The Early Childhood Care and Education program at Ogeechee Technical College now has a larger and better suited workspace as part of a $1 million renovation of the Joseph E. Kennedy Building.
Mungunchavkhdas “Moona” Shurentsetseg is one of the many students in the Early Childhood program that will benefit from the newly renovated 2,100 square foot space that includes two private offices, a traditional classroom, a 1,549 square foot multi-use lab, two dedicated storage rooms, and a connected outdoor educational space.
“Teaching has always been a passion of mine,” said Moona. “I love children with all of my heart and this new lab space gives us everything we need to learn how to become better teachers. It’s so big and so comfortable and we don’t have to provide any of our own materials.”
Moona, who moved to the US in 2012, was a music teacher in her native country of Mongolia. She explained how studying in the Early Childhood program has really helped her overcome her own hurdles with language. “Being a part of this program has really helped me learn and improve my own English,” she said. “My instructor, Mrs. Paula, is the best, she cares about her students and the children and has really helped me with my reading and speaking skills.”
Paula Clifton, Director and Advisor for the Early Childhood Care and Education Department at OTC, explained how the new space has impacted student learning.
“The new ECCE lab has allowed for better flow and productivity in the classroom, as well as increased space to work on research, projects, and lessons,” said Clifton. “The space has been designed to be warmer and more welcoming which creates an environment that fosters creativity and also better displays the student’s work and achievements.”
The new space design has also made a significant impact on the instructors’ ability to teach. “Our previous work space included a computer lab, work lab, bulletin boards, and office all in the same area. With designated spaces for each, our new space limits distractions and interruptions and makes our crafts and manipulative activities more readily accessible for in class instruction,” said Clifton.
Clifton has taught young children in the public school system for 10 years and has a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education with a Reading Endorsement from Armstrong University. Clifton has had the opportunity to work with Child Care Centers, Reading Recovery students, as well as ESOL, EIP, and IEP classroom environments.