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Students' Testimonials

What our students like about the program

Martha was enrolled in English classes when she found out that Cabrillo offered Early Childhood Education classes. Although Martha was balancing a full family life and school, it took her no time to decide to enrich her natural love of children with a formal education. For four years she has been applying elements of the Cabrillo early childhood education philosophy at the Santa Cruz Toddler Center. Martha continues to learn about children and their needs.

"At Cabrillo I learned to see this profession in a different way. Before, I thought child rearing was just to take care of children and keep them busy. I know now that children are individuals and need to be respected by everybody. I really appreciate how the people (in the ECE department at Cabrillo) think about children. Taking classes at Cabrillo taught me how to have communication with children and helped me to understand my own children better."

Marth Fregoso

Martha Fregoso - Head Teacher at the Santa Cruz Toddler Care Center

With his natural love of children, a career in childhood education came naturally for Ethan. When working with children what he enjoys the most is "seeing them make connections and new relations." The program at Cabrillo added new values to his view on child upbringing by making him appreciative of diversity.

"I learned at Cabrillo to have an anti-bias and non-judgmental view of children and accept them as they go. I also learned to be most caring in the classroom."

For Ethan, the instructors' knowledge was instrumental in helping him grasp concepts. "You get the most out of any program around," he added.

Ethan is currently interviewing for a position as a preschool teacher.

Ethan Downey

Ethan Downey - current student

Rebeca came into early childhood education out of her desire to know her children better and help them develop better. One of the reasons she decided to attend Cabrillo is that they teach ECE classes in her native language, Spanish. This meant she could progress in toward her career goal while working to improve her English at the same time.  At Cabrillo, she found a learning environment that helped her change her view of child rearing. Rebeca has been looking up to her instructors and advanced students who own their own childcare businesses and would like to step into their shoes in the future. She said one of the most valuable tools available to ECE students are the teachers themselves.

"(At Cabrillo) I learned to understand why children behave in certain ways. That helped my in my job and with my children. Before I used to stop them from doing something. Now I observe them and I know certain ways to redirect them. Teachers are a great resource and provide us with ideas. When I see how they teach, it makes me really want to be a teacher."


Rebeca Alcántar - Teacher's Assistant for children with special needs at Duncan Holbert School, Pajaro School District

Sherrila Levin
Transferred to pursue BA degree at SJSU

Sherrila's desire to study early childhood education was prompted by her two-year position as the main caregiver for a niece who has special needs. At Cabrillo, Sherrila found a unique learning environment that offers a practical approach by encouraging students to serve as interns at the department’s Children's Center.

"The deep appreciation for diversity and a deep love for children is quite amazing at Cabrillo. The ECE department has a fantastic reputation for their philosophy and for their incredible demonstration lab. This is a lab school, a place where you have children to observe and have a chance to meet parents. People learn by doing. Through the project approach, instructors at Cabrillo let people learn and unfold. This is something that doesn't happen anywhere else. "

Sherrila also appreciates one of Cabrillo's most important principles, never shame a child, and has always been thrilled by the lower campus vibe. "There's something in the culture of lower campus that feels really homey.”

Sherrila is studying to become a Master Teacher in a childhood setting. She added that her ideal workplace would be Cabrillo College.

Carl hadn't been happy in his previous line of work and was taking classes at Cabrillo when someone in the family suggested early childhood education. After taking several ECE classes, he was hooked. Now, Carl is working on completing the requirements for the Master Teacher Permit to teach preschoolers and nurtures big plans for the future: a Ph.D. in early childhood education.

"The support from ECE teachers is amazing. They always find time for you. All resources are so available. For example, I was thinking of becoming a lead preschool teacher but didn't want to be involved in any administrative tasks."

"My teacher suggested a Master Teacher Permit. She gathered all the documents for me, told me what to do and now I have a clear idea of what to do to become a master teacher. This took all the stress out of the decision."


Carl Wesenfeld
Part-time Nanny

Griselda Pineda

Griselda Pineda Preschool Teacher at Village Preschool.

Griselda had been working with children since she came to California but had no formal training in childhood education. She had considered herself a resourceful mother of three and childcare giver but when she witnessed childhood education instructors at Cabrillo addressing parents she felt she wanted to be in their shoes.

"I love the program (at Cabrillo). It opened more doors and job opportunities. I am so happy because I really understand how every child is different and I can be more respectful to children and their families. At Cabrillo, I learned to respect individuals and not judge.

Grisela particularly appreciated the courses offered in Spanish and bilingualy.
I could keep up with English and at the same time understand 100 percent what the class was about … (At Cabrillo) I learned to really get to know myself. Once I get to trust myself, I can really help children express their feelings … No matter what you do at Cabrillo you're always learning … a great opportunity to grow."

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