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Graduate Programs

Master of Science in Education: Reading: Alumni
Jennifer Schulze

My Great Grandma Eda graduated from Oregon Normal School many years ago. Three of my aunts and two of my uncles attended and graduated from her alma mater, but under the name of Oregon College of Education. Both of my parents started at OCE and graduated when the name changed to Western Oregon State College. I started my college experience in 1991 at WOSC and finished my bachelors degree in Elementary Education at Western Oregon University in 1997.

My history at WOU is deep and wide, but my connections aren't just ancestral. They're personal. When I started at WOSC, I was a single mother of one. When I graduated, I was a wife and mother of three young children. My life was crazy and overwhelming at times, but my professors established real relationships with me that made me feel more a member of a family than a student in a college.  I'm confident that "family like" support got me through my BS degree. In addition, WOU's Ed Department did such an awesome job preparing me for the classroom that I found instant success in my teaching.

Eight years later, as a mother of four, I decided it was time to get my masters. I knew instantly I'd be graduating from WOU again. However, working full-time and raising a big family made my schooling go slower than I anticipated. Then, an unexpected job change sent me to very rural eastern Oregon. After a two year hiatus from WOU's masters program, one of my professors called me, "It's time you finished your degree, Jen. What can we do to make this work?" Again, through the support and encouragement of my WOU family, I was able to complete my masters degree in August 2012. It felt so good to reach that goal!

I've been teaching happily and successfully for 15 years. I'm currently teaching K-3 in a small two room school in Frenchglen, Oregon. I just returned from a month long trip to Kenya where I worked with Kenyan teachers who teach in the slums of Nairobi. My success as a teacher and my confidence in my abilities stem from the solid base I established and refined at WOU. Great Grandma Eda would be proud to know I'm continuing her teaching legacy by traversing the paths she once blazed at Oregon Normal School. Thanks WOU for being such a big part of my history and my success; I count you as family.

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