A Different Kind of Educator
Clarice Contente, RWU Class of 2019
A degree in educational studies is quickly becoming recognized as a degree that opens doors to a wide variety of rewarding education-based careers outside of the classroom. It's why Clarice Contente – who hopes to start a career as a pediatric health care professional – chose it as her major. So far, her choice has put her on a path to becoming a different kind of educator.
Clarice, over the summer, had her career path affirmed through volunteer experience at the Franciscan Children’s Hospital in Brighton, MA. Twice a week, Clarice provided play therapy to infants and young children across two floors at the hospital. Clarice went from room to room, using fun and educational games to distract children from their medical procedure recovery. She would read them books and play games with them, often customizing the book or game to fit their needs. One patient, for example, had trouble looking to the left, so Clarice had him do activities that involved looking in that direction to help him on his recovery path.
The experience, as much as it affirmed her career choice, also helped solidify her major. As an educational studies major, she's been able to learn how young children develop. That made a big difference at the hospital.
"My classes are geared toward how kids learn and what's the best way to teach them," Clarice says. "You can apply that to other things," such as a hospital.
That applicability, Clarice says, is one of the most exciting things about RWU's educational studies program. Students can combine the education and developmental content they learn through required coursework with participation in community service, internships and research to find the best path for their careers.
For Clarice, her path is working in a hospital with children and their families. For other students, their path could be working in non-profits, corporations or schools. It all depends on the student and the kind of educator they want to be.