Gingerlee Lackey of Fort Payne, Alabama, has cheered on The University of Alabama Crimson Tide for as long as she can remember. As a young mother active in her church and community, Lackey knew that quitting her job as a special education teacher and attending traditional campus classes was out of the question. She needed a master's degree program with courses offered in a flexible format to fit her schedule. That's when a family member told her about distance learning programs offered through The University of Alabama.
"As a classroom teacher, I work during the day. I also have a family. The non-traditional format allowed me to enroll in a graduate degree program without sacrificing too much time away from my family," said Lackey.
After researching different options, Lackey enrolled in the master's degree program in Special Education Collaborative 6-12 at the UA Gadsden Center. Classes are offered in a blended format, which combines online courses with face-to-face courses held at the UA Gadsden Center.
"The Gadsden Center was the closest graduate school to my home, and it offered the most affordable tuition rates. I compared other nearby schools and other online degree programs, and UA came out on top."
Lackey feels that the knowledge gained through the Collaborative 6-12 degree program has helped her in the classroom and in her career.
"I have many new learning and classroom management strategies for my teacher toolbox. I often say I wish I had known some of the things I know now in my previous seven years of teaching; however, I do not think I would have appreciated the program as much if I had started earlier. I was able to apply my classroom experience as I learned new material."
Lackey also enjoyed connecting with peers and teachers. She said that she has made many friends through this program. She also remarked on the excellence of the faculty. "The faculty really care. It's clearly evident that they want you to be successful and learn skills that will make you a better teacher. They model effective teaching in every way."