Cannon-Clary College of Education

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    Meet Kelbie Osburn

Kelbie Osburn is a senior middle level education major specializing in language arts and social studies. Kelbie began her education journey with one semester at Ecclesia College, later transferring to Crowder College for three semesters. After transferring to NorthWest Arkansas Community College (NWACC), Kelbie said she felt lost and was not sure what direction she wanted to go. She took a two-year break from school, then returned to NWACC, still unsure where she would go next. Kelbie said her mom received her master’s degree from Harding and encouraged Kelbie to look into the education program.

Kelbie researched the program and decided to meet with Dr. Meredith Young, director of Harding University Northwest Arkansas. When she met with advisors at other schools, Kelbie said she felt discouraged, like she would never finish her degree, but her meeting with Young changed her perspective.

“When I walked out of the office with Meredith, I felt so inspired,” Kelbie said. “I felt like, ‘Okay, it’s possible. I can do it. It’s not unattainable. ... I want to finish at NWACC, and I want to get going.’ I just was so excited to start.”

This excitement and drive led to Kelbie joining the degree completion program at Harding in Northwest Arkansas. Kelbie became pregnant in April and began classes at Harding in August. She said she worried how her pregnancy would affect her school work, but she said the unique schedule of the program worked well for her as she also worked a full-time job before her son was born.

Kelbie said the program schedule still works well for her now that her son is born. She is able to take care of him during the day, then her mom watches him in the afternoon until Kelbie’s husband comes home.

“It’s a team effort, but it’s honestly so perfect,” Kelbie said. “I can’t imagine if I had to go to class during the day. I don’t know how I would do it.”

The program is more than just practical. Even in stressful situations, Kelbie said she is appreciative that her classmates are very encouraging and supportive of one another.

“I have two friends in my class who can’t pass their Praxis right now, so we’re in a group message,” Kelbie said. “We are praying for them, like praying for them to pass because that is so important and so stressful.”

Kelbie said the teachers in the program provide a unique and more personal education than the experiences she had at other schools. She said she values the professors’ willingness to check in on and be attentive to the needs of individual students.

“I’ve never had teachers who are just so involved and actually reach out to me,” Kelbie said.

As Kelbie looks forward to her final semesters and student teaching next fall, she said the personal classroom examples given by her professors make her feel prepared for her time in a classroom.

“They give you real world scenarios, like things they’ve gone through, what they’ve seen in the classroom and that sort of thing,” Kelbie said. “I think they do a really good job of preparing us for our future.”