NJ Children’s Advocate Kelley Michalowski Advances Degree in Rowan’s Ed.D. Program

Kelley is pictured in her home.

Today we feature Rowan Global student Kelley Michalowski, part of Rowan’s Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) program, P-12 track. Read more about Kelley’s professional career in education and her personal dedication to lifelong learning. 

Kelley Michalowski will soon be a two-time graduate of Rowan’s College of Education earning her master’s degree and ultimately her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership. 

Kelley started work with the state’s Juvenile Justice Commission as a teacher, then rose to Supervisor of Education. When she first started her career, Kelley taught first-time offenders; her job was to transition them so they can rejoin society. 

You can now find Kelley serving as Director of the Department of Children and Families. In this role, she oversees the needs of those children living in poor circumstances and their educational needs all over New Jersey. She visits 18 schools ranging from Cape May County to Bergen County. 

Kelley is pictured outside her home.

When asked about how the Ed.D. program will help her in the future, Kelley replies: “It already has. The kids I serve are so underserved and had [few] resources when I got there. So even just the contacts I made and the different roads the districts are doing … we can get them back into districts easier because of the contacts I’ve made, with not only the other students but professors. It’s been fantastic for our schools.”

Kelley started her program with a research theory in mind. She also wants to focus on the impact that can be made on teachers. Her overall goal is to motivate educators who serve underserved students and keep them from getting “burned out.” To do this, she plans on creating a teacher mentorship program to pair teachers together to talk and collaborate.

A class that Kelley regarded as being beneficial to her was her diversity class. She feels as though this class informed her enough to educate others. She and her staff would later be inspired to form a racial equity committee based off of the information that Kelley got from her Rowan class.

Like many, Kelley and her family had to learn how to adjust to a work-at-home environment. In addition to work, Kelley served on two of the state’s COVID committees and continued to work on her program while also attending to her family needs, Kelley has been staying strong and pushing hard to complete her program and help others.

Kelley poses outside her home.

“I always promised my father I would continue,” Kelley mentioned as a part of her inspiration to complete this program. Her father always wanted her to do well in whatever she wanted to do and was excited to learn she would be earning her Ed.D.

Some advice Kelley would like to give to prospective doctoral students is to stay calm and do everything slowly so you won’t stress out. She also wants to let you know that Rowan has very caring professors who only want to watch you succeed.

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Story by:
Cam Hadley, senior public relations and advertising major

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