Gina Kilday, Certificate of Graduate Studies, Mathematics Content Specialist: Elementary, 2012

My graduate experience at RIC has been phenomenal! The program for the Certificate of Graduate Studies in Mathematics Content Specialist: Elementary has been very powerful and has had a tremendously positive impact both personally and professionally. While in the program, I was able to deepen my content knowledge and refine my practices and, as a result, improve the learning experience of my third graders. Since graduating the program, I have become a K-6 Math Specialist for my school district. This new position will draw on what I learned in my graduate work at RIC.

The professors in the program were very motivating and supportive. The cohort approach of the class was so important. The group of teachers in our program grew together and, along with our professors, really felt like an extended family. We struggled through problems, challenged each other, and supported each other's learning and instruction. We laughed, we worked and we grew! I have made friendships that will certainly continue long after the completion of our coursework.

After working all day, it was sometimes difficult to rush from school to get to a grad class each week, so the support and motivation of the program at RIC was essential. There were times when I had had a tough day at school and drove to class thinking, "How am I going to do this?" but not ten minutes into class I would be completely absorbed and excited by the course work.

The work was relevant, the assignments were applicable to what I was doing in my own classroom, and the content was current. I couldn't have asked for any more than what I got out of my Graduate Studies experience at RIC these past two years!