During his sophomore year, Colyn Cornell ’13 got off the phone with a family friend and made a life-changing choice. Their discussion about learning disabilities led him to decide to go into education, specifically majoring in Special Education.
His major led to a special education teacher position at Watauga High School, where he is now a graduation coach.
“I definitely felt comfortable and ready to move from college to work,” Cornell says of the transition from school to his profession.
Praising his professors for taking the time to build personal relationships with him, Cornell would let this experience inform his method of teaching.
“Building relationships with my students is important,” Cornell says, taking his cues from his professors. In addition to keen instruction from professors, the Special Education program offers a bevy of internships, thrusting its students into schools and classrooms to get real world experience during their last three semesters. Divided into two blocks, the semester is spent taking classes the first half with the second half consisting of field experience and internships.
“You can sit in a classroom all day, but it doesn’t compare to actually going out and doing it,” says Cornell.