Interview With Cecelia Westby, Director of the School of Early Childhood Education

Cece-WestbyThis blog post features a rare and riveting interview with the School Director for the Early Childhood Education degree program at Rasmussen College, Cecelia (Cece) Westby. Cece has decades of  experience as an educator, and through this interview her wisdom and insight into the early childhood education is unveiled. Check out her thoughts here:

1. Why go into a career in early education now?

There are phenomenal things going on in early childhood education. For example, the State of Minnesota just obtained $45 million in Federal education grant money, called Race to the Top,  that will benefit all early learning programs throughout the state.  In addition, each year we learn more and more about healthy development and the value of early childhood education in a young child's life!

2. What are some things you’ll learn through the Rasmussen College Early Childhood Education program?

As a student in the early childhood education program at Rasmussen College, you will learn the "whys" behind early childhood education, like: 

  • Why do we believe play is how children learn?  
  • Why are some materials and activities more beneficial to a child’s growth and development?  
  • Why is a well prepared teacher so important to a young child?

3. What courses can you expect to take as an Early Childhood Education degree-seeking student?

  • Curriculum and Instruction: Using hands on materials and equipment to promote child’s development and involving parents
  • Externship: Student teaching where you apply what you learn in the college classroom to the children and families in your care
  • Foundations of Child Development: The theory behind why early childhood educators do what they do and make the decisions we do on behalf of children and families

4. What is your favorite thing about this profession?

The belief that the investment we make in young children contributes to a healthy, thriving community.

5. What piece of advice could you give young professionals in early childhood education?

Keep the children and their family's welfare first and foremost in your decision-making process throughout the day. 

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An innovator of higher education, Rasmussen College is a career-focused, private college that specializes in offering the most in-demand degree programs in a highly supportive, student-centered educational environment. Rasmussen College offers market-relevant degrees online and across its 22 campuses in the Midwest and Florida to more than 15,000 students. By combining its expertise in career development with high academic standards and with unparalleled student support services, graduates of Rasmussen College leave with the most up-to-date knowledge, the skills that employers look for, and the tools to succeed in their chosen field. Since 1900, the primary focus at Rasmussen College has remained constant: student achievement is of the upmost importance, the employer who hires its students continues to be a valued partner, and Rasmussen College is dedicated to being a primary contributor to the growth and development of the communities it serves.

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