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Degree allows childhood educator to pursue passion

Monday, 27 November 2006

New degree enables childhood educator to pursue passion

When Marina Jellyman of Manurewa left school she doubted her ability to go on to any form of tertiary education. Today she is on the path to achieving Manukau Institute of Technology’s new early childhood education degree.

This change in Marina’s outlook resulted in her discovering a passion that gave her the drive to succeed – children and their education.

“My heart was not in school. After school I worked in banking for many years, but my heart was not in that either. Children are my heart and that is why I went into education.”

Marina will complete a Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education) from MIT this year and will go on to the Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Teaching) degree MIT will offer from 2007.

Marina’s passion for early childhood education was fostered while working closely with her son, who has chondrodysplasia punctata, a rare skeletal development disorder, and she is now an assistant play specialist for children at Kidz First Hospital. “I experienced the role play specialists had in my son’s development and became passionate about learning what drives children and what can be done to support their development.”

This passion drove Marina to obtain her diploma, while balancing studying with two jobs and caring for her son, now 12, as a single mother.

“It was tough and required a lifestyle change, but was possible, especially with the phenomenal support I had from MIT, particularly as my son had three operations while I was studying.”

While her aim is initially to be an early childhood teacher, Marina’s goal after completing the degree is to train early childhood teachers. “I want to pass the passion I have for education on to others.”

Marina had always planned to follow her diploma with a degree and is pleased she can now complete all her studies at MIT. “I wanted to study at MIT and can now complete my studies there. MIT has a really good name and its qualifications stack up very well compared to other providers.”

MIT was granted an exemption from the current moratorium on developing new teacher education programmes by the Ministry of Education to develop the Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Teaching) degree, as the Ministry identified the need for a local provider of an early childhood education degree in the fast-growing Counties Manukau region.

MIT’s early childhood education degree programme will replace the current diploma programme and will also be a three-year, Level 7 qualification. More than 200 students are enrolled in MIT’s Early Childhood Education diploma and a transition pathway will be provided for those already enrolled by the time the new degree programme is introduced. This means students who started studying towards their diploma can complete their studies with a degree providing transition requirements are met.

MIT offers a wide range of study options for those who wish to become a teacher or develop their teaching skills at all levels from early childhood to tertiary and adult education. For more information on these programmes contact MIT on 0800 62 62 52 or visit


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