Capstone Course Helps Curriculum and Instruction Graduate Land Position as a College Instructor Monday, February 20, 2012
Meet Preeti Juneja
Job title: Instructor of Early Childhood Education
Employer: Community College of Allegheny County
Degrees earned: B.S. in child development, Delhi University; post-graduate diploma in preschool management, Delhi University; B.Ed., M.D. University and M.A. in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in adult learning and training and an ESL certificate, Point Park University
Professional memberships: National Association for the Education of Young Children; Pennsylvania Child Care Association
Hometown: New Delhi, India
Current residence: Sewickley, Pa.
Preeti Juneja attributes an assignment she had in her "Practicum/Seminar in Learning Organizations" capstone course with Vincenne Revilla Beltrán, Ph.D., professor of education, for helping her to land a position as a college instructor of early childhood education at the Community College of Allegheny County.
The assignment was for students to update their resumes, interview employers and tour organizations they would like to work for after graduation. One of the organizations Juneja chose was the Community College of Allegheny County. After talking with a representative from CCAC, she was asked to submit her resume and within a month was offered a position teaching early childhood education classes.
"I've always connected with children and found training teachers to be my passion," said Juneja, who has 22 years of experience educating early childhood education teachers in both the U.S. and India.
Originally from New Delhi, Juneja moved to the U.S. with her husband in 1997. After working as a coordinator and supervisor at Sewickley Valley YMCA and as a teacher at the former Point Park University Children's School, Juneja decided to expand her career opportunities and go back to school to pursue a master's degree. In 2010, she graduated from Point Park with a Master of Arts degree in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in adult learning and training, as well as an English as a Second Language Program Specialist certificate.
About the Curriculum and Instruction Graduate Program
"The curriculum and instruction program made me a better teacher. The professors were really nice and I loved the classes," remarked Juneja. "Dr. Revilla served as a wonderful mentor to me and really helped guide me with my future goals."
Juneja also enjoyed Point Park's Downtown Pittsburgh campus. "I liked the location of the campus. It was convenient for me to get there by bus."
According to Revilla, Juneja was an excellent student who was highly respected by her teachers and classmates. "Preeti completed her graduate studies in December of 2010 and immediately was hired to teach at CCAC in January of 2011. We are very proud of Preeti and the contributions she is making to enhance early childhood education in Western Pennsylvania," said Revilla.
From Capstone Course to College Instructor
As an instructor, Juneja offers a variety of hands-on projects for her students. For example, in her class on health and safety she brings in health kits and asks students to role-play various scenarios in order to learn how to effectively help a child who has been injured.
"I treat my students the way I want them to treat their students," explained Juneja. "I teach them to have understanding and compassion. That is what is needed most in the classroom."
Juneja offers the following advice to students pursing teaching careers in higher education. "Be flexible to change, reflect on your teaching practices and keep learning. Remember that teachers need to be life-long learners."