SWU helping Sharp turn passion for education into credentials
Having experienced the challenges of working with at-risk preschoolers, Education instructor Kimberly Sharp wants to be part of a solution that results in better training for teachers entering such an environment.
“Our classrooms had a very unique dynamic because at four years old many of our students had developmental disorders and learning delays and that sort of thing but not yet been identified because that process – the diagnosis process – doesn’t start until late kindergarten or early first grade,” Sharp said. “In that setting I had also encountered some student teachers from other schools who were ill prepared for their experience in my classroom. So I thought, instead of me complaining about it, this is a perfect opportunity for me to be a part of that solution.”
As one of two full-time instructors at Tri-County Technical College preparing teachers to effectively enter early childhood education, Sharp is passionate about her role and wants her professional credentials to reflect that high level of dedication. Sharp concluded, “If I’m passionate about this field, let me have credentials that show everybody else that I’ve got that passion.”
Sharp often recommends Southern Wesleyan’s education degree programs to her students at Tri-County, and realized Southern Wesleyan would be a good place to pursue a doctoral program, so she enrolled in the (Ed.D.) in curriculum and assessment.
Dr. Paul Shotsberger, who coordinates the program, sees Sharp as a great example of a professional educator looking to Southern Wesleyan to move to the next level.
“Kimberly Sharp is a valuable addition to the new Ed.D. cohort just beginning at SWU. Over the past 10 years, she has endeavored to add credentials that would open doors for her in early childhood care and education. She earned her associate of applied science in early childhood development, then a bachelor of science in early childhood education, then a master of education, all while completing licensure and certification requirements for the state of South Carolina. She is now a full-time instructor in the Early Care and Education at Tri-County Technical College, but she is not resting on her laurels,” Shotsberger said. “She believes the Ed.D. in curriculum and assessment is the precise vehicle by which she can acquire knowledge and expertise needed to train a new generation of teachers.”
“I’m a mother and I play piano at our church, lead women’s ministry, do conferences and things like that. I had to find something that would fit that into schedule, so the online component is just perfect. Then for the residency internship in summer, that’s one week out of my summer that I can arrange around,” Sharp said.
Just over a week into her first course, Sharp has already established a rapport with her classmates, thanks to flexible options for interacting online, using flexible, robust collaborative tools.
Southern Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered, student-focused learning community devoted to transforming lives by challenging students to be dedicated scholars and servant-leaders who impact the world for Christ. For details about degree programs, go online to swu.edu.