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Shirley Allen is the new director of the St. Charles Children’s Learning Center at the College of Southern Maryland.

Allen brings 27 years of experience to the position and a passion for children and learning.

“Early childhood programs are fundamental in later success of children not only because it helps the child brain develop in a timely fashion, but also because it contributes to physical, emotional and social development,” Allen said.

Allen’s experience working with children in both public school systems and child development centers include the Department of Defense Child Development Centers and state-funded Head Start programs. She started her career in education as a speech and language pathologist and later began her work in early education. Her philosophy of education is “Children do not make mistakes, they just learn.”

Allen received a bachelor’s in speech and language pathology from Alabama A&M University, a master’s in early childhood education with a concentration in family studies from Towson University and a master’s in procurement and acquisition from Webster University.