Alumni Profile: Erika McCarty
Child Development, Class of 2014
A conversation with Erika McCarty, El Dorado County Cohort, Class of 2014:
What motivated you to enroll in the Child Development program?
I was working at the local preschool where my children attended while enrolled at Folsom Lake College working toward my associate’s degree when my director and another teacher began the Child Development program. I witnessed their success through the program as they managed their work and families and realized this would be a great opportunity for me to obtain my bachelor’s degree.
What would you describe as the most beneficial part of the program?
The most beneficial parts of the program are: having the opportunity to attend classes close to home and in the evening, a set schedule and classes taught in a collaborative format with the same group of students, and an amazing support system provided by the instructors, professors and CCE staff. The program is also a lot more convenient without the added stress of driving to Sac State, finding parking, registering for my own classes and maintaining a different class schedule each semester.
What were the greatest challenges of participating in the program?
The beginning of the program was a challenge, as with any new program being incorporated into one’s schedule, trying to balance school, work and family. However, the support provided by CCE staff and instructors made the transition a smooth one. Another challenge is that the program is a writing intensive program. Although it was a challenge, it was also a benefit. I have increasingly improved my writing and research skills that will be useful in my future endeavors.
What are your plans for after graduation?
I would like to spend some quality time with my children over the summer while actively applying for a career as a child advocate. I had originally envisioned myself teaching in the classroom. However, I have a new found passion for working toward the improvement of the educational system and support for children, families and educators.
If you were to share one piece of advice for prospective or current students, what would it be?
Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity!!! Three years go by fast. Before you know it you will have your degree and feel on top of the world. If you are thinking about starting this program, it’s an amazing opportunity to get your degree and make lifelong connections with wonderful people. If you are currently enrolled in this program, there are times where you feel this is never going to end, but it does and then you’re left saying, “Wow, that went by so fast!” I am forever grateful for this program, and I have a great appreciation for having the opportunity to be a part of it all.