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Human services grad Carol Patnaude ’78
has taught children and adults
Feb. 27, 2012
Carol Patnaude ’78 has taught both children and adults in a varied human services career. She was the co-owner of a preschool and kindergarten for 23 years before becoming a full-time member of the CCRI faculty in human services, passing on what she has learned in her career to a new generation.
“I remember being really excited about early childhood education from the moment I started my career and I still am,” Patnaude said.
Early childhood is defined as birth through age 8.
Patnaude joined the CCRI faculty as an adjunct in 1990 while she was a co-owner of Friends’ House Pre-school and Kindergarten in Warwick.
“What I like about working with children is their joy, hands down,” she said. “I always wanted to be a teacher from the time I was very young.”
Born and raised in South Providence, Patnaude enrolled at Rhode Island Junior College in 1976 to pursue early childhood education. Three of her former professors are now her co-workers. She completed three field experiences at Rhode Island Junior College before going on to Rhode Island College to earn a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education in 1981 and a master’s degree in education in 1987.
One of these experiences was at a Providence preschool called Federal Hill House, where she met one of her mentors in the field, Eunice Stoskopf. Stoskopf’s departure from Federal Hill House in 1981 to teach at CCRI created the job opening that Patnaude needed to be hired at the preschool. Stoskopf’s eventual retirement from CCRI allowed Patnaude to join the faculty there.
After one year at Federal Hill House, Patnaude opened her preschool and kindergarten in 1982 with Cathy Costantino ’80, a fellow CCRI graduate.
As time went on, Patnaude became interested in adult education as well. She met regularly with the parents of her preschool and kindergarten students as a way of building partnerships with them, and decided that working with an adult population could also be rewarding.
After she was hired at CCRI as an adjunct faculty member, Patnaude divided her time between CCRI and the preschool until closing Friends’ House in 2005. She now teaches child development courses in health and nutrition, curriculum and parent-child relations, while also overseeing student field placements.
In all of her classes, Patnaude encourages her students to be “open to learning and respectful of young children as capable and competent learners.”
Patnaude’s students often become teaching assistants, family child care specialists, workers for the Head Start school readiness program or employees at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. Many go on to Rhode Island College or the University of Rhode Island to earn a bachelor’s degree and become teachers themselves.
Patnaude said she enjoyed working with children during her career and is happy to pass her experiences on to her students.
“I feel like I’ve been so fortunate to have two careers that I’ve enjoyed,” she said.
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