leave the most memorable impact on children’s lives,” she said. “Little eyes are watching me, and those eyes say, ‘I am learning from your whole being.’”

She expects the bachelor’s degree courses to expand her ability to inspire children.

“As teachers, we have to supply children with the tools to push past situations and circumstances. We must take time to prepare ourselves for the journey of imparting knowledge to them.”

Students in the cohort immediately can bring the lessons they’ve learned at Ohio State to bear in their classrooms.

“While I’m taking notes in my education classes I’m also thinking about how I could incorporate what the professor is talking about into our weekly activities,” said Sarah McGurk, an assistant teacher for children up to 20 months in Nationwide Children’s Hospital Child Care Center.

“My Exceptional Child class is an intro to special education, and I’m learning so many techniques that I find not only work with children with disabilities but with all children, especially very young children like the ones I work with,” she said.

The scholarship will pay full-tuition and fees for a Bachelor of Science in Education degree in Child and Youth Studies (non-licensure) or a BSEd in Early Childhood Education with a prekindergarten through third-grade teaching license. Up to 20 students will be selected.

Want to apply? Here are the details

Minimum requirements include:

  • An associate's degree from an accredited community college
  • Current or future employment in early childhood education
  • Established Ohio residency
  • A commitment to working in a Columbus-area early-childhood setting for three years after graduation