Emily Halliday: Value of AA in Georgetown
Dover native Emily Halliday wasn’t planning to begin her University of Delaware career in Georgetown, but inadvertently she discovered the Associate in Arts in Elementary Teacher Education program while college hunting and decided it was the best fit for her. Emily graduated in May with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Teacher Education (BS.Ed.), using the AA-ETE program as a springboard to her four-year degree. She completed her first two years of college in Georgetown (AA-ETE) and then transitioned to the Newark campus to earn her degree (BS.Ed). AA-ETE’s two-step approach, with its small class sizes and close proximity to home, were key selling points for Emily. “The small class sizes made it possible for me to build relationships with my professors and gave me multiple people I could go to for advising aside from my advisor,” noted Emily. And being able to live at home for the first two years made the adjustment to college life more manageable. Emily reported that “it made the transition easier as I had the familiarity of being home and around family for support at the end of the day.” Emily’s mom and sister provided ongoing encouragement with academic challenges along the way, and when her grandmother became critically ill during her freshman year, her close proximity enabled Emily to be with her – even studying in her hospice room. “I spent a lot of time studying in her room because I knew if she found out that I slacked on school, she would come back and haunt me.” Sadly, Emily’s “mom-mom” passed away during spring semester finals of her freshman year. She managed to juggle the simultaneous grief and stress resulting from this challenging time thanks to the care and concern of her biological family as well as her AA-ETE family. “I will never forget the support I received from my professors and classmates,” said Emily. “They all wanted to see me succeed.” Although it was not her main reason for choosing the AA-ETE program, Emily was able to benefit from a SEED scholarship. “It was a nice perk, and it made it easier when I did eventually move up to the main campus,” said Emily. “I didn’t have to worry about running out of money by my senior year.” But for Emily the decision to complete the first two years of her BS.Ed in Georgetown was all about fit. Now a 2nd Grade Special Education Teacher at her desk in Welch Elementary School in the Caesar Rodney School District, Emily is confident that her UD education, bolstered by the uniquely valuable benefits she experienced from both the Georgetown and Newark campuses, will serve her well in the classroom and in life.