Education is a lifelong commitment for one veteran Great Lakes Community Action Partnership (GLCAP) Child Development staff member.
Melanie Miller, center specialist at GLCAP’s Port Clinton Early Childhood Center, graduated in May with her master’s degree in education from the University of Toledo. Melanie, who marked 20 years with GLCAP in August, earned the degree after six years of coursework, taking one class each semester until she met her goal.
The road to earning her degree was a long, but worthwhile experience for Melanie, who said she was grateful that her family was able to see her through the journey.
“I felt it was quite an accomplishment when your child sees that you are able to do that,” Melanie said. “It’s nice for your family to be able to see that hard work pays off.”
Melanie earned a $500 educational scholarship from the Ohio Head Start Association, Inc. (OHSAI) to help with tuition costs. The scholarship was available for anyone was a past Head Start student or had a child in a Head Start program. Along with having worked in Head Start for two decades, Melanie is also a former Head Start student.
Melanie also received partial assistance for her master’s degree—and had also earned her bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Cincinnati—through GLCAP.
Starting in late 2008, GLCAP offered to cover post-secondary education costs for staff working in positions with educational requirements. GLCAP expanded the program to include staff who wanted to seek post-secondary degrees related to their positions. Since then, GLCAP has assisted with 70 degrees, including 19 associate degrees; 34 bachelor’s degrees; and 17 master’s degrees. GLCAP has also helped 36 staff members with obtaining child development associate certification.
Melanie has opted to continue her education on her own, and she is now pursuing her doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction through the University of Toledo.
“You are never too old for education,” Melanie said. “You need to continually learn, grow, and develop.”