Good evening. Thank you all for your time. My name is Kimberly Sexton. I am honored to be here tonight to speak on behalf of the full-time Early Childhood faculty. Without these individuals I would not be where I am today. My journey at the College of DuPage started off without very much direction. This is because at an early age I was diagnosed with learning disabilities. All of the education and skills I learned from teachers starting in elementary school through high school prepared me for a job, but not a career.
When I left high school I knew I wanted to work with children. While looking for a career path, I went to the counseling department at COD and left in tears. This was because I was told my success rate would not be high in the education field due to my learning accommodations. Despite their opinion I took an Early Childhood class and found my niche. I wanted to be part of helping intervene when young children needed help. I wanted to assist children in not only getting the help they needed, but also allow them to explore the world around them.
While pursuing my degree, my personal life presented challenges that caused me to have to put my education second to my family. Some of my professors noticed a decline in my focus. It was then that they took the time outside of the classroom to assist me in getting my education and personal goals back on track. I was successful in these classes because of the hands-on curriculum that the Early Childhood professors presented us. It forced us to deal with real scenarios that are common while working in this field.
I now stand before you as a graduate of the Early Childhood program at COD. I can personally say that without the full-time faculty being available outside of the classroom, I wouldn’t be as confident in my current position as the Educational Director at a local preschool. My preschool has partnered with the Early Childhood program to allow the current ECEC students to receive hands on field experience. These students are not only gaining experience for their future careers, but also bringing current practices with them in the class that are valuable to my teachers and current children in my program.
The time that the ECEC faculty invested in not only myself, but all of my peers was more valuable than words can express. This created and fostered and environment that made all of the students comfortable and ready to share what they had learned outside of the classroom to help push each other to get the most out of our time at COD.