Texas Tech University

Early Child Care Alumna Credits the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance to Her Career Success

Katherine Wilson

May 20, 2021

Laura Baker

Laura Baker is reaching her goal of becoming a first grade teacher thanks to her Early Child Care GPIDEA degree

Alumna Laura Brubaker recently graduated from Texas Tech with a degree in Early Child Care, which she obtained through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA).

As a mother of two, Brubaker was in search of a program she could complete online and found the perfect program for her schedule with the help of a Texas Tech recruiter.

“GPIDEA was truly a blessing because it allowed me to continue my education as a mother of two,” Brubaker explained. “The teachers from every university were encouraging, especially from my home university.”

Unlike traditional college settings, GPIDEA allows students to apply and register at the home university of their choice while attending online classes taught by faculty at fellow universities involved in the program. While flexible, the structure of the GPIDEA format ensures student success.

“Each semester prepares you for the next semester as you gain knowledge and experience to ensure your success as you proceed in the program,” Brubaker said. “It is important to stay in touch with your advisor to keep you on track with your courses because you cannot jump around and choose what you want to take each semester.”

GPIDEA's Early Child Care degree allows students to gain knowledge by learning through practicum experiences. This facilitates student success as an educator by immersing students in their preferred classroom settings. For Brubaker, this meant moving one step closer to her goal of becoming an Early Childhood Educator.

“My goal was to become an elementary teacher, so I chose age groups that I felt would best prepare me for elementary school, Brubaker said.“Each practicum experience helped deepen my understanding of childhood development and curriculum.”

When choosing an online degree in education, Brubaker said it is essential to be aware of education requirements by region. Many degree plans do not include a teaching certificate, which can add another year to a student's degree program.

GPIDEA allowed Brubaker to have more knowledge about expectations inside the classroom thanks to her practicum experience.  

“If I did not complete the Early Child Care GPIDEA program before I started my alternative certification program, I would be lost in the classroom, “Brubaker explained. “The program gave me confidence as I have begun my journey as a first-grade teacher.”