I am currently a Special Education Program Manager for KIPP Los Angeles Schools. In this capacity, I manage the special education programs for three of KIPP’s thirteen schools. This includes supporting teachers in compliance, positive behavior interventions, instructional coaching, and establishing norms for collaboration with teachers, parents, and administrators.
In addition to teaching, I have served for multiple years as Department Chair, a member of the Instructional Leadership Team, provided district-wide Professional Development for Special Education teachers and school-wide Professional Development for General Education and Special Education teachers. In 2014, while at Green Dot Public Schools, I was a recipient of the esteemed “Dottie” Award, which recognizes outstanding teachers in the district.
I received my Level I Education Specialist Credential in December 2010, and my Level II Credential in 2014 from CSULB. In August 2010, I began working as an Intern for Green Dot Public Schools. This was my first full-time teaching position in special education. I was in a situation where I was starting from scratch. I had to create systems and infrastructures designed to establish and maintain compliance as well as acclimate myself with the demanding role of a special education teacher; all this, while conducting and writing case studies for my credential program. I was simultaneously a student and a leader. I can honestly say that I would have never made it without the tools and insight gained while in the CSULB Education Specialist Credential program.
Although rigorous, the Education Specialist Credential program is thorough and addressed every imaginable situation I encountered. The professors are seasoned educators, familiar with the classroom, compliance, and transition. Their experiences laid the foundation for daily routines and culture building in my own classroom. I attribute much of my success to the education and support I received from the Professors and Advisors in the CSULB Education Specialist Credential program.
I am a graduate of CSULB’s College of Education, having completed my Education Specialist Credential in 2007, and my Masters in Special Education in 2009. I have worked in the field of special education for the last 14 years. I was a classroom teacher, an autism specialist, and currently work for Newport-Mesa Unified School District as a Special Education Coordinator. In my current role, I oversee a zone of 6 schools and work to support teachers, parents, students, site administrators, and related service providers to develop and implement appropriate services, programs, and IEPs for students with a variety of special needs.
One of my most important roles is to collaborate with many people and work as a team member in the best interest of students. This requires me to not only have strong interpersonal and leadership skills, but also a strong working knowledge of special education best practices. My programs at CSULB absolutely prepared me for this role. Our classes focused on the most current research in special education, as well as the foundational research that provided us with the building blocks of our field.
The professors in the program ensured that the coursework and material covered not only provided students with the facts and information, but also with an opportunity to apply this knowledge, work in groups, and develop skills needed by working professionals. Collaboration and leadership were cornerstones of all coursework, preparing graduates to work with parents and colleagues in a way that best supports students.
CSULB’s College of Education programs for special education continue to create strong educators with bright futures. I am proud to say that in my current position I work directly with CSULB staff to recruit recent graduates for special education teaching positions in our district. It is clear that even years after my graduation from CSULB, the program continues to prepare students effectively for successful teaching experiences. I am a proud graduate of CSULB College of Education. Go Beach!
Long Beach State is a great place to earn your teaching credential! The classes were the perfect balance of educational philosophy and practical workplace application. I finished the program very well prepared to jump into the adventure of teaching. The faculty and support staff model the supportive, caring, and collaborative disposition that is absolutely necessary to survive in today's teaching field.
I currently work as a High School Special Education teacher, teaching English, Math, and Health in the Mild/Moderate setting at Edison High School in Huntington Beach, California. I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for the experiences that were fostered as part of CSULB's stellar credential program.