Natalie Danner, Ph.D.


Montessorian. Teacher Educator. Inclusion Advocate.

Early Childhood Non-Traditional Students in Teacher Education (2016-2019)


As a tenure-track Early Childhood Education faculty member at Western Oregon University (WOU), I served a largely non-traditional and underrepresented population of students.  My early childhood teacher education students were largely transfer students, first-gen, bilingual, student-parents, working adults, and experienced teachers.  Together with the Early Childhood faculty team at WOU, we served this population of students through a variety of supportive strategies including:
  • hybrid and online coursework that could be taken around their work day, including Saturday classes
  • intensive advising, especially front-end when evaluating and aligning transfer coursework
  • cohort models to support the teaming and social aspect of learning
  • video sharing of their classroom teaching, providing peer feedback through micro-teaching
  • Practicum Seminar using a peer-supported problem-solving process
  • Student teaching in one's own classroom
We also worked together to develop additional programs to support non-traditional students focused on early childhood, eventually leading to a variety of academic programs:
  • BS in Early Childhood Studies (non-licensure)
  • BAS in Early Childhood Studies (an upside down degree)
  • M.S.Ed. in Early Childhood Education¬†
  • Early Childhood Minor
  • Early Childhood Certificate (leading to license Specialization)
  • Infant and Toddler Certificate