BY MELISSA SANDOVAL
At COD, students who dream of becoming teachers and giving back to local education are given the tools to do so. Many students, like Nydia Muñoz, choose to begin their education at COD because of the many courses the Early Childhood Education (ECE) program offers.
One course this program offers is placing students each semester with a mentor teacher. “I was lucky to be placed with my third grade teacher, Mrs. Nunley,” said Muñoz. “She is the reason why I wanted to become a teacher in the first place. She uses fun and creative ways to engage with her students and that always inspired me.”
Not only do students have the opportunity to assist their mentor teachers throughout the Coachella Valley, they are also able to attend school board meetings. “These are very interesting because we get to learn about what topics the students are learning about in their classes,” says Muñoz. “I go every month and can see how everything ties together from the meetings to the classrooms.”
Aside from elementary schools, the ECE program also runs the McCarthy Family Child Development & Training Center. This program serves children from 12 months to five years. Those who are enrolled are children of students, faculty, staff and the community. Students from the ECE department are able to observe, create projects and student-teach.
Overall, the many courses that the ECE program offers continues to help mold students into future community teachers. “I have learned so much already in this program. All I want is to give back to the students at my old elementary school and show them that people like me do care and will come back to teach in fun new ways.”