Education professor turns advising into advocating


Early Childhood Education Professor Kelly Hantak has been a full-time teacher at Lindenwood for almost three years. She said she values working with students.
Photo by Megan Courtney


Putting students in touch with mentors that can help them succeed is just one of the things that Kelly Hantak does.

“My goal for you is to go out and get your dream job,” Hantak said. “If you don’t advocate for yourself, who will?”

Hantak, an Early Childhood Education professor, advises both undergraduate and graduate students, but she said it’s more than just picking out classes; it’s about how their classes are going, how they’re doing, what’s working for them and what’s not working for them.

This is Hantak’s third year being a full-time faculty member at Lindenwood, but she was an adjunct faculty member of the Early Childhood Education program for three years.

Along with advising students and teaching classes at Lindenwood, Hantak also manages a small caseload of clients with Missouri First Steps, which is a program that provides services to families with children up to three years of age who have disabilities or developmental delays. The program is designed to meet the needs of families by enhancing their child’s development, learning and participation in family and community life, according to their website.

She goes on home visits and takes students who are in the masters Early Interventions and Sensory Impairments program with her to give them hands-on experience.

Hantak also teaches a variety of classes including Orientation to Educational Experiences, Language Acquisition and Development for Young Children, Introduction to Early Childhood/Special Education and Early Childhood Screening, and Diagnosing & Prescribing Instruction, all of which are currently offered this fall and during the spring semester.