Students gain experience at Piper Center for Family Studies and Child Development

By Kennedy Dendy | Broadcast Reporter

The Piper Center for Family Studies and Child Development has been around since 1995 and continues to uphold its goal of connecting students at Baylor to the classroom experiences that the center offers.

According to the Piper Center’s website, its mission is “to be a laboratory school that provides model programs for infants, toddlers, and preschool children. We also provide leadership to students consistent with the teaching, research/creative endeavors, and service missions of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences and Baylor University.”

Frances Hickman, interim director for the center, said more than 300 students from various disciplines are involved at Piper each semester. Students studying Child and Family Studies hold the majority out of those that come through the center, but other areas of discipline include educational psychology, social work and nutrition.

“We are a lab school for Baylor University,” Hickman said. “Students from the university come over and do lab in our classrooms or our observations booths, so they are able to see best practices with young children.”

Fort Worth sophomore Mariah Godspeed is a Child and Family Studies major and said she interacts with the children at the Piper Center for four hours out of her week.

“I just think that it’s a really good opportunity to be able to work with the children and have them get to know you,” Godspeed said. “The system at Piper is so great, and they have this conscious discipline system that lets the children learn how to problem-solve basically on their own.”

San Antonio sophomore Sydnee Acosta is a ocial work major with double minor in Child and Family Studies and criminal justice.

“I love it a lot,” Acosta said. “I have a lot of childcare experience, and Piper has definitely been very different than what I have done before. It’s really cool to watch a kid grow from the beginning of the year to now.”

Meghan Becker is the senior case manager for Student Life and her daughters were both enrolled at the Piper Center between 2004 to 2012.

“One of the parts about Piper that I loved was having Baylor students there with them in the classrooms,” Becker said. “I feel like this is such a great additional part of the Piper experience. Not only are the Baylor students learning from the children, but the children can benefit from the fresh and news perspective the Baylor students have because of what they are learning in the classroom on campus.”

More information about the Piper Center can be found at its website.