For Marks grandmother and granddaughter, education is a family affair

Published 12:42 pm Saturday, June 14, 2014


IVOR—Both Pat and Victoria Marks initially wanted to continue their education in Early Childhood Development. The grandmother and granddaughter, who reside together in Ivor, made a conscious decision to take the same classes and save some money on books.

“That was the initial plan,” said Victoria, 22, a Navy veteran. “But I changed my major to education.”

Early childhood development was a good fit, as kids seemed to really like her.

“They gravitate to me for some reason,” she said.

But Victoria eventually wanted to teach. The early childhood development program doesn’t transfer to a four-year school. An occupational/technical program, it is designed for participants to gain employment after completion. Students who want to teach enroll in education.

In May 2015, she will receive her associate’s degrees in business administration and general education, and a certificate in general studies. She plans to continue her studies at a four-year institution and get a teaching certificate.

“I still plan to come back here to get my degree in early childhood development and certificates in Child Care I and II,” Victoria said. “I want to open a 24-hour daycare near a military base. It would help people in the service when they get that ‘emergency call’ that they have to leave.”

She also serves as a work-study student in the Admissions Office at the college and as a volunteer for the PDCCC Math Academy.

For Pat, school was something that was never completed, as she moved all over the world with her husband, who was also in the service.

“I had one year of college in Chicago in 1971,” she said. ECD was also a good fit for the 62-year-old.

“I always enjoyed working with children and teaching them to read,” she said.

Pat had worked as a child care worker in a Navy base chapel and presently works with the children at High Street United Methodist Church.

Pat graduated with honors in May with her associate’s degree in early childhood development and certificates in Child Care I and Child Care II.

“My goal was to get my degree,” she said. “And it is a great feeling of accomplishment.”

Although she hasn’t decided exactly what she wants to do, she knows she would enjoy serving as a substitute teacher or an assistant for a pre-school or kindergarten class.

Both Victoria and Pat are first-generation students and have been inducted into the Omega Zeta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at PDCCC. They have even shared a couple of classes together.

Victoria looks forward to her younger sister enrolling at PDCCC for the fall 2014 semester. “This will be the first time my sister and I have gone to school together since elementary school,” she said.