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Home » Academics » Majors, Minors, Programs » Education Degrees and Programs » Bilingual Early Childhood Education Program

Bilingual Early Childhood Education Program

The bilingual program at Keystone College provides students who are bilingual the opportunity to obtain a college degree while practicing English without limiting course selection due to language constraints.

The majority of our bilingual students work full-time in the field of early childhood education and are seeking degrees in Early Childhood Education to aid them in professional development and to further their careers.

All of the students, having worked in early childhood centers, schools and organizations for a number of years, are eligible for state funding programs, often financing their entire degrees through them.

For more information on available programs, cost, and funding, please view the Early Childhood Education Degree Tuition and Funding page.



Keely Kettel
Institutional Advancement Program and Advancement Generalist

Bilingual students break barriers with help from state programs

Our Instructors

Meet the bilingual instructors who provide high-quality access to a degree in our students’ native language:

Ana Alvarez

Ana Alvarez

Adjunct Professor/Bilingual Outreach Program

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M.A., Education Leadership, Keystone College,
B.S., Early Childhood Education, Grand Canyon University

Ana Alvarez received her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Gran Canyon University. She continued her education at Keystone and achieved a master’s degree in Education Leadership. She is currently the director at Norris Square Willard preschool in Philadelphia, PA. She also serves as a CDA specialist for CDA council, mentoring teachers who wish to start a career in early education.

Ana Collazo

Ana R. Collazo

Adjunct Professor/Bilingual Outreach Program

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M.S., Early Childhood Education Leadership, Keystone College
B.A., English Literature, University of Puerto Rico

With an undeniable passion for learning and teaching, Ana realized a dream of working with adult students in the bilingual program at Keystone in March 2020. She has spent 20 years in early childhood education.


As a bilingual educator, Ana has the privilege of teaching in her native language and sharing her culture. “Most of the students I train are already working in classrooms and nurturing our children. It is an honor to enhance their knowledge and encourage them as they pursue their degrees, enriching their lives as both professionals and individuals.”


“My greatest satisfaction stems from the hope that one day my students will achieve goals that they have set, and I will have been a part of those accomplishments.”

Joyce Avila

Sra. Joyce Marie Ramos Gómez De Avila

Adjunct Professor/Traditional and Bilingual Outreach Program

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*M.S., Bilingual – Bicultural Education, Immaculata University
*B.S., Mathematics, Boricua College
*A.A., Liberal Arts, Boricua College
* Certified in ESL (English as a Second Language), Secondary and High School Mathematics, Certified Diversity Facilitator, Leadership Facilitator and PQAS Instructor.

Joyce M. Avila is a Puerto Rican who came to Brooklyn in 1978 and now resides in Tobyhanna, PA. After a career in banking, she switched paths and has educated children in Puerto Rico, the Brooklyn NYC Public Schools, Bethlehem Area School District and Pocono Mountain School District. While at Pocono Mountain, she created and implemented the ESL program. Joyce has worked across the nation as a Minority Leadership Trainer for the National Education Association. Joyce has served as Keystone’s Diversity Director and also led the Study Aboard Puerto Rico program.


In 2006, Joyce was named “Role Model for Young Women” by the Pennsylvania Commission on Women. She was featured in “Voices, African American and Latina Women in Pennsylvania Share Their Stories of Success.”

She is President/CEO of CAFÉ – Creating and Facilitating Equality. Also, she directs Camp Connect, a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) program for high school students.

As a Puerto Rican American, Joyce has personally endured bigotry and saw it spread into her community. She believes the key to a more culturally competent society begins with self-awareness. “People must become more self-aware of their myths, misconceptions and prejudices. They must be honest, curious and sensitive to people of different cultural and racial backgrounds before they can make a true human connection.”


“When your students become the teachers, you have done your best work.”

Milagros De Jesus

Milagros DeJesùs

Adjunct Professor/Bilingual Outreach Program

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* M.Ed., Elementary-K-6, Holy Family University
* B.A., Psychology, Chestnut Hill College
* Principal’s Certification, Holy Family University
* Superintendent’s Certification, Arcadia University

Milagros has been teaching at Keystone since 2016 and spent 21 years in the School District of Philadelphia, serving as bilingual grade teacher, teacher coach, assistant principal and principal. “I enjoyed working in Philadelphia city schools because I was able to interact with a diverse group of students and families. I appreciated being able to teach the dual-language programs. As a teacher, my students taught me to love teaching. As an administrator, they showed me the importance of valuing their ideas.”


The bilingual initiative at Keystone lets Milagros leverage her work and educational experience to reach diverse students at the college level, which she finds rewarding in many ways. Students can complete their coursework in either English or Spanish: “They are fortunate to have Keystone College because not many institutions are providing bilingual instruction.”

Consuelo Ramos Deyesso Pic 2021

Dr. Consuelo Ramos-DeYesso

Adjunct Professor/ Bi-Lingual Masters Leadership Program

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*B.S., Social Sciences, State University of New York, Stony Brook
*M.S., Special Education and Teaching, Grand Canyon University AZ
*Ed.D. Educational Leadership, Grand Canyon University AZ
Certified in Special Education and Spanish

Consuelo came to Keystone in 2015 and served as an adjunct professor at Misericordia University, Dallas, PA, and special education teacher in the Pocono Mountain School District, Mt. Pocono, PA. A native New Yorker, she is also a senior consultant and project coordinator at Gritter-Francona, a cyber-security firm that began in 2013 as part of the Walter Reed Wounded Warrior program.

Consuelo teaches more than a dozen courses at Keystone and especially enjoys her role in mentoring English Language learners. She believes in cultivating vibrant relationships and making students as comfortable as possible to help them achieve their academic goals.


“When you think of quitting, remember why you started” —
John Di Lemme

Elyce Garceau

Elyce Garceau, Ed.S.

Adjunct Professor/Bilingual Outreach Program

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*Ed.S., Mental Health Counseling, Seton Hall University
*M.A., School Counseling, Seton Hall University
*M.A., Administration and Leadership, SUNY Plattsburgh
* B.S., Elementary Education, Special Education, SUNY Plattsburgh
* Certified in Elementary Education, Special Education, School Counseling, Mental Health Counseling, Applied Behavioral Analysis Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy.

Originally from New York, Elyce resides in Jacksonville, Florida. Beginning her career as a special education teacher for the New York City Department of Education, she is in her eighth year as a school counselor for the Duval County Public School District.


Elyce is dyslexic. She was told more than once that she would never graduate high school, but that bold assertion only strengthened her resolve to succeed. She credits her parents and a highly supportive network of family and friends for helping her achieve her goals. Elyce is passionate about impacting the lives of homeless children. Working with Project Prepare, she is most satisfied when assisting young adults in overcoming PTSD, preparing them for independent living and contributing to their ultimate success. Elyce stresses the importance of educating the whole child with compassion and understanding. She encourages her students to be more adventurous, creative and open-minded to new ideas. Given the tools and strategies available today, there are never any limits, “only the ones we put on ourselves.”


“You never know where this journey is going to take you.”

Marlene Hargrove

Marlene Hargrove, M.Ed.

Adjunct Professor/Keystone Bilingual Outreach Program

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*A.S., Education, Northampton County Community College
* B.S., Organizational Leadership, Eastern University
* M.S., Early Childhood Education and Teaching, Arcadia University

Marlene works in special education at the School District of Philadelphia. She began teaching in 2000 and has served as a director at the Northeast Behavioral Center for Community Health, an education coordinator with the Norris Square Community Alliance, and a teacher at the Saints Tabernacle Christian Day School.

Marlene joined Keystone College as an adjunct professor in 2016.


She cites “great female educators” for shaping her career path.

In her youth, Marlene engaged in role play as a teacher, enlisting family members to serve as students. “Mrs. Williams, a beautiful, classy science teacher who came to school in high heels, was a major influence. She told me ‘if you’re going to do something, make sure you do it right.’ That stuck with me.” Today, Marlene is thrilled when former students share how she positively impacted their lives. “I also love the fact that I may be the only person that a child will look to for guidance because others don’t feel obligated to take extra time with them.”

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
— Mahatma Gandhi

Tenika Kianes Brooks

Tenika Kianes-Brooks, M.Ed.

Adjunct Professor/Bilingual Outreach Program

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M.S., Professional and Secondary Education, East Stroudsburg University
B.S., Communications, Fredonia State University

Tenika teaches history, speech communications and methods classes at Keystone and has nearly 20 years of experience in education. Her greatest joy comes from watching her students grow in confidence as they master the art of public speaking. “I explain to them that if they are well prepared and speak with conviction, they can captivate an audience. I remind them that they are educators, and their purpose is to impart knowledge, whether addressing a group of children or adults.”


Tenika likes to engage her students in deep discussions and healthy debates about history. In 2001, the attack on the World Trade Center marked a personal turning point: “I decided to re-evaluate my purpose in life and wanted to do something that would make me happier and more fulfilled.”
Keystone provided just the right opportunity and environment.


Education is not learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.”
-Albert Einstein

Desiree LaFontaine

Desiree LaFontaine

Adjunct Professor/Bilingual Outreach Program

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* B.S., Science, Letters & Society (Elementary Education), CUNY College of Staten Island
* M.S., Literacy, Touro College
* M.S., School Leadership, Touro College
* Certified in Elementary Education, Literacy, School Building
Administration and School District Administration

Desiree is Puerto Rican, born in Brooklyn, and a resident of
Staten Island. She began her career in 2004 with the
New York City Department of Education as an instructional literacy coach and data specialist. For the last eight years, she has served as assistant
principal at Public School 195X in the South Bronx.


Desiree’s philosophy focuses on supporting the
growth of the whole child, meeting their needs on social,
emotional, and academic levels. She thrives on getting to know each student on an individual basis. Desiree knew at a young age that she wanted to be a teacher, recalling the days of ‘playing school’ with her cousins. She also wanted to emulate many in her family who enjoyed success as teachers and professors.
As a lifelong New Yorker, she learned how to be resilient in any situation: “I love the rich culture and diversity that abounds in the city that never sleeps.”


“Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.”
— Malcolm Forbes

Carol Fontana

Carol Fontana Lameo

Professor Emeritus of Education, Keystone College Adjunct Professor/Bilingual Outreach Program

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After more than 30 years of full-time teaching, Carol earned the prestigious title of Professor Emeritus at Keystone College.

But it’s like she never left.

Carol continues to offer her cumulative wisdom through online instruction and Keystone’s bi-lingual outreach initiative. She specializes in caring for typically and atypically developing children and engages in related training programs throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania.


“My tenure at Keystone College has been most rewarding. I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing colleagues and traditional and non-traditional students. I am so pleased when I see that any of the students I have had the pleasure of teaching in the Child Development Associate Credential Programs (CDA) continue their education towards A.A. or B.S. degrees or become center directors or school board members.”


“I like to think a small part of their success began in one of my classes.
When working with child care staff, I often tell them: ‘You know this stuff, you know what to do.’ I am just putting the big words with their experiences.”

Caroline Millen

Dr. Caroline D. Millen

Apprenticeship Coordinator
Adjunct faculty member
Office of Institutional Advancement and Strategic Initiatives

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*Ph.D., Human Development (Organizational Leadership), Marywood University
*M.S., Educational Studies, Binghamton University
*M.A.T., English Adolescence Education, Binghamton University
*B.A., English, Binghamton University
*A.A., Liberal Arts, SUNY Broome, Binghamton.
*Pennsylvania certifications: Instructional I: English, Grades 7-12; Instructional I: Special Education, Grades 7-12; New York: Students with Disabilities, Generalist, Grades 7-12.
Dr. Millen brought a decade of experience working in higher education administration — including student affairs, academic affairs, and business affairs — to Keystone College. She also teaches child development and literature courses at Keystone and has taught leadership, literacy, public administration, sales, and statistics courses at other institutions.


As apprenticeship coordinator at Keystone, Dr. Millen sees a growing number of students take advantage of flexible benefits. Working students can continue earning a paycheck while advancing their skills with on-the-job training. They receive personal support and professional mentoring, earn college credits and attain nationally-recognized credentials.


“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.” – Ignacio Estrada

Lisette Rivera Photo

Lissette Rivera

Adjunct Professor

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Born and raised in El Salvador, Lissette has spent the last 20 years in education and social services, 7 at Keystone instructing the CDA (Child Development Associate) program. She serves as an ECE (Early Childhood Education) adjunct faculty member. Lissette has worked as an independent consultant, early childhood specialist and multicultural coordinator.


Lissette assists a growing number of adults in the bilingual community seeking the CDA designation at Keystone. “I encourage my students to continue pursuing their dreams of becoming teachers in their communities, and have seen many of them further their goals by obtaining master’s degrees.” She enjoys watching her students develop a true passion as they interact with children and families in their neighborhoods.

“My key to success is working with my students by earning their trust and friendship. But, the most important element is to listen to their dreams and guide them down the path to success. I’m here to provide assistance if they need it.”


Luann Scardino

Adjunct Professor
Early Childhood Education, Childhood Development Associate Specialist

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A.A., Early Childhood Education, Keystone College
B.S., Business Administration, Keystone College

A self-employed business owner for more than 30 years, Luann is a proud
alumna who joyfully shares her expertise in the areas of early learning and child development. She also maintains a private coaching practice, delivering essential tools to build confidence in teachers and parents. Luann most enjoys helping other practitioners master their skills, knowing it will benefit the greater good of children.


At 20, Luann was in her second year at Keystone when her father suddenly passed away. It marked a difficult time for the family, so she returned home and eventually got a job as a teacher’s aide for an early intervention program: “That’s when I discovered my true purpose in life.”

Luann went on to earn her degrees at Keystone, opened her own early learning center, and became an advocate for early childhood education. “I believe you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it while keeping your goals within reach.”

Amie Talarico

Amie Talarico

Adjunct Professor

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M.S., Special Education, Marywood University
B.S., Elementary Education, University of Scranton
PA Certifications: Supervisory certificates in Principal K-12 and Special Education Supervisor PK-12; Instructional II certificates in Reading Specialist, Special Education N-12 and Elementary K-6.

Amie has been an instructor of the CDA (Child Development Associate) program at Keystone since 2013, serving Lycoming, Bucks and Luzerne counties. Amie is the Director of Special Education for the Lackawanna Trail School District, where she oversees 14 teachers and 22 para-educators. She also serves as a liaison for Children Experiencing Homelessness and Children in Foster Care.


Keystone’s pre-apprenticeship initiative allows Amie’s students at Lackawanna Trail to earn their CDA while working at the Keystone Children’s Center. “As pre-apprentices, they can immerse themselves in the everyday realities of working with children. Ideally, the program will give them a better idea of what lies ahead if they pursue a career in child care.”