SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: Filkins gets second degree from Minot State

MINOT, N.D. - Rachel Filkins graduated with her second degree from Minot State with a Bachelor of Science in Education, majoring in early childhood and hoping to transition into a new career of elementary education.  

Filkins grew up in Minot ever since her family relocated from Montana in 1997. She received her first degree in 2009 from MSU with a management information system major and a business minor.  

Before coming back to MSU in 2020, she ran a home daycare center before becoming the director for ABC Childcare. Some of the summer employees came from MSU and recommended that Filkins earn an education degree.  

“A couple of my employees said that I should go back and get my degree because they really enjoyed it themselves, and they said I’d be great — that I am meant for it,” she said. “Also, with having four kids, things just kind of led down that path.”  

Filkins originally intended to go back for a few classes, but her adviser, Karen Foley, instructor in teacher education and kinesiology, convinced her otherwise.  

“I was just going to go back and get some classes for my job, but then my adviser encouraged me to finish getting my bachelor’s degree. I always enjoyed working with kids. I always taught swimming lessons, and I was the children’s director at church, and I always did a lot of the children’s events,” she said. “But becoming an elementary education teacher was just something that I never saw myself doing until I had people telling me that I can do it.”    

Since coming back to MSU, Filkins has felt at home and has been passionate about her work.  

“Being in the teacher education department felt more hands on. My first degree was mostly online classes, but I have built more personal relationships this time — all the clinicals, going to classrooms, and working with the kids,” she said. “The teachers are also phenomenal in this department. They encourage you to push your limits, and they give you a lot of encouragement. It’s more fulfilling this time; it is something I am passionate about.”  

As for future plans, Filkins plans to teach at the preschool to third grade level, hoping to have her own classroom within the city of Minot to stay near family. 

“I want to work at a public school, to use my degree and have my own classroom, hopefully in Minot. I am grateful for all the family support I received here,” she said. “I’ve been working full time with four children and taking seven classes each term. Without their support, this wouldn’t be possible.”

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 05/23/22   

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