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Spotlight on Walden // Feb 05, 2016

At Her Own Pace

Jeneva Davis

How does Tempo Learning, a self-paced educational experience, help students excel in the MS in Early Childhood Studies program? Student Jeneva Davis shares how the program’s structure allows her to fit coursework into her super-busy schedule and how she’s already implemented what she’s learned in her career.

Why did you choose to pursue your MS in Early Childhood Studies?
I currently work as a program consultant at Trinity Day Care in Rockford, Illinois and I have a bachelor's degree in elementary education. Although I have worked in the childcare setting for over eight years, I needed more tools and formal training about early childhood management and leadership.

Why did you choose to earn your degree via Tempo Learning?
I was very intrigued by being able to complete competencies on my own time. I also like that if I was very knowledgeable about a certain topic, I could complete the competency more quickly, and if I needed to take my time on others, this was possible.

How have you fit your coursework into the rhythm of your life?
I have children ages 6, 5, 4, and 2 years old, my husband is a middle school principal, we travel quite a bit with our church, and well, with these vital commitments, our schedules need to remain as flexible as possible. I wasn’t willing to put my family on hold or sacrifice time with my spiritual family to go to classes. After my children go to bed, it becomes my time. I found that this is a perfect time for me to do my coursework. I don't have to sacrifice time with my family; I can adjust when I do homework based on what works for me. It’s perfect!

Have you applied what you’ve learned to your career?
I am constantly using the information I learn to assist in the guidance of teachers and administrators in policy reviews and developmentally appropriate practices. At my center, we are pulling together a uniform system of forms and communications for parents and teachers on additional strategies for challenging behaviors at home and school. In my research cluster of competencies, one of the sites that I was taken to was Teaching Tools for Young Children with Challenging Behaviors. After I reviewed all the information, we used several of their documents to compile a resource book for staff members. I am constantly bringing up new ideas on how we can implement what I learned to our administration team. Often, we use the strategies that I bring forward as a result of my studies through the Tempo Learning program.

How have your faculty, academic coaches, and subject matter experts supported you in your courses?
My academic coach is awesome! Checking in with her every week makes me feel like I have to accomplish something to be able to tell her how it's going. So it keeps me determined and working. The subject matter experts have helped clarify assignment questions. I enjoy being able to work through things on my own as much as possible and having them on hand for quick responses when I get stuck. They are very helpful.

How do you plan to use what you’ve learned to positively influence your career and your community when you graduate?
At some point after I graduate, I would like to use my skills to expand my consultant work to help multiple childcare centers create uniform policies, facilitate trainings for teachers, lead classroom observations, and train administrators how to be successful as leaders.

To learn more about Tempo Learning and the competency-based M.S. in Early Childhood Studies program, visit