M.Ed. in Special Education
"When COVID initially hit the U.S., we shut down our schools and provided instruction virtually. This experience has allowed me to gain knowledge in utilizing online resources for teaching. I previously hadn’t incorporated much technology until the pandemic occurred and I had to adjust to the world of virtual teaching.”
Twenty-five students studying online at the University of Arkansas received the W.E. Manning Memorial Scholarship for the 2021-2022 academic year. Below is an interview in question-and-answer format with one of the winners of the scholarship that describes the daily life of a student studying online, as well as providing information on how to be successful. This interview is one of a series focusing on knowledge you can use to advance your education and your career, too.
Q: Please give us some background information: where you live, your occupation and primary job duties, family.
A: I live in Beebe, Arkansas. I teach 11th grade English at Beebe High School.
Q: How do you feel about receiving the W.E. Manning Memorial Scholarship Award? How will receiving it help you achieve your educational and professional goals?
A: I am so very grateful to have received the W.E. Manning Memorial Scholarship Award. It was an honor to receive this scholarship. The scholarship helped me pay for the cost of my books, as well as some classroom supplies for my students.
Q: What is your degree and when will it be awarded?
A: I will graduate in May with a Master of Education in Special Education.
Q: What are your plans after you receive your degree?
A: I plan to continue working with my high school students to prepare them for their futures.
Q: Where do you foresee your career going in the future?
A: I plan to remain in teaching and continue to work in the classroom with students.
Q: What inspired you to pursue an undergraduate degree?
A: I wanted to obtain a graduate degree in special education to further help my students succeed in their learning experience.
Q: How long have you had your teaching licensure and what states are you licensed to teach in? Do you have any specialty areas; examples would be foreign language, science or special needs?
A: I’ve had my Arkansas teaching license since 2016 in mid-level math and science.
Q: The pandemic has disrupted lives and livelihoods worldwide. How has COVID affected your education and your career? What steps have you taken, if any, to help your students through the pandemic?
A: When COVID initially hit the U.S., we shut down our schools and provided instruction virtually. This experience has allowed me to gain knowledge in utilizing online resources for teaching. I previously hadn’t incorporated much technology until the pandemic occurred and I had to adjust to the world of virtual teaching.
Q: What was it like to meet with your advisor? How did that work?
A: My advisor was extremely helpful in navigating me through the graduate program. We met virtually through Zoom.
Q: What made you decide to choose an online rather than in-person degree program?
A: As a full-time employee and mother to three, the online option fit my schedule.
Q: How does studying online work with your professional life and family needs?
A: : It takes a lot of balance and working late nights.
Q: Do you want to share information about how you funded your education in addition to this scholarship?
A: I received three other privately funded scholarships, as well as a grant for teaching special education.
Q: What is it like to be an online student on a daily basis?
A: : I enjoy utilizing the internet to complete my work. I feel that I’m able to better organize my work using online resources.
Q: What strategies and tools do you use to stay in touch with your professors and classmates? Do you use any non-university tools to communicate with your peers like social media or apps?
A: E-mail, Zoom, and VoiceThread
Q: Would you recommend this degree program?
Q: What advice would you give to someone who might be considering studying online?
A: Stay focused and designate your time to complete assignments.