How I Chose My Graduate Degree Program

by Katelyn Rakfeldt on March 29, 2021
How I Chose My Graduate Degree Program

Katelyn Rakfeldt is a graduate student in the M.S. Ed. Literacy and English Language Learners masters program. She works in the College of Education as a Departmental Scholarship recipient. 

I came to love Niagara University (NU) as a senior in high school. After touring the campus once, I knew my heart was set on being a Purple Eagle and nothing else. The combination of small class sizes, meaningful experiences, and incredibly supportive faculty and staff are what sealed the deal for me.

As an undergrad, I earned my bachelor's degree in Early Childhood and Childhood Education and completed two minors: Literacy and ASL/Deaf Studies. From my first semester to my last, NU ensured I gained experience working with students in various grade levels and school districts through the Family Literacy Center and IMPACT Program. Additionally, I had the privilege of studying abroad in Italy during my junior year to work with preschoolers learning English as a second language in Rome, Florence, and Venice. Studying abroad was one of the most transformative experiences I had, and I highly recommend it if you can - you will not regret the experience! 

When my time as an undergrad was coming to an end, I knew I wanted to pursue my master’s in education but struggled to select a program. I was intrigued to learn more about the world of literacy after completing my literacy minor but was also fascinated with language development and learning about different cultures. To help with my decision, I attended a Graduate Studies Open House at NU and conversed with some of the faculty about my passions and interests. Once I learned about the newly established master’s program that led to dual certification as a K-12 literacy coach and TESOL instructor, I knew it was the right program for me.

NU has designed and implemented multiple opportunities that I am beyond grateful for. These experiences have shaped me into the professional educator and person I am today, and I cannot wait to see where my accomplishments take me beyond Monteagle Ridge. 

I hope my journey and insights encourage you to pursue your passions here at Niagara University!

For more information on the M.S. Ed. Literacy and English Language Learners program, please contact us or call 716.286.8336.