Missouri State University
Michaella McBride

Michaella McBride

Classes close to home provide educational opportunities for new mom

For Michaella McBride, it's the personal touch that sets Missouri State apart.

When life revolves around a baby's schedule, college classes have to flexible.

For baby Jase's mom, Michaella, that means taking classes online and studying close to home. As a born and raised native of Lebanon, Missouri, that makes MSU-Lebanon the perfect choice for her.

"I chose MSU because as a wife and new mother, I didn't feel comfortable leaving my newborn in another town while I was at school...MSU's satellite campuses and online classes are perfect for nontraditional students, such as mothers."

People who understand make the difference

Everyone knows everyone in a small town. For nontraditional off-campus students, those personal connections are especially important.

For Michaella, the personal connections have made all the difference.

"Being a mom with a newborn was very tough, but MSU has been incredible. Carol Bauer is my adviser, and she had my mom in school. She encouraged me to bring my son to my first appointment, because he was only two or three months old and I didn't want to leave him with anyone. I was awarded a big scholarship five days before I had Jase, and happened to see my donor at that same appointment with Carol, and he got to meet my son, which was special."

"My online classes have been a lifesaver as a wife and mother. My instructors have done really well with consistent days to turn in assignments, so I have been able to fall into a routine."

Michaella is pursuing her bachelor's in elementary education.

She is also in the early childhood and family development accelerated master's program. Her certification will cover kindergarten through sixth grade. 

However, she's most interested in being an early childhood educator. She got the opportunity to work as a paraprofessional in the school district. The opportunity helped her decide early childhood education was the path for her.

"It was an incredible feeling to wake up excited to go to work, and it's something I want for the rest of my (working) life."

Now she's on the path to become an educator. She takes a blended course load of online and seated classes. Online classes provide the needed flexibility for balancing school and parenthood.

Classrooms experiences online and in the classroom

"I am a hands-on, in-person kind of student, but so far I'm having a wonderful experience with online (classes) at MSU!"

She has great things to say about her seated classes, too. Again, the personal connection of her instructor stands out.

One of her instructors was her junior high math teacher. Learning how to teach from her former teacher is a special experience.

Michaella can think back about her time as a student, and listen to the teacher's perspective, as well. It is a good lesson in life-long learning. Her instructor models the importance of consistently developing methods for teaching.

"The most interesting thing is my math teacher has changed the way she taught. She used to do a lot of 'follow this specific process', but now she pushes kids to think independently, and uses multiple methods, as long as they work. She tells us that she's become a much better teacher, and I can see the difference in the way she teaches now verses the way she did when I was in 8th grade, even though she was wonderful then, too!" 

Michael looks forward to her own classroom, and incorporating what she's learned into her personal teaching style.