Graduate Programs in the School of Education
Making it Happen
From Dropout to Digital Champion
When Providence native Hilary Lundgren dropped out of school in the 10th grade, she could not have imagined the passion she would discover for education. Lundgren, a graduate of our MAT in Elementary Education program, was named a Rhode Island Digital Learning Champion earlier this year. The award celebrates educators who engage students by using technology to personalize learning. Lundgren is a fifth-grade teacher at West Broadway Middle School in Providence. She is currently working toward her Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) certificate at RIC.
Lundgren and fellow Digital Learning Champion Rachel Salvatore created a playful YouTube video co-starring their students to explain how they implement blended learning to reach students at every level by using data to drive individualized instruction. Lundgren has a cheerleader in WBMS principal, Bill Black, who submitted his own video rap supporting her nomination.
Lundgren credits the Highlander Institute of Providence with training her to integrate technology in a way that enables her "to meet my kids exactly where they are while still meeting the standards". The math and ELA teacher believes that combining face-to-face instruction with online content and assessment gives her students the chance to show more and measurable academic growth. She also credits blended learning for deepening her relationship with students, saying "I'm not only able to get to know them on an academic level of where they're at and where they need to be, but also at a social level: where in life they see themselves going and how we can make that connection between school and life and how we can make their learning in school really meaningful for us and for them." Lundgren's zeal for meaningful learning may be a product of her own experience as a disgruntled high school dropout who would later "decide to become a better person than what I was". Her transformative journey would take her from community college to Wheelock College, where she discovered a love of the classroom that brought her home to Providence and the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development at Rhode Island College.
Elena Yee, a graduate student in our Masters of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, knows what it is to be "other". In fact, she's counting on it as the key to her success. Yee was the rare woman engineer working in industrial manufacturing in the 1980s, she experienced cultural alienation within her family after leaving that lucrative profession to pursue a path of service as a teacher, and today she's a non-traditional student in her fifties and one of the few students of color in her classes at RIC. The Boston native is counting on all of those experiences to strengthen her skills as a clinical mental health counselor serving marginalized and under-represented students on college campuses.
The daughter of Chinese immigrants, Yee was recently recognized as a 2015 American College Counseling Association (ACCA) Emerging Leader. She is also the Graduate Assistant for the Counseling, Educational Psychology and Leadership department at Rhode Island College. Yee worked for fourteen years in diversity in higher education and as an EFL and history teacher in Vietnam, Alaska, and China. In 2013, she wrote about a life-changing interrogation by China's Secret Police in a This I Believe essay broadcast on Rhode Island Public Radio.
Yee said she was drawn to the graduate program at RIC partly "because it is a much more racially diverse campus than other campuses I've been at or worked at in Rhode Island." She's making the shift from Student Affairs to counseling after asking herself, "What can I continue doing that will carry me even into my 70s and still be contributing to our society and helping others?" Elena Yee shares the frustrations and inspirations of her educational journey in two frank blogs: The View from Here and American Counseling Association.
There is only one person in Rhode Island assigned the heartrending job of taking care of the state’s military families after a soldier’s death and that is our own Jessica Rivard. Rivard is the Survivor Outreach Coordinator for the United States Army, continuing a 13-year record of service she began in the Army before transferring to the Air National Guard. She currently reports to duty one weekend a month at Quonset Point, juggling that duty with her coursework as a second-year graduate student in RIC’s Masters of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program.
When I see and meet vets I see people with the same lifestyles as us but also that they’re a vet and they served our country. So they have a family life. They have to commute, they have to put dinner on the table, pay the bills and still complete their classes. And if they deployed they could possibly be still processing that. They’re also coming from the structure of the military and now they’re in an academic environment that might not be as structured, so there’s an adjustment there. And I’ve just seen veterans rising to that occasion and doing a great job with still being prideful in their service and getting the job done at school. - Rebecca Swagger
When a service member or veteran calls RIC’s Veterans Resource Center for guidance, the person on the other end of the line may well be Graduate Assistant Rebecca Swagger. Swagger is a third year, part-time graduate student in the Masters of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. Her Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a previous Master’s degree in human neuropsychology led to work researching substance abuse with the Veterans Administration in Providence. When she decided to focus on counseling at Rhode Island College, her experience at the VA made her the right candidate for a Graduate Assistantship at the VRC.
Like Mother, Like Daughter
When Kristen Moniz, a 5th and 6th grade Language Arts teacher, was named the Wilbur & McMahon School Teacher of the Year by the Little Compton School Committee, we know one fellow alum was especially proud: her mom. That’s because Moniz and her mother, Linda Ferreira, went through RIC’s M.Ed. in Reading program together, graduating in 2009. Moniz says the two took every single class together, serving as “each other’s proofreaders, editors, and when we had ideas we’d run them by each other. We were more like co-teachers than we were like mother and daughter!” The women also did their undergraduate work in Elementary Education at Rhode Island College, although not simultaneously.
Matters of Principal
In matters of style,
If you were to be sent to the Principal’s office at Cumberland High School, that is the message that would greet you. The quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson is the mantra on a fading poster tacked to a corkboard in an office with a conference table but no desk. RIC graduate Alan Tenreiro ’98, M.Ed. ’05 doesn’t need one: he’s the energetic, hands-on kind of leader you’re likely to find roaming the halls of his school, connecting directly with students and teachers. Tenreiro stands out in the crowd of some 100,000 school principals in this country, with the dramatic changes he’s made at CHS getting noticed far beyond the Ocean State. In October, the National Association of Secondary School Principals named the Pawtucket native the 2016 National Principal of the Year.
A Formula for Excellence
When people asked Barbara Pellegrino’s young son where he went to school, he would answer, “I go to RIC!” He wasn’t making things up: his mother was part of the Rhode Island College Cooperative Preschool, a student organization providing quality, affordable childcare through the participation of parents. Pellegrino ’93 says that experience “helped me be able to be a mom and a student at the same time. I couldn’t have done it without them.” She double majored in Elementary Education and Communication and credits Rhode Island College’s support of non-traditional students for her success making the switch from a banking job to teaching, revealing that “before I went to RIC, I didn’t know where my life was going.” Now in her tenth year at Harold F. Scott Elementary School in Warwick, Pellegrino was recently named a finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematical Teaching.
|Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning||M.Ed.|
|Art Education (Art Department)||M.A.T. (with initial licensure)|
|MS in Clinical Mental Health||MS|
|Early Childhood Education||M.Ed.|
|Elementary Education||M.A.T.. (with initial licensure)|
|Middle Grades Certification||C.G.S|
|Music Education ( Music, Theatre and Dance Department )||M.A.T. (with initial licensure)|
|Reading||M.Ed. (with advanced certificate)|
|School Psychology||M.A. | C.A.G.S.|
|Secondary Education||M.A.T. (with initial licensure)|
|Teaching English as a Second Language||M.Ed. (with advanced certificate)|
|Early Childhood, Birth-Kindergarten||M.Ed.|
|Exceptional Learning Needs||M.Ed.|
|Special Education Certification||M.Ed.|
|Severe Intellectual Disabilities||M.Ed | C.G.S.|