kiara gray

I’m constantly applying concepts I learned in the classroom.


Kindergarten teacher Kiara Gray may have finished her Master of Arts in Education*, Early Childhood Education specialization, but at least one of her Ashford University professors is still a go-to resource.

Dr. Tisha Shipley has been very helpful with her blog, even though I’ve been out of her class for a while,” says Kiara. “I still continue to read her blog because of what she does. She’s in my field and she blogs about different activities I can use in my classroom, and things she does in hers.”

Having taught for six years, Kiara worked with colleagues who were already Ashford students and alumni.

“A lot of my coworkers were coming here for their bachelor’s and they told me to look into the master’s program,” says Kiara. “I thought it would fit my lifestyle, with me running around a lot during the day for school, work, and my kids.”

Kiara also liked having a course structure that allowed her to know exactly what to expect.

“I knew from the first day of class what the expectations were for the next six weeks,” she says. “So if I wanted to do work prior to, I was able to do it. When I had down time, I was able to take advantage of it and get more work done.”

She says she is “constantly” applying concepts she learned in the classroom and plans to keep teaching kindergarten, albeit at a slightly higher pay rate.

“With the degree, my salary has gone up,” she says. “When you get your master’s in my school district, your tier goes up and that was instantaneous.”

For now, she’s recommending Ashford to friends and thinking about pursuing a doctorate.

“After a break,” she says, laughing.

Every Ashford University student and alum has a unique story; therefore, you may not experience the same results as the person in this testimonial.

* An online degree from Ashford University does not lead to immediate teacher licensure in any state. If you want to become a classroom teacher, contact your state's education authorities prior to enrolling at Ashford to determine what state-specific requirements you must complete before obtaining your teacher's license. Ashford graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a state-by-state basis that will include one or more of the following: student teaching or practicum experience, additional coursework, additional testing, or, if the state requires a specific type of degree to seek alternative certification, earning an additional degree. None of Ashford's online education programs are CAEP, TEAC or NCATE accredited, which is a requirement for certification in some states. Other factors, such as a student’s criminal history, may prevent an applicant from obtaining licensure or employment in this field of study. All prospective students are advised to visit the Education Resource Organizations Directory (EROD) and to contact the licensing body of the state where they are licensed or intend to obtain licensure to verify that these courses qualify for teacher certification, endorsement, and/or salary benefits in that state prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s policies and procedures relating to licensure as those policies are subject to change.

Let us help.

Fill out this form to talk with an advisor.

Are you currently a licensed RN?

This program requires you to be a current licensed registered nurse. Please check out other programs to reach your education goals such as the BA in Health and Wellness.