Olivia Rhoddy, '18

"After teaching for a number of years in the public school system, I decided it was the right time to go back to school and get my master’s degree. After researching several different programs, I chose the MAES-SPED program at TWU, and it has been a rewarding experience. The schedule of the program allowed me to continue working as a teacher while I completed my coursework. Since completing my degree, I have been working full time as a resource teacher. The broad perspective on special education and people with exceptionalities that was shared in my courses has helped me to understand the needs of my students better than simply knowing the symptoms of a particular disability and the associated strategies. It is rewarding to help students reach their potential and find their niche in the world and I am thankful for how the MAES-SPED program has influenced my career." 


 Karen Van Egmond, '18

As I evaluated my teaching career, I knew I was missing out on opportunities without a Master's degree. After looking at a variety of programs, TWU's faith-based, well-rounded program just felt right. Using the “head, hands, heart” model, the school encourages practical understanding entrenched in current research and pedagogy.  Educating the whole person is the foundation on which the demands of excellence in research and learning are built.  

I treasure the community that I built with other learners  We started as strangers and left as friends.  This group of teachers from all over the country was united for a common purpose. Through the rich discussions, the collegiality, the comradery, and the support from professors who genuinely cared for each of our hearts and minds, we were transformed into researching professionals.

I now have a greater awareness of my students and how to support their various learning needs.  I see the changes in education and know that research informs practice. My MA degree has allowed for more opportunities in my current career and opens up more opportunities for the future. It also shows my three daughters that, if I could do something like this, they can too!  


Christine Thygesen, '19

"After completing a diploma in special education and teaching in a District Low Incidence program for several years, I was interested in taking my learning even further.  I applied to the Master of Arts in Educational Studies- Special Education at Trinity Western University and couldn’t have been happier with my decision. The faculty were very supportive, and the program significantly deepened my knowledge base.  This has had a positive impact on my pedagogy, which now allows me to support ALL students better. I look forward to the new possibilities that my Master of Arts in Educational Studies- Special Education will offer me regarding future career paths." - Christine Thygesen