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January 27, 2021

Kelsie Callihan was passionate about finding a career that she will not only love, but also make a difference. The West Portsmouth native found herself at Shawnee State University pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Special Education.

Kelsie Callihan smiling

“There are a ton of reasons why I chose this major, but one of the main reasons was I feel that so many people are becoming teachers for the wrong reasons,” she said. “I believe being a good teacher means having the best interest at heart for the world’s youth. I want to help people become the best version of themselves.” 

Callihan initially was pursuing a nursing degree, but realized she truly loved teaching.

Dr. Kimberly Cassidy, Director, Masters Programs/Coordinator, ECE, and Dr. Charles Kemp, program coordinator, Intervention Specialist Licensure Program, are professors who inspired Callihan throughout her journey at SSU. 

After graduating with her bachelor’s degree, Callihan plans to pursue a master’s degree and possibly adventuring somewhere outside of her hometown after.

“I intend to pursue my master’s in speech and language pathology, or to obtain my administrative license” she said. 

Every degree comes with some type of requirements, needed skill sets, and/ or certifications. In Callihan’s case she will need to obtain her license and certification along with her bachelor’s degree to become an educator. 

“A bachelor’s degree is required and a license and certification,” she explained. “In order to achieve this, you’ll need at least four years of college studies and the ability to pass a state assessment(s), which Ohio has two,” she said. “But most importantly, you’ll need to learn to be an advocate and role model for children.” 

To learn more about SSU’s School of Education, visit