Student, Bachelor of Science with a Concentration in Early Childhood Care and Education
Alexandria Guzman is the director of the Flying Colors Learning Center #5 in El Paso. She has been a Child Care Director for five years and has worked in the early childhood sector for over 10 years in different roles. Her specialty is infant/toddler but she has experience as an early childhood teacher in childcare working with children of all ages.
When she became director of Flying Colors, she learned about the T.E.A.C.H. program thanks to the owner of the business who is vested in his employees' education and success. The program provides eligible students with a scholarship that covers 90% of tuition, books and other educational expenses, as well as additional financial and academic support.
Alexandria took advantage of this amazing opportunity to earn a degree right away. In addition to enrolling herself she also had her teachers enroll; of the five locations Flying Colors operates, she is proud to say that her location has the most staff who have taken advantage of this opportunity; they attend either EPCC/UTEP to obtain associate/bachelor's degrees respectively.
Why she enrolled in the program:
This was a great chance to go back to school and get my bachelor's degree. Plus, who really pays for your school and just about everything from books to tuition? [They also pay you] for good grades and in the end, we also get a bonus from our employer.
Her experience with online learning:
So far my experience with online learning has been great. The teachers have been wonderful and helpful. This program is geared to those of us still working full-time so it's a bit slower paced. I hope to get my bachelor's and work in child care licensing in the state of Texas or become a teacher mentor for Frog Street or Texas Rising Star.
I'm all about learning what I can when it comes to my craft and profession, and this degree will help open many more doors in this field for me. It has been a blessing that my employer brought us this opportunity and that he sponsors us when it comes to the agreements he had to make on his end (things like 4 hours of paid study time and a raise when we complete our degrees) for us in order to get our degrees.
On how this degree has played a part in her employment:
This degree has allowed me to implement what I've learned so far to better my center and give my staff tools for their professional toolboxes.
On whether she has the support she needs:
Yes! From our T.E.A.C.H. advisor to our UTEP Connect advisor, Tameka Milligan, they are all amazing and always a phone call or email away. [They] always check in on us to make sure we're in the right classes, and that we are okay and not overwhelmed.
What she would say to prospective online students:
I want them to know about this program and the scholarship! I don't think many know about it and if they do, they think the process is hard and it isn't at all. A FREE education/degree doesn't come by often and this is a hidden gem. I was at a TRS conference in Dallas in June and they had a table there and I was telling anyone and everyone who would listen how they just had to get on this program.
On whether she would enroll in this program again if she had to do things over:
100% I would do it all again. I won't lie and says it's been easy but it's been a great chance that I wouldn't give up on. Getting back into school after being out for a long while was a bit hard and overwhelming, but with the help of the great teachers and staff at UTEP and TXAEYC, it's helped me gain confidence and I am excited each semester. I can't wait until I have my degree. I hope to even go for my master's with this program.