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Blinn education major aims to reach overlooked students

Blinn’s child development and education programs ensure graduates are well prepared for instruction and childcare

June 8, 2017

Michelle MitchellThroughout high school, Blinn College student Michelle Mitchell struggled to develop the strong connections with her teachers that came so easily to her peers.

The Belton native had no issues with academics or discipline, but said she could have benefitted from the guidance of an instructor when taking her next step after graduation. With hopes of becoming a teacher herself, Mitchell is looking to draw upon her personal experience to ensure her students succeed in and out of the classroom.

“I had a rocky start when I began my college career,” Mitchell said. “I was not properly prepared to transition into higher education after graduating high school. I always have wanted to be a teacher, and my experiences have pushed me to be the teacher who reaches out and bonds with students who need help but do not know how to ask for it.”

Mitchell is enrolled in Blinn’s Education Program with hopes of soon transferring to Texas A&M University to earn her bachelor’s degree in education. Her goal is to be a fourth through eighth grade teacher with the long-term intent of becoming a college professor.

“Blinn gave me the opportunity to ease into the college experience before heading to a university,” Mitchell said. “During my time here, I have been able to focus on my grades and find out specifically what I want to pursue in the education field.”

Blinn’s Education Program prepares students for successful careers in the classroom as they study teaching and learning for a variety of environments and levels. Blinn offers a wide range of courses necessary to successfully transfer and pursue baccalaureate degrees in education that lead to initial Texas teacher certification.

Students interested in pursuing a career in the early child care profession can enroll in Blinn’s Child Development Program. The program offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in child development and a Child Care Worker certificate, as well as two Marketable Skills Achievement Awards in Early Childhood and Child Care Administration.

A child care career is a great option for students who have an interest in working with young children and are committed to helping them grow and develop in the best environment possible. Child care professionals are entrusted to tend to and promote children’s social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development. Blinn’s Child Development Program prepares graduates to be professional, competent, knowledgeable, and dedicated to ensuring high quality early childhood experiences in safe and nurturing environments.

Students who successfully complete the program are eligible for a variety of child care careers, including teaching assistants, teachers in a child care facility or preschool program, child care center owners and directors, public school child life assistants and teacher’s aides, and owners and directors of a group day home or registered home.

Students in Blinn’s Education Program are required to enroll in various child development courses to broaden their field experiences and gain better understanding of early childhood behavior.

“Learning the developmental process of young children has helped me better understand their behavior as they get older,” Mitchell said. “The circumstances and situations a child has endured in the early stages of their life greatly impacts their future learning abilities.”

Students in the Child Development Program undergo field experience as part of course curriculum in early childhood centers, child care facilities, home daycares, and other educational school settings that meet or exceed the Texas Department of Family and Protective Service’s (DFPS) child care licensing criteria.

“I appreciate the observing opportunities Blinn’s education and child development courses have given me,” Mitchell said. “Visiting local schools and child care centers and interacting with students and teachers have exposed me to different classroom environments and age groups – from infants to teenagers.”

Katie Black, an instructor in Blinn’s Child Development Program, said courses are designed to challenge education students like Mitchell to develop curriculum for young children.

“In class, Michelle stood out as a student who is willing to go the extra mile for her future students,” Black said. “She was very conscientious when drawing up lesson plans and designing activities to be inclusive of all types of students.”

For more information regarding Blinn’s Education and Child Development programs, visit: www.blinn.edu/humanities.