UC Adjunct Instructor Honored for Supporting Early Childhood Education Students

When you first meet Jane Holtgrefe and ask about her University of Cincinnati (UC) Early Childhood Care and Education program (ECE) students, you quickly see how much she enjoys her work and the impact she and others are making on the next generation of teachers.

In her faculty member role in UC’s College of Education (CECH), Jane relies on her years of experience as a preschool and kindergarten teacher to train educators, administrators, and childcare providers.

Jane was recently honored for her ability to connect with UC students with a Golden Apple Award. The award was presented by the CECH Tribunal, the student governing body. The annual awards celebration is a student-led event, and the nominations come directly from students in UC’s Associate in Early Childhood Care & Education and Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education (Birth – Age 5) programs, making the honor even more special.

This was Jane’s nomination:

This is my second course with Jane, and she goes above and beyond to ensure that material is understood and helps provide ways to ensure success in the courses as well as in our own classrooms … making sure that everyone has the best opportunities to be successful by providing examples to the class. When assignments are unclear, Jane posts announcements or makes videos to clarify everything she can. She tries to make the courses as user-friendly as possible but still makes them interesting and beneficial to our studies.

UC CECH Tribunal 2023 Golden Apple Recipients
Jane Holtgrefe (pictured center) is one of this year’s Golden Apple Award recipients.
Students nominate instructors, and the Golden Apples go to instructors who are exemplary
in creating a classroom environment that motivates students to their fullest potential.

Online Learning Experience Benefits Busy Educators

In the ECE programs, all coursework is 100% online, and Jane says the programs are student-centered and student-driven.

Most of UC’s ECE program students already work as teachers, curriculum coordinators, educational program directors, or in the childcare field. UC’s associate and bachelor’s degree programs are tailored for busy professionals seeking career advancement in various early childhood settings such as preschools, Head Start programs, childcare centers, or family childcare environments. The online programs accommodate the needs of educators who want to progress in their careers while balancing work and other responsibilities.

Instructors With Classroom Experience

Though Jane’s been an adjunct instructor at UC since 2008, it’s her entire professional experience working in childhood education that makes her uniquely qualified for her role. She says other adjunct instructors have similar backgrounds to hers, and they share a passion for educating teachers. Jane says, “We create a great bond with UC students because we understand the ups and downs associated with teaching young children.”

Most recently, Jane taught courses on language arts and literacy, as well as math, science, and social studies. These courses allow students to expand their knowledge of developmentally appropriate practices for young children and prepare them for success in student teaching. Jane is also an instructor for the student teaching courses, which include UC coursework along with experience in the early childhood classroom.

Highlights of Two Online Degree Programs for Educators

UC’s online associate and bachelor’s degree ECE programs feature an immersive and personalized learning experience that is largely unmatched by other universities, with:

  • Start-to-graduation support. Students are paired with an academic advisor and student success coordinator who keep connected with them throughout their time with UC. Other support comes via online message boards where students talk with one another and their instructors.
  • Fully online coursework. No campus visits are required for our online programs, which saves students time by not having to travel to and from class and being able to access coursework 24/7.
  • Flexible scheduling. Students can choose full- or part-time studies because our programs are designed with working professionals in mind.

Although many of the students Jane teaches are working toward their associate degrees, some are focused on bachelor’s degrees. “I see a lot of repeat names from semester to semester, and it’s rewarding to see teachers continue their education at UC,” she says.

Guiding Principles for ECE Programs

Every day, Jane and her instructor peers work hard to bring the UC childhood education programs principles to light, with collective goals to:

  • Ensure early childhood teachers have access to inclusive education opportunities.
  • Provide comprehensive support for teachers, families, staff, administrators, and the children in their care.
  • Assist programs in meeting state and federal requirements and improving quality initiatives.
  • Help teachers achieve their educational objectives.
  • Enhance workplace learning to foster professional growth.
  • Foster the development of technologically skilled teachers.

Is Education Your Calling?

Jane has a true passion for early childhood education, as you’ve learned. If you share the same passion for making a meaningful difference in students’ lives, why not take the next step? Explore UC’s nationally ranked and accredited ECE programs — then chat live with a representative online, or complete this contact form.

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