Student Spotlights

Graduate Students

Talya Oral, MEd 2019

Program: Accelerated Master’s

What motivated you to obtain a master’s in special education at TCU’s COE?

I wanted to get a master’s in special education at TCU’s COE because I hope to teach special education in the future and wanted to gain as much knowledge about the field before I begin teaching special education. Also, I thought it was a great opportunity to continue with grad school earlier rather than later. Finally, it has been incredible to have the opportunity to work at KinderFrogs and continue to learn about special education and students with Down Syndrome which has become one of my passions and I hope to work with them in the future!

Share a significant learning experience you have had in the program so far that you think will help you become a better teacher.

One learning experience that I have received from the program is having the opportunity to work at KinderFrogs. I have loved working at KinderFrogs because it has given me the chance to gain more knowledge about students with Down Syndrome. I have learned so much from both the students and the teachers at KinderFrogs which will only benefit me for the future as an educator.

After your master’s, what are your career goals?

After my master’s, I hope to become a special education teacher in a self-contained classroom or in a PPCD setting. I also would like to work primarily with students with Down Syndrome and Autism.

Adhali Frayre

Program: Accelerated Master’s

What motivated you to obtain a master’s in special education at TCU’s COE?

I would like to be able to teach all students, so I decided to go through the ESL route during my undergrad and studied special education for my master’s.

Share a significant learning experience you have had in the program so far that you think will help you become a better teacher.

During my fall semester in the master’s program I had the opportunity to work with students that have Autism. This experience pushed me as a teacher because I was used to the general education classrooms and was not accustomed to all of the details that go into teaching students that have Autism. This experience was very rewarding and filled with many learning experiences, for myself, that I do not think I could have had anywhere else.

After your master’s, what are your career goals?

After I graduate I would like to work in Fort Worth ISD and work on the inclusion of students with disabilities in the general education classrooms. I think that many times we are quick to send a student out of our classroom when we should be keeping them in and helping them as much as we can because we never know how many other students, that are not students with disabilities, are benefiting from those accommodations.

Remy Zingale, M.Ed., 2020

Program: Starpoint Associate

What motivated you to obtain a master’s in special education at TCU’s COE?

I have always had a passion for helping students who are labeled the “troublemakers”. I wanted to know how to help these students and make sure they succeed.  I knew I needed the tools that TCU’s master’s in special education could teach me in order to help my future students as best as I can.

Share a significant learning experience you have had in the program so far that you think will help you become a better teacher.

I am fortunate enough to be able to work at an elementary school on TCU’s campus called Starpoint. This year I am learning so much about teaching and how to best help students who have various learning disabilities. The teachers and the experiences I have had with the students have taught me endless lessons about how I want to teach and what it takes to go above and beyond as a teacher.

After your master’s, what are your career goals?

I hope to have an inclusion classroom in my future. I would love to have a universal teaching design in my classroom so that all students can show learn in a way that is best for them. I hope to help students in any way I can in the classroom and outside the classroom.

Shelby Dombroski

Program: Traditional Master’s

What motivated you to obtain a Master’s in Special education at TCU’s COE?

After attending professional develop given to school districts by the ANSERS institute, it helped light a new fire to grow and learn future to in my education to benefit my current and future students.

Share a significant learning experience you have had in the program so far that you think will help you become a better teacher.

A significant learning experience for me has been the chance to collaborate with peers across different fields of study. This has given me a chance to learn from peers and grow in experience.

After your master’s, what are your career goals?

Work with the community and/or law enforcement agency to help build a stronger knowledge and skills to work with individuals with disabilities and mental health concerns. Later, I would like to help with a teacher educator program.

Rebecca Molina

Program: Accelerated Master’s

What motivated you to obtain a Master’s in Special education at TCU’s COE?

I decided to pursue Special Education because I believed I needed more information and exposure to what special education meant. During my undergrad I learned a lot through the experience in Starpoint, but I felt I still needed to learn more about the different ways to help all students. Also, eventually I want to go back home and the more knowledge I have in how to help all students, especially students who have a learning disability, the more I will be able to leave a mark in my country.

Share a significant learning experience you have had in the program so far that you think will help you become a better teacher.

I believe the student teaching experience helped me learn a lot. I was able to be in a self-contained classroom and then in a 5th grade class. Both experiences were extremely different, but I felt each experience made me grow as a teacher and it got me out of my comfort zone, learning new things about being a teacher and about myself as a teacher.

After your master’s, what are your career goals?

I want to work in an inclusion classroom here in Fort Worth or Dallas and eventually go back home to Honduras and promote inclusion in the schools.

Erin Dianis

Program: Accelerated Master’s

What motivated you to obtain a Master’s in Special education at TCU’s COE?

I wanted to get a Master’s in Special Education because I thought it was important to be able to truly benefit my students. I want to work with a very specific population of students, so I want to be as informed as possible when I step foot into my own classroom. I came to TCU for the special education program, so being able to stay with the wonderful special education faculty was a really nice bonus of the program.

Share a significant learning experience you have had in the program so far that you think will help you become a better teacher.

Being able to spend time in a high school and middle school placement has been very significant for me. I did early childhood as my focus for undergraduate studies, but eventually wanted to make the switch to middle secondary. I’m grateful that I was able to make the transition within the Master’s program and get a lot of time inside the classroom while getting my degree. I’ve learned a lot about how middle secondary classrooms are structured for special education students. Having this exposure is really important and will make a large impact on my teaching career.

After your master’s, what are your career goals?

I have applied through Fulbright ETA and want to teach in the Netherlands. I want to be a special education teacher for students who require more structured and one-on-one supports as outlined in their IEPs. I want to work with middle school students and hope to one day be a teacher at a school on a military base through DODEA.

Blair Duker

Program: Accelerated Master’s

What motivated you to obtain a Master’s in Special education at TCU’s COE?

During my junior year Special Education Methods course, I had the privilege of observing and teaching at Starpoint School. It was during this time that I fell in love with the mission of teaching and empowering students with special needs and challenges.

Share a significant learning experience you have had in the program so far that you think will help you become a better teacher.

I think my work observing, evaluating, and coaching the newest group of College of Ed. juniors at Starpoint has been the most significant experience I have had during the master’s program. It has caused me to reflect much more deeply on my own teaching methods and decisions.

After your master’s, what are your career goals?

I plan to teach in the general education with inclusion classroom setting. In time, I hope I might be able to serve as an instructional coach for general education teachers who, due to the current high rate of inclusion, find themselves in need of special education methods training.

Hannah Huerlin

Program: Accelerated Master’s

What motivated you to obtain a master’s in special education at TCU’s COE?

I initially chose to come to TCU because of the master’s in special education as well as the lab schools on campus. I have always had a desire to live life with people that need significant support needs as I feel as though they significantly impact my own life. I knew that TCU was an excellent school and to have the prospect of getting my undergraduate and master’s in what I love to do in just about five years I was sold.

Share a significant learning experience you have had in the program so far that you think will help you become a better teacher.

I have had many significant learning experiences so far but the one that has impacted the most has been my recent field experience and treatise project. I have been working in a TAP classroom for students with behavior support and adaptive education needs. One of the students was exhibiting aggressive behaviors and I was able to help collect A-B-C data and choose a function-based intervention that may work for that student. Following the decision, I was able to implement the intervention, collect data, problem solve difficulties, and effectively support this student. This experience helped me understand the value of taking frequent data on behaviors as well as content, and the value of using interventions that align with the function of students’ behaviors.

After your master’s, what are your career goals?

I plan to move to Nashville, Tennessee and get a job teaching special education for students with severe support needs when it comes to behavior and functioning. I just got my Tennessee license secured so my next step is finding a job! At some point in the near future I would like to return to school to get my certifications as a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst and possibly work for a district in the Denver Metro area.

Katie McCulloch

Program: Accelerated Master’s

What motivated you to obtain a master’s in special education at TCU’s COE?

In my decision to be in the master’s program, I really wanted to extend my knowledge of special education. During my undergrad, I found special education to be very interesting, and it led me to think of possibly continuing my future career in it.

Share a significant learning experience you have had in the program so far that you think will help you become a better teacher.

The Special Education Maters program has taught me so much information that has prepared me for my future classroom. Going into the classroom, I feel as if I have a background that will allow me to successfully teach and manage a classroom with all different types of learners.

After your master’s, what are your career goals?

After I receive my master’s degree, I plan to teach in an inclusion class setting either back home in Illinois, or here in Texas.

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