"The Teacher Education program at Claremont Graduate University taught me how bringing real-life connections into the curriculum enhances critical as well as creative thinking."
Jessica Duran (MA in Education, 2007)
Teacher, Science and social skills inclusion program for students with autism
Jessica Duran (MA Education, ’07) admits that the decision to go back school to prepare for a new career was difficult. “Raising children with a full time job was time consuming enough, so the dream of going back to school appeared to be a goal that was out of my reach. I often wondered how I was going to make it through the class assignments and homework, in addition to balancing my family and career obligations.”
She credits the cohort structure of CGU’s Teacher Education program with helping to get her through. “During the initial instructional class, I was introduced to a group of extraordinary future educators who were on the same journey. Their encouragement, advice, and loyalty were unmatched in everyway. Together we accomplished our dream of becoming highly qualified education specialists with Master’s degrees.”
Today Jessica teaches high school science and a social skills inclusion program for students with autism. She has assisted in piloting a number of cutting edge programs that focus on individuals with disabilities, social justice and multicultural issues. She also does consulting, runs workshops, and participates in conferences that educate others interested in working with individuals with disabilities.
To accomplish all of this, she continues to draw strength and perspective from her graduate school peers. “CGU made us colleagues, the Teacher Education Program made us family.”