Why did you choose to apply and ultimately enroll in the Teacher Education program at SECP?
I wanted to advance my education to improve my teaching and I heard positive things about the SECP from colleagues at my school, I applied, I got in, and I enrolled.
Were there any notable experiences you would like to share from your experience there?
The most notable experience during my time at SECP, was my relationship with Dr. Sara Garcia. She was a wonderful teacher and mentor. Whenever we met we would often lose ourselves in conversation about content in her courses or about ongoing research. She helped me grow as an educator and as a scholar. Another notable experience was researching and writing my thesis. The process had an immense impact on both my teaching and on my choice to pursue a PhD. I conducted a qualitative study that explored the experiences of Latina/o students in majority white and Asian AP and honors classes using interviews, participant journal-writing, and class observations. Dr. Garcia guided me, nurtured me, and pushed me to grow throughout the process.
Please describe your career path or current occupation and if/how SECP contributed to this:
I continued to teach for three years after I finished the program at SECP and then I decided to pursue a PhD in education. I am currently a PhD Candidate in Education Studies at UC San Diego. I can honestly say that I would not have pursued a PhD without the mentorship and care that I received from Dr. Garcia and Dr. Marco Bravo. They were instrumental in the completion of my thesis, but more importantly they both encouraged me to consider pursuing a PhD, which was not on my radar until that point. Additionally, I was able to publish a journal article using data from my thesis.
If you could offer one piece of advice to current students interested in your field, what would that be?
If someone is interested in pursuing a PhD in Education, or other social sciences, I would say the most important thing to do is to get an idea about your general research interest and reach out to researchers who share those interests. Find professors, or PhD students who share your interest and email them, and ask if they would be willing to have a brief chat and answer any questions that you have about the application process, their program, and their work. I had a wonderful support system during my application process and they encouraged me to reach out to professors and grad students at schools where I applied. I always got a response to my emails and the information I received from the conversations I had was invaluable. Any SECP students who are interested in pursuing a PhD should feel free to email me with any questions about the process and I would be more than happy to help out as best I can.