Sometimes brochures work.

Stacey Carolina had never heard of Johnson University until she received a brochure in the mail. She had planned to attend community college near her home in North Carolina, but she felt the opportunity at Johnson was “God-ordained” and began her undergraduate studies in education in 1995.

“Our cohort was like a small group,” she says. “We were close and worked well together, and the faculty cared about us and were very involved in our learning. Dr. Templar was hard on us, but it made us more successful. She did not play games, she told us what we needed to do, and she made us work hard. Today I’m so grateful!”

She graduated in 2000 with both her undergraduate degree and her master’s degree in holistic education and returned to her home state to begin teaching. “The master’s degree was a great decision!” she says. “North Carolina ended pay increases for teachers who earned master’s degrees after 2013; I’m grateful I was able to earn mine as part of my time at Johnson.”

Stacey did her student teaching in kindergarten, the grade she had always wanted to teach, and began her career in a kindergarten classroom. However, shortly after beginning the school year, Stacey was moved to fifth grade and has spent most of her career in fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms. Today, she teaches fifth-grade language arts at Union Hill Elementary School in High Point, North Carolina.

“One thing I love about Johnson’s program is it prepared us to go into any setting,” she says. “We did field experiences and internships in urban Title I schools, which is the type of school I work in today. These can be challenging for new teachers, but we were ready. At the same time, we also did fieldwork in more resourced school districts. We had opportunities to experience a variety of classrooms, reflect on our learning, and apply it right away.”