CSM, Maryland Offer Child Care Degree Scholarships


Student Committed to Early Childhood Education Receives Full Scholarship

Susan Newton is juggling a lot these days—two kids, three jobs and four classes at the College of Southern Maryland. But one thing she won’t have to juggle is funding the cost of tuition and books. Newton is a recipient of a full scholarship for classes she is taking at CSM leading to an associate degree in early childhood education.

“This scholarship means that college is affordable for me,” said Newton who is in the process of helping her teenage son look at colleges for 2010. “I couldn’t afford to put us both through college at the same time,” she added.

Through a Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) grant, CSM is offering more than $97,000 in scholarships to students who commit to a career in the child care field.

The grant is funded through the Maryland Child Care Career and Professional Development Fund in an attempt to raise the level of child care in the state. CSM students pursuing a degree in early childhood education, elementary education or early childhood development can apply for the scholarship through the MSDE website. In addition to pursuing a degree in the child care field, students must be working in a licensed child care center or a registered family child care home in Maryland, must participate in the voluntary Maryland Child Care Credential program, must maintain a 2.75 grade point average and must agree to continue employment in the child care field following graduation.

The scholarship covers the full cost of tuition, fees and books, after a refundable up-front 10 percent tuition payment.

“MSDE is trying to get applications processed as quickly as possible,” said CSM Professor of Teacher Education and Scholarship Coordinator Mary Hunt.

Newton’s work, as stipulated by the scholarship, is in the child care field. She works full time as the director of the Youth Activity Center at the Prime Time Children’s and Youth Activity Center in Owings and part time as the child care coordinator at Patuxent Elementary for the Judy Center, a center providing comprehensive services for at-risk children up to age 5 and their families. It is named for Judith P. Hoyer, the late wife of U.S. Congressman Steny Hoyer.

When not at Prime Time or Patuxent Elementary, Newton works as an MSDE child care center validator.

The volunteer work she does for her son’s Northern High School lacrosse team included a highly successful spaghetti dinner fundraiser that raised more than $9,000 for varsity and JV teams.

Then there is college.

“I am doing this for myself, to beef up my credentials,” Newton said. “But I am also trying to provide my sons with life lessons on working hard in school and keeping up grades,” she added.

Even Newton’s 4-year-old son is onboard with school work. He has a little laptop computer where he works on his “assignments” as mommy works on hers, Newton said.

For information on CSM’s early childhood development and education programs visit www.csmd.edu/SOC/.

To learn more about the MSDE Maryland Child Care Credential Program, the voluntary Maryland Child Care Credential program and Maryland Child Care Career and Professional Development Fund scholarship, visit www.marylandpublicschools.org/MSDE/divisions/child_care/credentials/mdcred.