April 13, 2022

Choosing a major that fit her passion for teaching, Mercedez Silvis is preparing to graduate from Shawnee State University this month with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood – Special Education. Originally from Mt. Orab, Ohio, Silvis found her way to SSU through a recommendation from a friend.

photo of Mercedez Silvis

“I found my way to Shawnee through a really good friend in my hometown,” she said. “Her family is originally from around here and our senior year we explored a lot of different colleges together. When I came for a visit, I just knew Shawnee would be the best college for me – they make you feel like you belong here.”

Silvis hopes to leave a lasting impact on the students she teaches. Working as a teacher’s assistant in the SSU Children’s Learning Center on campus, she has been exposed to a classroom setting with toddlers.

“I started as a teacher’s assistant with the 3-5-year old classroom, but I moved to the infant/toddler classroom after that,” she said. “Working at the Children's Learning Center has changed my life in many ways. It definitely helped me grow as an educator.”

Following graduation this spring, Silvis plans to pursue the many opportunities the educational field has for her.

“I want to see what all the world has to offer me.,” said Silvis. “My main goal is to continue changing children's lives.”

Recalling her favorite memories on campus, Silvis is grateful for the many connections she made starting her freshman year.

“I met so many new people, experienced new things, and everyone interacted with everyone my freshman year,” she said. “There wasn’t a day that we weren’t doing something on campus. From movie nights, walks on the floodwall, bowling, and bonfires to meeting my roommates, I am grateful for it all.”

SSU’s School of Education offers undergraduate programs – in Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood – Special Education (Two Licenses), Middle Childhood Education, Adolescent to Young Adult Education, Intervention Specialist, Visual Arts (PreK-12) Education, Deaf Studies Minor, Deaf Studies K-12 Certificate, and Intervener Technical Certificate – and graduate educator programs – Master’s of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (M.Ed.), Master’s of Education in Intervention Specialist (M.Ed.), Intervention Specialist – Hearing Impaired Licensure Program, and Intervention Specialist – Visually Impaired Licensure Program. The School of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)/Council for Accreditation of Education Preparation.

To learn more about Shawnee State University’s School of Education and its programs, visit