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Literacy Coach Says NC State Education Degree Will Help Achieve Career Aspirations

Brittany McLean is a part-time NC State student who works full-time as a literacy coach at Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at UNC Chapel Hill.

McLean is enrolled in NC State College of Education’s Master of Education, New Literacies and Global Learning (NLGL) program through NC State Online and Distance Education. Her concentration is in K-12 Reading Education.

“I started doing some research on programs in reading education,” McLean said. “NC State was a standout option for me,” she added. However, NC State was also an hour and a half away from where she worked.

“When I realized there was an online option, I jumped at the opportunity,” McLean said. And although the program seemed rigorous, it fit her educational goals.

“One of my goals when enrolling in this program was to strengthen my skills in technological literacy for professional use in the realm of reading education,” McLean said.

But McLean was a little uncertain about an online program. She wasn’t sure what to expect.

“My assumption about online education was that it would be cold and impersonal but it hasn’t been that way at all for me,” McLean said. In fact, everyone she spoke with about the program was very warm and welcoming. She said faculty members Lisa Hervey, Senior Research Scholar and Digital Learning Coach at the Friday Institute, and Hiller Spires, a professor at the College of Education and a Senior Research Fellow at the Friday Institute, introduced her to new digital tools she hopes to use in her career.

“I plan to employ some of those tools in my work and to share them with the teachers I coach,” McLean said. “The professors in this program have challenged me to think critically and creatively about literacy instruction and that affects me every day,” she added.

McLean hopes to use her degree to achieve her ultimate career goal of becoming a director of literacy/reading instruction for a rural school district. She plans to complete her degree in May 2018.

“Being able to make grounded decisions about problems teachers face when trying to show student growth in literacy and how to solve those problems will help me in that position,” she said.

Students interested in applying to the New Literacies and Global Learning Program through NC State Online and Distance Education can learn more on the College of Education’s website.