"As a teacher, I am a lifelong learner and believe that education is power. One should never stop learning," says Jodi. Graduate work at Champlain is already paying dividends for her; she applies what she learns in the master's program in her classroom. "I have gained many ideas and have become more confident in my teaching," she says. "The master's courses have validated my love of play and have made me see the importance of play in the classroom and how much learning happens during this time."
The opportunity to study with stimulating professors such as Laurel Bongiorno, program director for the master's degree in Early Childhood Education, was a big factor in Jodi's decision to pursue her graduate degree at Champlain. "The professors at Champlain were always willing to help when needed, granting extensions or offering some inspiring words, to get me through my undergrad degree. Laurel was one of my professors. When I saw her name attached to the master's program, I knew I had to look into it because she was such a wonderful professor before, and I wanted to work with her again," says Jodi. "After meeting with her and hearing how inspired and excited she was to have this graduate program at Champlain, I just had a feeling it was for me."
Jodi, M.Ed. Student
"My experience at Champlain has been awesome, it's great to bring people together on my professional level. The discussions have been rich, and I appreciate how it's really international. One of the students in my cohort is in Germany, there's somebody in North Carolina, somebody in Georgia, etc. It's really inspiring to remember that the work we're doing ultimately affects the nationwide system, and it's neat to hear how the other systems operate and learn from everybody's strengths and challenges.
"The faculty have been fabulous. I'm really impressed with the people Laurel has pooled together to be a part of this program. She's picking from a pool of people who are dedicated professionals, and passionate about the field, and very clearly educated in their field.
"I love the online format because I'm so busy and I'm able to do my homework at midnight if need be, or before the kids are up. The flexibility is really great. Online learning in the field of teaching is new, and I think that the faculty have done an incredible job in creating a dynamic that feels natural, and feels like we have a lot of control over the learning environment. There's a great balance.
"The Orlando residency was awesome, it was really neat to connect with people with who you've been having deep and meaningful conversations. We get to know each other so well during the discussions because we tap into meaningful and deep rooted beliefs within ourselves as educators."
Lisa, M.Ed. Student
"My experience with the Champlain M.Ed. has been amazing. The philosophy about what the program was about was very much in line with the education that I was actually teaching, so it was a great fit. As a teacher and a new mother I needed something that worked at my pace, so I go in when I have a chance and sometimes that's at five o'clock on a Saturday morning and everything is available and ready for me, my professors get back to me in a timely manner.
"The professors could not be any more invested in "Angie the teacher" and making sure that I know to the fullest extent what is developmentally appropriate for children. And they're also making sure that I'm having fun with it. The assignments go anywhere from reading about theories to teaching an activity that involves Vygotsky's scaffolding method of education. You're not regurgitating theories. My professors are on speed dial and I can contact them at any time. I felt very welcomed from the first day and I continue to feel really welcome.
"The residency [in Orlando] was the best experience I've had, I think second only to getting my own classroom, in all of my education years. Meeting all of the other candidates and my professor, meeting unbelievable experts in early childhood education, and just immersing myself in that culture for a week was hands down the best experience for me a teacher. I thought I would have liked it more if I was younger, but even ten years into teaching, I still got so much out of it, and brought back tons on information."
Angie, M.Ed. Student