KAYLA POWELL HAS HAD YEARNINGS TO TEACH YOUNG children since she was an elementary school student, when she was inspired by a particularly encouraging fourth-grade teacher with whom she is still in contact. Kayla started paving her professional pathway early, as she earned her Preschool CDA Credential shortly after graduating from Waynesburg Area Senior High School in 2002. There, she was a dual enrollment student. “I was fortunate to have great high school teachers,” she said, adding that her high school includes a Pre-K Counts program. “I was able to observe and interact with children first-hand,” which she said further convinced her that early childhood education was the field for her. Now in the early childhood education baccalaureate degree program at Shippensburg University as a PDO-funded student, Kayla also works 25 hours/week at the Waynesboro Early Learning Center, where she especially enjoys working with four- and five-year olds.

Kayla currently is taking three courses on campus. “I manage my time. I attend classes in a compressed schedule three days a week and work at the daycare center around class time. I do have a few long days, but it is working and is worth the effort,” she says. “I am taking [general education] courses this semester and will take more early childhood courses next semester.”  Kayla encourages others to pursue this amazing opportunity, crediting her PD Coordinator, Amber Barkman, for guiding and encouraging her step-by-step along the way. The ECEPDO@PASSHE congratulates Kayla on her CDA Credential and wishes her well as she continues to advance her education and professional pathway.