Tiffany Mosby, Early Childhood

Minor Emphasis: Early Childhood Special Education

Why did you choose UNI's Teacher Education program?  I had heard that it is a great program for teachers.  I received an informational brochure about UNI's teacher education program and I used that information to compare to other schools.  Once I was at UNI I had the opportunity to take the Diverse Learners class with Professor Denny Ford.  It was at this time that I became interested in the area of special education.  Janet McClain introduced me to the idea of a special education minor and encouraged me to head in that direction.  I am so thankful for having met Janet McClain, she was a great influence in guiding me into the area of special education.  Along with Janet McClain, Drs. Denny Ford and Donna Raschke were helpful and were always open to talking to me about the area of special education.  The professors in this department are very willing to help out and advise their students.

What current/prior experiences do you have with special education?  I'm originally from Detroit, MI and the school system there is horrible.  The students (including myself) were passed on from grade to grade without being ready and without gaining the essential skills needed in order to succeed in the upcoming grade levels.  By the 4th grade I was extremely behind in all academic areas and school was a constant struggle and my school day was full of frustrations.  I knew how behind I was but was too embarrassed or ashamed to ask for help.  I was blessed to have an older cousin, Dr. Dolores Gunn, who recognized the need for me to get a good education.  She was the first out of our family to go to college and is currently a Family Physician and the head of the St. Louis County Health Department.  She was the one that saw the need for me to receive a better education and when she was offered a job in the St. Louis area, she took me with her and enrolled me in a much better school system that provided me with supportive services in all academic areas.  I myself have received similar services as what I will provide to my future students.  Because I have been so fortunate, I can now be a role model for kids that are similar to me and it is important that I can give back in this way.

What is a fond memory of your time spent at UNI?  I really enjoyed the one-on-one time during my Phase II experiences.  I was able to bring in a lot of fun activities and was able to see the excitement of my students when I arrived each day.  It was extremely rewarding and made me feel so proud to see my students progress from the beginning to the end of the Phase II experience.

Any tips for prospective/current students that are working toward similar degrees?  Love what you do and do what you love.

What are your career plans? Where would you like your UNI education to take you?  I want to teach immediately and I am extremely excited and ready to use all of my ideas and strategies that I have learned throughout my time at UNI.  I plan on going back to the St. Louis area in order to be closer to family.  I'd like to be able to work with kids that struggle in school like I did and help them to understand that if I can make it so can they.

Any fun quotes or words of advice to the people reading this profile?  UNI has an excellent program for education majors and is one of the only schools in the nation that extend their program to 5 years in order to give their students the extra experience needed in order to be truly prepared as a teacher.