Early Childhood Education

Melanie Clason


My professors at USAO always went the extra mile to be certain that I was ready to graduate and to be able to apply myself in my dream profession.

Melanie Clason is a proud kindergarten teacher at Mustang Creek Elementary for Mustang Public Schools. She claims it is definitely her dream job.

“I love what I do in all aspects of educating young children,” said Melanie. “The smaller than average campus and class sizes at USAO allowed me to have a personal relationship with each of my professors. So now as an educator, I strive to have highly effective relationships with my students and their parents.”

Melanie says that getting through college was her greatest career accomplishment because she did not finish high school the traditional way: she had to gain her high school diploma through a mail correspondence program. And she did this all by herself.

“Walking across the stage to receive a college diploma was a huge milestone in my life. No one can take that away from me.”

Melanie first was interested in attending Oklahoma City Community College; however after touring the USAO campus twice, she decided USAO was the path she wanted to follow.

“I fell in love with the Early Childhood Education Center and meeting Dr. Donna Gower. I wanted to start that day!”

Melanie says the small campus and class size were very beneficial to her and is certain that if she had begun her educational journey earlier in life, she would have lived on campus and participated in student groups more.

“One thing I truly appreciated was that my professors were very thorough and were always available outside of class time for extra support.

“I was also extremely lucky that my professors and classes exposed me to the diversity of students, language barriers, customs and traditions,” said Melanie. “This is what has helped me in my current job. I am already experiencing these types of barriers and obstacles in my classroom.”

As a non-traditional first generation college student with marriage and children AND never attending high school, Melanie said USAO exposed her to so much.

“I knew I wanted to memorize this plethora of knowledge forever in my brain because there was so much to learn and take with me to my career.”