Becoming a Special Educator is one of the most difficult and rewarding jobs in the world. The Special Education Endorsement Program at Southern Oregon provided the best foundation for all types of special education services. Through a variety of online and hybrid classes and practicum experiences, I was able to meet and train under a variety of specialists. SOU have professors who go beyond what is in a textbook. SOU has instructors who are currently or have just been in the field. They know about the latest issues, best practice, local policy, and revisions to federal special education laws. The professors could answer a variety of questions that came up during the practicum experience.
--Melodie Ealy, Medford School District
I have been teaching special education for the past four years. I receive my master’s in education and my special education certification in the spring of 2011 at Southern Oregon University. I started the endorsement program right after I was hired. Here I was, doing a job I was not qualified to do, going to school, coaching two sports, and working under an emergency license, I was in way over my head. The professors at Southern were extremely helpful. They gave me what I needed to know right away. They then nurtured me through the whole process. I can’t say enough great things about my experience at Southern Oregon University. The professors, administration, and my peers were always there for me and ready to answer questions at any time. If it was not for the Dual Program at Southern Oregon I never would have made it. I will always be very thankful.
--Randy Gunn, Riddle School District
My time in the SOU Endorsement Program was very enjoyable, inspiring, and informative. I found the rigor, collaboration, and professionalism of the program greatly assisted my goals and aspirations in becoming a more proficient and ethical educator. It is an honor to have been a part of this program and be able to recommend it to others.
--Carl Simpson, South Umpqua School District
The Special Education Program at Southern Oregon University helped me develop the skills and the experiences necessary to become a special education teacher. Nearly twelve years later I am still in regular contact with several of my professors from the program and feel as though I can rely on them for professional advice. It is for these reasons I have returned to the Special Education Program to teach some of the courses. There is a "paying it forward" approach to the program that benefits not only the students, but the education community as a whole with qualified, capable teachers.
--Ryan Munn, Central Point School District
After staying home for 9 years to raise my 3 children, I decided to go back to school to follow my dream and become a special education teacher. The guidance I received from the SOU was fantastic. The instructors were able to give real life meaning to special education. Because of the education and guidance from SOU I was more than ready to have a classroom of my own. From writing an IEP to keeping students engaged and collaborating with colleagues, SOU prepared me for the special education field.
--Teri deGroot, Klamath County School District
The graduates we have hired from the SOU Special Education Program have been some of the districts most highly qualified and competent educators coming into the field of special education. We have made it a priority to refer most of our staff seeking special education endorsements or changing careers in education to enroll at Southern Oregon University due to their comprehensive training of educators and the ability to prepare their graduates for the rigor they will encounter in the span of their careers. The graduates from the program are immersed into a unique learning community that remains aligned with high standards and expectations designed to ensure graduates feel competent entering their classrooms upon graduation. The vast majority of our special education staff are SOU graduates and we consistently recruit from this program knowing the skills the graduates leave with.
--Rick Burton, Director of Student Services, South Umpqua Public Schools