Maria Garcia had first expressed her interest in becoming an Early Childhood Educator when she visited ISANS (Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia) in 2013. She had a few concerns with enrolling; the first was that her English language skills weren't where she wanted them to be, and this was an important requirement to access the program.
Maria chose not to see this as a challenge, but rather as an opportunity. She had moved from Venezuela to Nova Scotia in 2013. Her dream kept her motivated during her journey through the ESL (English as a Second Language) program until she was accepted to an ECE (Early Childhood Education) program.
Her second concern was the potentially long wait list at NSCC (waterfront campus). Around that time ISANS recommended that Maria check out the Nova Scotia College of Early Childhood Education (NSCECE). She took the advice. As soon as Maria walked through their doors, everything just clicked into place.
NSCECE's lasting influence on Maria's professional development has been extended throughout the years even after graduation. NSCECE is one college with a tremendous and respectable reputation in the early childhood education field.
"NSCECE has progressive thinkers, modern instructors, and great administrative support for the students' success," Maria says. The program is filled with wonders and great resources to expand upon students' experiences during their practicum and assignments. The program even provides the incredible opportunity to implement Practicum hours in different settings.
"The practicum helps to gain experience while being able to design your path for all different places in this wonderful career," she adds about having the opportunity to complete her practicum hours at the Dartmouth Family Centre and North Dartmouth Food Centre.
Thanks to NSCECE, Maria has found herself working already, currently employed in a position at the Dartmouth Family Centre in the department of Child Development.
One of Maria's most emotional memories from her college experience were the inspirational speakers and guests who came to visit. One in particular had the greatest impact on Maria: an educator who came during an event called Dining in the Dark, which she says was full of love, compassion, learning and empathy.
"NSCECE took me and transformed me into the change I want to see in the world. I will always be thankful for that," she says.
Having had the opportunity to witness children's development while their personalities unfold are moments that Maria, along with the children's families, will humbly treasure forever.
"The best thing about being an ECE is that every day is unique, and that we're making a difference in our society."
If you feel that ECE is calling to you, Maria says NSCECE is the perfect organization to prepare you, no matter where your career takes you.