“Doing quantitative research in the master’s program opened my eyes to legitimate vs. pop science information. I also saw how what I was doing was affecting my students.” —Rachael Mendel, M.Ed. ’12, Special Education
Hometown: Sandy Springs, GA Education: M.Ed. ’12, Special Education (Behavior and Learning Disabilities), Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA B.A.… more »
Initially, I majored in psychology because I wanted a career in the helping professions. While I enjoyed the classes, I wasn’t sure I wanted to stay in that field, so I spoke to my academic adviser and she suggested a degree in speech-language pathology could be a lucrative career route I could pursue.
After graduating with a bachelor’s in Computer Science, I started a website and graphic design firm. I worked on ecommerce sites, flyers, promotional materials and event websites for about five years before deciding to pursue a master’s degree.
Originally, I majored in nursing at a technical college, but after enrolling at Georgia State to complete my bachelor’s degree, none of my prerequisite courses were transferable. As I pondered what to do next, I became a substitute teacher and noticed several open positions for special education instructors.
After graduating from college I worked as a counselor for one year at a nonprofit serving youth with emotional and behavioral problems. Although I enjoyed working with the children, the position wasn’t right for me, so I became a paraprofessional and taught high school students who where moderately and intellectually disabled.