What were you doing before coming to Pepperdine GSEP?

When I began my studies at Pepperdine, I was working for an early childhood publishing company that creates curriculum and assessment materials for teachers who work with children from birth through eight years old. My role was to collaborate on the development of curriculum and assessment materials as well the accompanying professional development materials. Additionally, I provided on-site professional development to early childhood programs across the country as well as in Latin America and represented the company at state and national early childhood conferences. Soon after I began the ELAP program at Pepperdine, I published a book with Dr. Patton Tabors, retired Harvard researcher, Helping Your Child Learn Two Languages.

What are your career goals post-GSEP?

During my GSEP studies, I left my position at the publishing company and accepted a faculty position at a local community college. Through the course readings, assignments and transformative nature of the GSEP program, I realized that my strengths and goals are in teaching, mentoring and facilitating the development of early childhood staff. Upon completing my doctorate, my goal is to continue my career in higher education and obtain a faculty position at a university. I would like to combine my passion for teaching with my interest in research and ultimately work as a professor in a teacher preparation program.

What are you doing with your GSEP degree?

While not yet completed, my GSEP coursework has already benefited me tremendously, both personally and professionally. I now view the world through a different lens, one which allows me to see possibility and opportunity for learning in every situation. Professionally, my visibility and responsibility at the college have increased as a result of the of knowledge I have gained through the GSEP program. For example, I was nominated and elected to be one of the faculty senators for the college at which I work. Additionally, one of my students and I were featured in a video produced by the college, promoting the benefits that cooperative work experience offers students. (During my first year at the college, I had the pleasure of overseeing the placement and work of 26 students volunteering in community-based early childhood programs). The real-world application of the ELAP assignments have ultimately benefited me, the college where I work and the students we serve.

Why did you choose to come to Pepperdine GSEP?

I chose to attend Pepperdine for several reasons. First, I was intrigued by the preschool-12th grade focus in the ELAP program. As an early childhood teacher, I welcomed the opportunity to expand my knowledge base by including coursework that extends through the higher grades. Additionally, the hybrid format of the program provided an ideal combination of meeting face-to-face three times during each trimester and then completing the remainder of the course requirements via distance learning. With my full schedule of traveling for work and caring for two young daughters, this flexibility was paramount. Ultimately, my conversation with Dr. Purrington, the ELAP program director, was the final deciding factor in selecting Pepperdine. Dr. Purrington’s warmth, compassion, knowledge and enthusiasm were contagious; I knew I wanted to work with her and learn from her. Without hesitation, I recommend Pepperdine and specifically the ELAP program. It is truly a transformational experience that will benefit me throughout my lifetime.