Vanessa Montgomery

Master's Credential Cohort Program: Special Education

What do you hope to do with your degree and/or credential, and why?

I plan on becoming a transition specialist in a school district. I want to help students from the ages of 16-22 successfully transition out of special education into the work force or college. I plan on helping them do that by offering different programs and letting them know how to self-advocate after high school.

When did you begin your program, and when do you anticipate completing it?

September 2014-August 2016

How did you hear about SOLES, and why did you choose to enroll?

I had been looking around at schools but wasn't really sure where I wanted to go. I knew I wanted to get my Masters in Special Education and teaching credential, but was not sure if there was such a combined program. During that same time my boyfriend started law school at USD and was told about the MCC Special Education program. He brought me all the information and I made a meeting with the admissions office. Two years later I am pursuing my degree!

What is your background? For example, where are you from, where else have you earned a degree, and where have you worked?

I grew up in a small Northern California town called Valley Springs. After graduating from Calaveras High in 2006 I moved to Sacramento, where I attended Sierra Junior college. Two years later I relocated to my dream city, San Diego. I went to Mesa Junior college then transferred to the University of California, Santa Cruz. I started working with a non-profit organization called Eye To Eye. The organization pairs up students who are in college with learning disabilities with students who are in either middle school or elementary school who also have learning disabilities and they do art projects together that help build community, friendships, and self confidence. After I graduated in 2012 with a BA in History, I decided to enter the special education world. This is when I started looking towards combined Masters and teaching credential programs.

Are you currently working? If so, do you work full-time or part-time, and what do you do?

Yes, I am a substitute for San Diego Unified and babysit on the weekends. I am unable to have a steady job because of student teaching that occurs during the day and classes during the weeknights.

What are your plans for after graduation? What is your dream job?

My short-term goal is to graduate and get a job in a school district, hopefully as a transition specialist. My long-term goals are to move into administration and become a superintendent to a school district.

Is there anything else you would like to share with prospective students?

It is important to not be afraid to ask questions. If you are not sure about something then seek out your faculty during their office hours! Also get to know your professors, they are full of knowledge and have a lot of insight about careers in your field of interest. Lastly enjoy your time, don't get too stressed and make sure you make some time for yourself.