Olah already had a career when she started taking courses at IVC in fall 2019.
She signed up for classes because it had been years since she earned her
bachelor’s degree, and she was a bit rusty when it came to school. She wanted
to be ready when she started the master’s degree program at San Jose State
University the following year.
turns out, IVC did more than oil off the rust for Olah. It gave her knowledge
she could use immediately in her work and put her on the path to another degree
she hadn’t been planning on.
is in her second career, as a library assistant for Orange County Public
Libraries, where she has worked for eight years. Her professional journey began
at AMC Theatres, where she worked for 16 years after earning a bachelor’s
degree in Business Administration.
left her job with the theater to run an online music hardware and software
business with her husband. After their son was born, Olah took time off to be
home with him. When he was about 7 years old, during one of their regular trips
to the library, Olah spotted a sign at the checkout counter: The library needed
thought that would be kind of fun to work at the library,” she recalled.
applied for and landed the position, which required her to fill in when people
were out sick or on vacation. A couple of years later, Olah moved into a
full-time position as a library assistant, and then began to consider the next
step: becoming a librarian, which requires a master’s degree in library and
fall 2019, after doing her research, Olah decided to move ahead and applied to
San Jose State’s Master of Library Science and Information program. That’s when
she decided to register for classes at IVC, to get back into the habit of
studying and also to learn more about topics of interest. She signed up for
courses in human development and library.
work in Children’s Services, so we do a lot of story times and programs for
children,” Olah said. “I’ve just been really interested in learning about early
childhood development and education. It will help me in my job at the library.”
enjoyed the initial classes and decided to take more human development courses
at IVC during the spring and summer before her fall 2020 start at San Jose
original intention was just to take classes at IVC and once I got into San Jose
State, I was going to stop taking the classes at IVC,” Olah said.
the information Olah was learning was helpful, so she signed up for more human
development courses, even after she started her master’s courses at the
university. She has completed half of the courses she needs to earn an
associate degree in Human Development.
semester, she is taking 10 hours between both colleges, while juggling work and
homeschooling her now 16-year-old son. Donna King, chair of IVC’s Human
Development Department, describes Olah as “an
exemplary and contributing member of her classes.”
“I have experienced her as one that takes new
ideas and integrates them into her life and her work,” King said. “Specifically,
I have seen her take on a deep inquiry into the work of renowned children's
author/illustrator Eric Carle and bring that to her work in the library. I
am always excited to see Theresa take what she has learned and build upon it in
explained the knowledge she has gained from her human development classes at
IVC have given her more intentionality in how she presents programs and story
times to children. For example, she became more aware of the importance of
using repetition in programming for young children.
experience at IVC has shown her the value a community college education
provides. Olah recalled that when she attended high school, there was always a
lot of push toward getting students into a four-year university.
college was seen as for those kids who weren’t ready for four-year university,
so I was very impressed when I started IVC,” Olah said. “The teachers are excellent.
I really appreciate the smaller class sizes that you wouldn’t get at a
big plus was the fact that two professors whose classes she has taken earned
their own master’s degrees in library science from San Jose State University,
giving her valuable resources to tap into to learn more about the program before
she started it.
learn more about IVC’s courses in language and literacy, creative development in young children, developmental
psychology, principles and practices in early education and others, visit IVC’s Human Development