Ashley Haack, Elementary Education with a minor in Special Education – Mild/Moderate K-8 Educational Technology

Why did you choose UNI's Teacher Education program? I chose UNI because students get a lot of experience out in the schools even before earning a license.  

What current/prior experiences do you have with special education?  I have an uncle with Down-syndrome and had many different types of children in my school that had special needs ranging from learning disorders to severe mental/physical difficulties.  The Instructional Strategist I minor has allowed me to teach children with learning difficulties.  

What is a fond memory of your time spent at UNI? I have had positive experiences with both my Elementary Education major and Special Education minor.  I have been able to teach students in local schools and watch them progress throughout the semester.  I was able to tutor a young girl in first grade who didn’t know any sight words at the beginning, but knew over 30 sight words when I finished my field experience.  I love that UNI is giving education majors the ability to go out into the schools and get the experience of teaching. Students can see what they need to improve on and what they already do well. 

Any tips for prospective/current students that are working toward similar degrees?  If you have the desire to want to be a special education teacher, then you should follow your dreams and take coursework for this minor.  You will learn about ways to assess students’ learning and behavior (which can work for students in general education as well). You will also get to see the progress that you have made with your student and understand how well you did teaching.  It is a very rewarding experience to see children succeed and surpass the goals that their teachers have set.

What are your career plans?  Where would you like your UNI education to take you?  My career plans are to become a licensed teacher and get a job teaching in either a special or general education position.  I believe that getting my education at UNI will help me get a job. The fact that I am minoring in Special Education will help me because there is a high need for teachers who are patient and can work with kids who have special needs.