Early childhood studies senior class of 2020 present diverse capstone projects
Exam week of Spring 2020 was bittersweet for the early childhood studies senior cohort. After working on their capstone projects for three terms and persisting through a challenging Spring term at home, they presented their capstone work in a Zoom gathering with faculty, peers, family, and friends.
There were wishes to be together in person as well as calls for social justice in early education. But as soon as the presentations began, it was clear that hope was present as the graduating class of Early Childhood Studies demonstrated the readiness to face the challenges that lay ahead.
The Early Childhood Studies Class of 2020
Faith Van Putten
The students’ projects range from developing a training for trauma-informed care to a teaching portfolio from a toddler classroom. These deliverables were as diverse as the topics spanning integrated inclusive classrooms to drawing as a form of early compositional writing.
Early childhood studies seniors complete a capstone project as the culminating assignment for their degree. The capstone project empowers students to select their own topic and project outcome based on their interests.
Some of the 2020 Seniors were inspired by their placements.
Cara O’Brien presented “Positive Impacts of Teen Parent Programs on Young Families: The Perspective of Parents” after doing her clinical placement in the Salem-Keizer Teen Parent infant/toddler classroom and working closely with teen parents to form supportive home-school connections.
Brianna Lundgren chose to write a research article drawing on the most recent literature and her personal experiences working in a residential setting for young children’s mental health entitled, “Trauma-Informed Care In Early Childhood.”
Other students became curious about a topic based on an interaction that occurred in their placement but required focused research and reflection to unpack. This is an incredible opportunity for seniors to deepen their commitment to and expertise in a particular topic in early childhood (birth to age 8).
The Zoom presentations closed with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
These capstone presentations mark the end of our students’ preparation and the start of a new chapter in their journey as lifelong learners. We trust that the variety displayed in areas of interests represent the unique strengths they bring to the field of early childhood education.
Congratulations to the Early Childhood Studies Class of 2020 and to all Western Oregon University 2020 graduates!