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Class of 2013, Master of Arts in Special Education

Monica Scherer

Monica Scherer was a Distinguished Student Speaker representing the College of Education at the Graduate Recognition Ceremony of Spring 2013. She graduated with a 4.0 GPA from the Master of Arts in Special Education LBS I program. Monica represented her program at the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) meetings and was a recipient of the Anita Louise Bianco Student Teacher Award.

When I first decided to apply to the Master's in Special Education program at NEIU, I had a vague vision of what my future would hold. I knew I wanted to work in special education and that I wanted that career to be meaningful and fulfilling. NEIU has been my road towards that goal, and along my journey I've gained the experience, knowledge, and skills necessary to begin providing excellent educations to my future students, just as Northeastern has provided for me.

My experience has been collaborative. I have been given the opportunity to work with so many talented experts in the field of education and have learned that collaboration not only benefits the students but also benefits the collaborators. Open communication and free sharing of knowledge with colleagues, mentors, and professors, has resulted in a broadening of my perspective and brought focus to my professional lens.

My experience has been reflective. Through the challenging standards of my program, I have found the value of understanding myself in a personal and professional way. The graduate portfolio began as an external project and slowly became an integral part of my experience. Northeastern has undoubtedly taught me the importance of knowing my students in order to best educate them; what I had not expected, was to learn the importance of truly knowing myself.

My experience has been transformative. I started this program as a student with minimal experience; throughout my time at NEIU, I have internalized best practice methods, allowing the evidence-based skills to intertwine with my professional character. I have learned to embody the traits necessary to be approachable and effective in my teaching. After completing this program, I have transformed from an eager student to a knowledgeable and competent teacher.

Throughout my program, I have experienced the value of diversity, completed internships in diverse settings, wrote a paper that spanned an impressive 174 pages, sacrificed Friday nights with friends for the sake of my education, battled self-doubt, struggled to meet deadlines, and lived through countless sleepless nights.

I am graduating from a University that has provided the education I needed to give back to my community and lead a fulfilling career. I look back at where I started two and half years ago; ambitious and eager but also slightly doubtful and afraid. I no longer fear what my future may hold, but instead, am excited for the challenges that my career will bring because Northeastern has taught me the strength of persistence. I can now re-imagine my future through a new perspective, transformed by reflection, broadened by collaboration, and clarified by dedication to lifelong learning.