Reporter Sanika Bhargaw with Madison’s NBC15/WMTV visited the Juda School District recently to spotlight a unique master’s degree residency program offered through UW–Madison’s School of Education, which is preparing future special education teachers to work in high-need and rural districts in Wisconsin.
UW–Madison’s Special Education Teacher (UW-SET) Residency Program allows students to earn their master’s degree while spending a year shadowing teachers, often in rural districts.
Bhargaw spoke with Kimber Wilkerson, a professor with the School’s Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education, and the faculty director of the Teacher Education Center, for the NBC15 report.
Wilkerson explained that often there will only be one or two special educators in small, rural school districts. The UW-SET program is helping to fill that gap.
“(The program) also helps with retention,” she said, “so people who are better prepared aren’t as stressed by their first years of teaching.”
Conrad Schnell, a current UW-SET student who is working in the Juda School District, said he was drawn to the program by the hands-on experience it offered.
“You really get to implement what you’re learning in UW in the classroom right away,” said Schnell.
Read or view the full report on the NBC15 website, here.