May Student Spotlight

Jessica Rocklein is from Mooresville, North Carolina and is seeking her undergraduate degree in Special Education: Adapted Curriculum. Jessica is also participating in the Accelerated Admissions Program and is already working towards her master’s degree in Special Education with a concentration in Emotional Behavior Disorders. As part of the Accelerated Admissions Program, also called the 4+1 program, Jessica will earn her undergraduate degree in approximately four years and her master’s degree in approximately one additional year. In the Accelerated Admissions Program, students can take up to four graduate-level courses while they are completing their undergraduate degree. When they graduate from their undergraduate programs, they immediately begin a graduate program in Special Education. The graduate courses that were taken as undergraduates, count toward their Master's Degree. RESE offers an Accelerated Admissions Program in Special Education and Reading Education.


Why Appalachian?

Jessica says she came to Appalachian because of the phenomenal Special Education program. “I knew that by choosing Appalachian I would be getting the best education and in turn, be more prepared for my future career.” Jessica also loves Appalachian because of its proximity to the Blue Ridge Parkway and her ability to be outdoors.

She has also had the opportunity to become a vital part of the Appalachian State campus. Jessica is currently the president of the International Justice Mission and is a member of the Appalachian Community of Education Scholars, the Appalachian Educators, and the Reformed University Fellowship.


Why Special Education?

“I chose to get a degree in Special Education because I wanted to have an impact on someone’s life. In high school I had the opportunity to intern in a self-contained Special Education classroom and it rocked my world. I loved watching the teachers push the students to their full potential. I think often times we cast people with severe disabilities aside and I want to change that mindset. I want my students to feel that they can do just about anything they set their mind to.”


Who has made a positive impact on you?

“One professor that has really had an impact on my time at Appalachian is Dr. Garwood. Although this is his first year here, I have had the opportunity to have two classes with him. During these classes he demonstrated how passionate he was about Special Education. One class I had with him, Classroom Management for Effective Instruction (SPE 5610), taught me what it takes to be an effective teacher. He has given us suggestions on how to set up our classrooms, daily tips we can use to keep the students engaged, and ways to collect data on intervention strategies.”


The faculty and staff of the RESE Department look forward to celebrating Jessica’s undergraduate graduation in May 2018 and her graduate graduation in May 2019!


Published: May 3, 2017 10:43am