” I met with an advisor at MPTC to determine how I could complete my Associate’s Degree. I may choose occupational therapy after earning my Associate’s Degree, and MPTC is helping me determine how I can advance to a 4-year college to earn a Bachelor’s Degree.”
Cristal Gilbertson, Early Childhood Education student at MPTC

I am Cristal Gilbertson and a returning adult student to Moraine Park Technical College for the Early Childhood Education Program.  I plan to graduate in May, 2020.  Having worked in the child care field for more than 25 years, I love working with children of all ages.  I really enjoy how this is an ever-changing field with new research about how children learn and grow. I also apply what I learn as I raise my three sons.

Love to learn

I love to learn.  When the state required child care professionals to have more training, I embraced the opportunity. I completed two different credentials offered by MPTC – the Infant and Toddler Credential Certificate and the Early Childhood Preschool Credential Certificate.  Each certificate totaled 12 credits and required a portfolio.  It was worth my hard work because I was able to advance myself in the field and keep myself employable.  MPTC proved to be easy to work with throughout the process, and I had great instructors who wanted to help students.

Enjoying courses

As I am working on my Associate’s Degree, I really benefit from the small classroom sizes and the variety of courses you can take online or in the classroom; however, I prefer classroom courses. I am currently trying a new course format of a Video Conference for the Thinking Critically and Creatively course, which is taught by Dr. Rebecca Leichtfuss.  I am moving out of my comfort zone in this course, and I find it truly interesting. The TED Talks and real life applications in this course are awesome.

Continuing my education

After years of teaching and now that my sons are growing up, I am looking for a career change.  I still love working with children. I applied for Credit for Prior Learning at MPTC and met with an advisor at MPTC to determine how I could complete my Associate’s Degree with the credits I had already earned.  After I earn my Associate’s Degree, I may choose a career in occupational therapy, and MPTC is helping me determine how I can transfer to a 4-year college to earn my  Bachelor’s Degree for this career change.

Written by: Cristal Gilbertson

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Written by Rebecca Leichtfuss
Social Science Instructor