Several years ago, I graduated from UF’s Dual Certification ProTeach program with my masters in special education. After graduation, I felt well prepared to meet the demands of my new job as a kindergarten teacher in a fully inclusive school. After four and a half years in a co-teaching setting supporting many students with a variety of disabilities, I came back to UF to obtain my PhD in special education. I wanted to teach pre-service special educators and research effective practices, specifically for students with emotional and behavioral disorders. With a doctoral program ranked among the top in the country and opportunities to learn from some of the best scholars, it was clear that UF was where I wanted to go. I have gained a vast amount of valuable knowledge in my doctoral program and have been challenged to keep improving professionally. I have had opportunities to engage in a variety of learning experiences, which have prepared me for a future career in higher education. My time at UF has changed who I am as a special educator and allowed me to continue reaching my professional and personal goals. I would highly recommend UF’s programs for any current or future special educator interested in making a powerful and positive impact on the lives of all students.
Kristen Merrill, Ph.D.
George Mason University